Self-serve investor portal and automated back office support help Craigmore offer proficient and professional investor relations.
Craigmore manages approximately NZ$800m of farmland and agriculture investments for a range of private and institutional investors. Their focus is to construct agriculture and forestry opportunities with long term growth and strong cash yield. They offer solutions to their investors that leverage, grow or diversify their existing investment strategies. They are striving to deliver top quartile performance, with operational best practice, governance and reporting.
Around 2016 Craigmore were contemplating the need for more sophisticated back office support. Their anticipated growth meant that the current administrative tasks needed to move away from excel sheets to a system that offered automation, proficiency and professionalism. The manual processes were time consuming and heavily reliant on people power.
They began a search for a system that would offer a reduction in administration and would offer back office solutions to investor relations and communications. Off-shore options could offer about 80% of what they were looking for, but ultimately, they opted to partner with NZ-owned Syndex. As an early adopter of Syndex they understood Syndex’s strategy and saw a platform that could be developed into exactly what they were looking for, and that they could help scope the platforms functions.
Since the transition to the Syndex platform Craigmore have seen an extraordinary reduction in administrative tasks. Formally tasks were handled by 1 person working 20 hours per week, now it takes 1 person 2 hours per month.
High on Craigmore’s priority list was an automated system that took care of on-boarding of clients, AML and had the ability to collate all historical data. The resulting data collection (historical, operational and financial) covers both investments and investors, giving Craigmore data-led insights into the business and their clients. Being able to produce reports over the top of complex data, they found, is quick, easy and powerful.
They wanted to move away from periodic reporting, that stemmed from manually upheld spreadsheets to a system that allowed investors to bring up the reports that they need, when they need them.
Integrity in their data was essential. As they became more sophisticated, so did their clients and they needed to give assurance against data-breaches. A secure platform was paramount, and with the self-serve portal they experienced a huge reduction in sending private information over unsecure email.
They found that frequently, in dealing with institutional investors there is the inevitable issue of staff contacts changing. Manual amendments in an excel sheet takes time and has room for error. On the Syndex platform they now issue the investors with a number of user logins for their use and management. This lessens the burden of lost information or broken communication channels.
The investor portal is Craigmore branded but powered by Syndex. The portal works as an extension to their website where investors can self-serve. This 24/7 online access gives many benefits. Many Craigmore investors have more than one investment over numerous different structured investments. The automated process enables investors to run combined reports that otherwise would be a long manual process. The self-serve control allows investors to calculate their own tax status and produce statements to their date requirements, another automated action that was otherwise complex.