Jonathan Flitt is an experienced operating executive. Jonathan has held positions across brokerage, wealth management, asset management, alternatives including, hedge fund, credit fund, private equity and private debt administration and middle office servicing. His experience includes leading global operations, product management and product development, leading large scale technology development projects and implementations, building partnerships and managing client relationships.
Jonathan is currently the Global Head of Alternative Investments for Clearwater Analytics. In this role, Jonathan leads product management, strategy and execution and works to design and implement innovative solutions that drive digitization, operational efficiency and enhance service capabilities for clients.
Prior to this role Jonathan was the Head of Credit Fund and Private Debt Fund Services within BNY Mellon’s Alternative Investment Services business. In this role, Jonathan led strategy and execution, designed, and implemented innovative solutions that drove digitization, operational efficiency and enhance service capabilities for clients. Prior to this role, Jonathan held several leadership positions at BNY Mellon across Alternatives and Middle Office Services
As an industry veteran, Jonathan also held a senior Product Management and Operations roles across Citigroup’s wealth management, asset management and securities services businesses. Based in New Jersey, Jonathan holds a Master of Business Administration from New York University, The Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University at Albany.
Managing unstructured data to retrieve insights from the underlying portfolio holdings of a limited partnership can create a wide range of challenges. Manually sorting through investment data is time-consuming and error-prone, and it can be difficult to consolidate data from alternatives and traditional investments in a single location.
However, it is important to remember that where there are challenges, there are also opportunities. Groups that find efficient ways to make sense of unstructured data, and increase transparency into their holdings, can speed up accounting and reporting processes and gain access to valuable insights.
Currently, many firms receive unstructured data and are forced to log onto multiple websites or dig through emails to download data. The reward for this tedious effort is often a collection of PDFs lacking any standardised structure. Manual processes must then be used to get the data into spreadsheets or databases, frequently and without proper validation or verification.
Managing unstructured data in this way can lead to inconsistencies across investments, operations, and accounting, which causes errors and the need for additional expertise. Inevitably, this leads to a lack of transparency, delayed reporting, and a distrust of analytics.
To gain peace of mind, it is important for firms to focus on building or restoring trust in their data. In the process of developing trust in data, technology can play a key role. Technology enables firms to have all their data across traditional and alternative assets available from a single place, providing better control of the data and the investment process. Through technology, businesses can learn to trust and make sense of unstructured data.
Requiring more than just transparency, the modern-day investor wants to understand their investments at a granular level. It is becoming more common for investors to expect breakdowns of exposure by industry, sector, country, currency, climate, ESG, etc. Additional points of interest might include the carbon footprint of their portfolio and whether there are any news stories or other events affecting their investments.
To manage this data, many businesses use shared drives and Excel workbooks that are arduous to maintain.
Teams that use a data-centric model gain access to a complete picture of the portfolio in a single location. By investing in modern technology, businesses can use a shared platform to manage investment data and satisfy various regulations.
In the past, there were different systems for traditional and alternative assets. However, new data models support working from a single system.
Rather than avoiding data due to its format, such as when it arrives as an email or a PDF, firms can leverage technology and make the data work for them by using a single system to gain the insights needed to optimise the business.
If providers are split between traditional and alternative investments, or if different providers are used for front, middle and back-office processes, then there is an increased risk in conflicting data points that do not reconcile with each other. A common set of data can reduce friction by providing consistent, reconciled data across the entire ecosystem.
Transparency leads to more control over the data, greater operational efficiency, and improved data quality. In turn, it frees up time to work on other activities that add value to the business.
Rather than taking time to chase errors, identify inefficiencies, and resolve data inaccuracies, firms want to focus on growing the business. Using technology to ensure a single platform across the investment lifecycle can yield tremendous advantages, particularly from the deal management lifecycle all the way through to accounting, reporting, and monitoring investments.
Financial services are all about ensuring high-quality data. Teams that trust their data have a huge competitive advantage.
To get actionable insights, businesses need to be thoughtful and intentional with how they aggregate, consolidate, and report on their data. It is imperative to use data to drive insights, and then act on those insights.
Technology can be used to drive transparency to provide impactful analytics. Firms that leverage technology to manage investment data are in a good position to build trust, improve processes, and efficiently scale the business.
If you want to learn more about industry concepts, check out our eBook, Achieving a Single, Integrated View Across Traditional and Alternative Assets, to discover the new tactics that insurance firms and asset managers are using to optimise their investment efforts.