Founded in 2009, Partners Capital Solutions, Inc. (PCS) is a private portfolio lender and equity provider based in Calabasas, CA. With over $250M in assets under management, PCS offers its investors a family of funds with both debt and equity solutions for acquiring commercial and residential properties ranging from $2.5 million to $15 million in the Western United States.
PCS’ flagship debt fund launched 10 years ago with friends and family investors. Within a few years, the investor base had grown organically to 450 investors and over $250M in capital. PCS had been using spreadsheets to manage investment accounting and investor reporting, and realized they would need a technology solution to serve their investor base at scale. Brian Stocker, Senior Vice President of Finance at PCS, explained, “we needed a better system to manage transactions and communicate with investors, and we needed our growing teams to be working off of one system of truth.”
Search for a Solution
PCS initially purchased another software solution which had stalled out while trying to migrate their investment data out of spreadsheets and into the new system. Stocker was tasked with either completing the data migration or finding another solution. Stocker initially doubled-down with the current vendor, hoping that it was easier to push an existing project through to completion rather than start anew. However, after eight long months of working with the vendor, and with patience growing thin with their customer service, it became clear that the technology could not support their particular investment structures and overall business needs.
Frustrated but not defeated, Stocker resolved to take enough time to find the right vendor that could truly meet PCS’ needs. With experience under his belt, Stocker knew he would need to underwrite product capabilities in detail instead of relying solely on the vendor’s assurances. It also meant evaluating the team behind the product, and the quality of support he would receive when using the software.
Stocker was told to look at Juniper Square from the technology development team at PCS who had heard positive things about them. “Upon my initial call with Juniper Square it was very clear to me that these people ‘got it’, recalled Stocker. “To my pleasant surprise, the team at Juniper Square was very responsive to our questions and requests. They understood our business and showed they cared.”
During onboarding PCS got first-hand experience to Juniper Square’s unique approach to data migration and setup. They were surprised to hear that they could send their data ‘as-is’ in their own spreadsheets, without having to process data to conform to the vendor’s data format. The Juniper Square team did all the heavy lifting to migrate the data and configure PCS’ workspace so that the software worked out of the box from day one.
Stocker recalled, “This data migration was by far the smoothest, least-painful system migration I’ve ever been involved with. We moved a decade’s worth of fund accounting data over to Juniper Square with minimal issues, and we were up and running within a few weeks. Compared to the eight month exertion with our previous vendor, it was a dream.”
The PCS team benefited from Juniper Square’s industry-leading capabilities immediately. “The product is intuitive and easy to use. Moving to Juniper Square cut the time to process investor distributions from one full day to less than an hour. The platform archives all investor documents and communications, and easily facilitates electronic distribution of tax forms. Fundraising and tracking of campaigns have been greatly enhanced.”
“We’ve also received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our investors.” Stocker added, “It was the first time where they could see all of their investments in one place. Many aren’t tech savvy but they found the investor portal to be easy to use and extremely helpful.”
The PCS team continues to grow their business with the help of Juniper Square. Stocker and his team couldn’t have been happier that they made the switch. When asked to provide advice to his peers regarding evaluating investment management vendors, Stocker remarked: “In the end, it’s about the people behind the product, not just the technology. Be sure to assess both the technology–and the team–when evaluating different platform vendors. Find an enterprise that has the best technology but also a culture that aligns with your firm, and people who really get your business.”
“We’ve greatly benefited from the automation of many of our investment operations. Our monthly distribution process used to take 1-2 staff members one full day to complete. Now it takes one staff member about 30 minutes,” said Stocker. He added, “The team is also less busy responding to information requests from investors. The labor savings and enhanced functionality have resulted in a great return on investment.”
“Our data can’t be inadvertently changed like it could with a spreadsheet. And unlike the previous system, we have peace of mind knowing our system of record has integrity,” said Stocker.
“The ongoing support is fantastic. We always get a timely response when we have questions and are provided with competent help,” Stocker concluded, “At PCS, we are always looking for partners, not just vendors. We found a great fit with Juniper Square. They are more than just a software vendor to us; they are a true business partner.”
For more information on how Juniper Square can help you scale your business, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.