Category Archives: Investment Management

Add images to your slide library and effectively build compelling, on-brand presentations

Client relation teams at investment management firms build a multitude of presentations every day. Beyond ensuring that the information provided is accurate and up-to-date, presentations need to be compelling and convince the audience to act. Images play a large role in achieving this goal by capturing the audience’s attention, succinctly conveying ideas, and portraying the right brand.

However, using images in presentations has a number of challenges which typically result in productivity loss or a negative impact on the presentation itself.

Challenges in using images in presentations

  • Copyrights: Images are often copyrighted and not free to use. Your team may be tempted to run a Google image search to find images. However, these images tend not be legally free to use usable or require very specific attributions  Further, team members may miss awkward watermarks that lower the quality of the entire presentation
  • Search and selection: Searching for images, even from the most effective stock websites, takes significant time. Teams can spend hours debating the impact of images and may even re-purchase images that another team member has previously bought. Choosing an incorrect resolution can also impact the presentation size or quality
  • Updates: Updating old presentations with new client logos and new brand images is often a forgotten task. As a result, old off-brand images make their way into new presentations resulting in a poor perception of quality

How a slide library can help manage images

While slide libraries often feature the ability to centrally manage a collection of slides, they can often be extended to include images.

A slide library provides teams with a central location to access PowerPoint slides, helping greatly improve the efficiency of creating new presentations. It helps ensure users have quick, seamless access to the latest content.

SharePoint used to include a slide library feature, but it was removed starting with SharePoint 2013. However, third-party solutions like TeamSlide have specialized in slide library features and integrate with SharePoint and other content systems including Box and Google Drive.

In addition to managing slides, TeamSlide allows teams to centrally store and manage images. Users can connect TeamSlide to a SharePoint site and folder with images or upload images directly. Image file names can then be searched, and users can also add tags to help improve search-ability.  Search results can be previewed from within PowerPoint and clicking on a result adds the image to the current slide.

Investment management firms of all sizes can quickly build a repository of compliant images, including marketing collateral and client logos. Client relations team members can then quickly find the images they need rather than searching online, helping maximize the value of images that the firm has already invested in.

Further, TeamSlide includes an auto-update feature which checks all the images in a presentation to see if a newer version exists in the library. If a new image version is found, the old one can be automatically updated.

Slide libraries can greatly help investment management firms effectively build compelling presentations that are on-brand and compliant.

How slide libraries rescue PE firms and improve their client meetings

PowerPoint slide rescue

Whether it’s from pension funds, wealthy individuals or other investment managers, meeting with prospective clients to raise money is a core function for private equity (PE) firms. On a regular basis, marketing and client teams work to build content to fuel these meetings:

  • Firm overview and history
  • Biographies of key leaders
  • Investment strategy
  • Fund performance
  • Due diligence process
  • Management and performance fee

However, with the large variety of meetings, audiences, and objectives, PE marketing teams have the significant challenge of building and maintaining a large number of PowerPoint presentations and slides. As we’ve worked across a number PE firms, three pain points emerged.

1. Customizing and updating presentations

Presentations need to be tailored to the specifics of the meeting to improve outcomes. From client logos and customized messaging to updating fund details and the latest performance numbers, there are a painful number of checks that the marketing team needs to run through.

2. Tracking and managing slides

The constant need to update and modify slides leaves behind a mess of old versions that are hard to track, manage, and update. This inevitably leads to errors that have costly implications.

3. Compliance and regulation

With constantly changing regulations and different levels of awareness among team members, checking for compliance is a significant time sink. The process usually bottlenecks with a sign-off required by one or two key individuals.

Slide libraries to the rescue

Slide libraries, used by a variety of other industries and functions, are the preferred way to organize PowerPoint content. Typically, slides are stored in a central library that includes strict access rights, ensuring that content is verified and approved for client meetings. Slides are individually accessed and combined to build custom presentations.

Two primary methods of slide access exist:

  • Browser-based: Users launch a browser to find individual slides that are either combined and exported or copied and pasted into the user’s presentations
  • PowerPoint add-in: Users search for slides without ever having to leave PowerPoint and click to insert into their active presentations

In our conversations, we find that PE firms prefer the PowerPoint add-in method as their teams are already actively working in PowerPoint.

Some slide library solutions even notify users when a slide they are using is out-of-date. When working in PowerPoint, the slide library add-in can check if the slides in the active presentation have been updated by other team members. If they have been, the user is notified and given the option to update with just a click.

Slide libraries can sync with existing content systems like Box or SharePoint to help speed up the initial setup. This reduces complexity as firms can still manage all their slides in one system.  Microsoft’s SharePoint used to offer a native slide library function, but it was unfortunately discontinued starting with SharePoint 2013.

At TeamSlide we focus on building a robust a slide library solution that fits within the workflows of PE firms and other financial services organizations. We offer a Business version that allows teams to create a shared library, as well as a ‘Pro’-fessional version that allows users to search for slides in presentations on their own computers (including Outlook attachments).

For private equity firms that build presentations every day, accessing content through a slide library can solve multiple pain points and result in effective client meetings.

 

5 questions client relationship teams should ask before updating to SharePoint 2016

SharePoint 2016 updateClient relationship managers have to constantly keep track of their clients and their investment portfolios to ensure they receive the best possible service. This is among the constant need to work internally on standard distributed reports and one-off requests with portfolio managers, compliance officers, and the chief financial officer. SharePoint has proven to be an extremely useful tool for content management, making it easy for everyone on the team to quickly access the latest version of the content they need.

If your team is considering migrating to the new SharePoint 2016 (cloud or on-premise), here are 5 critical questions you should be asking.

1. Does your team need to upgrade SharePoint?

Migrating from one version of SharePoint to another is a significant undertaking. Before jumping in, consider if your client relations team even needs the upgrade.

Start by analyzing the reasons for an upgrade. For instance, with SharePoint 2016, zero downtime patching leads to increased resilience and there is also support for Office 365 and SharePoint hybrid search integration.

On the other hand, there can be several reasons not to upgrade. Your team may be perfectly satisfied with the current version, and as with all new software, there will be a learning curve to consider. That being said, if you are still using an older version of SharePoint including 2003, 2007, or 2010, note that Microsoft only provides mainstream support for 2010 SP1 and newer.

2. What data should you migrate?

Take a step back and plan out what data you’ll need to migrate to the new version of SharePoint. If you’ve had your old version for several years with a large number of users, you are bound to have stale data that no longer has any value. You might have clients you no longer work with or old investment portfolios and Excel sheets that aren’t relevant.

Migrating excess data not only increases the required time but also the costs related to physical storage and maintenance. Before diving into the migration, take a moment to clean your data repositories.

3. What do you do with your slide library?

If your team depends on SharePoint’s slide library, note that it was discontinued starting with SharePoint 2013.

A slide library is a set of PowerPoint slides that can be accessed individually and doesn’t require the user to first open a presentation. In addition to providing slide-level access, slide libraries will help manage slide versions and ensure that users always have the latest content.

If the slide library was critical for the way your team accessed PowerPoint content, you’ll have to consider a 3rd party solution. At TeamSlide, we offer a robust solution that works from within PowerPoint – you are welcome to see it in action. We’ve also previously written an article about the key considerations for replacing SharePoint’s slide library.

4. What upgrade path should you use?

With years of investment portfolios and client reports, your SharePoint environment may be too complicated for a complete native upgrade.

A native upgrade is an option made available from SharePoint 2013 onwards that allows databases to easily ‘detach’ from the old version and ‘attach’ to the new version. It’s a simple and direct process, but it’s only useful if you have a rather small and simple SharePoint environment with less than 500GB of data.

If you have a complicated environment or your total data is more than 500GB, consider a parallel upgrade option which involves building a SharePoint 2016 environment in parallel to the current version and then moving data from the old to the new version selectively. With this option, you are able to selectively choose what needs to be upgraded. Note that if you are upgrading from a SharePoint version lower than 2013, then the parallel upgrade is the only available option.

5. What level of security will you need?

Client relation teams should first review the service level agreements (SLAs) they have with their clients. As team members will likely be saving crucial investment and banking information on SharePoint, security will be a primary concern.

In addition to a better user experience, SharePoint 2016 will help you continue to comply with your SLAs. An automated migration follows the security of your older version, but be careful if you are initiating a manual migration. In addition, if you are considering a move to SharePoint Online, ensure that your client SLAs will allow for data to be stored in the cloud.

In conclusion

When updating to SharePoint 2016, client relation teams should first consider whether they need the update, clean up their data repositories, plan for the missing slide library, choose a migration strategy and also consider their security needs.