Eric Souza, Director of IT for Berkshire Partners participated in a live webinar with Brad Koontz of Customer Effective. The topic was CRM for Private Equity and Souza described their CRM journey and what made them successful.
Berkshire was founded in 1984, and has invested in over 100 companies with more than $20 billion of acquisition value. Their investors include many of the world’s largest endowments, foundations, pension funds and insurance companies. Berkshire Fund VIII is a $4.5 billion fund that was raised in 2011.
Private equity firms typically use CRM to manage some of their key processes, which include fundraising, deal flow, and portfolio company management. Berkshire started their CRM journey with fundraising. “This was priority number one for us….We were in the process of fundraising for our latest fund, so there was a strong institutional need to improve this process,” said Souza. “Our old method of tracking limited partner activity was using Excel files and passing them around in email. This was not an efficient way to work,” said Souza. “With CRM, we are able to track our Limited Partners and their past and future interactions. From this information, we are able to generate what we call our fundraising profile report.”
Souza added that now, with Microsoft CRM, deal flow pipeline reports are now in real time, easily searchable and available to the right people when they need them. Berkshire was able to get get senior level buy-in into the reporting piece, which was central to user adoption.
What’s next for Berkshire Partners and their CRM journey? Souza listed three new ways they are going to leverage CRM. Fist, they are rolling out a mobile solution that will allow partners to access CRM data remotely. “They will have access to everything they need in they system.” Berkshire is also going to use CRM for something they call Expert Call Tracking. “Our compliance department actually asked us (the I.T. Department) to help them track some of the functions they do.” Their other upcoming initiative in an integration with an external database, like Prequin and DowJones.
The recorded webinar can be viewed here
Part 3: Demonstration of Customer Effective: Private Equity, inc. Outlook integration, company 360 view.
Part 4: Demonstration of Customer Effective: Private Equity, inc. deals, fundraising opportunities.
Post by: Brad Koontz, Customer Effective