Greenstone was announced the winner of the ´Technology: ESG´ award at The Drawdown Awards ceremony held in London in June 2022. Following this, the Drawdown recently published a winner's profile feature on Greenstone in its publication. This feature is an interview with Greenstone's Head of InvestorPortal, Toby Robertson, on what makes Greenstone's cloud-based SaaS solution InvestorPortal stand out in the market.
The following is taken directly from The Drawdown's publication:
The Drawdown Awards recognise the very best in private equity operations, awarding outstanding service provision and operational leaders. The shortlists this year clearly demonstrated the depth and excellence in the private equity industry. The Drawdown was established to support the private equity industry as it faces increased challenges and pressures - namely new rules and regulations, rising demands from investors, harnessing data and digitisation, and perhaps most importantly - keeping up with ever-growing investor appetite.
All of these challenges sit squarely with operational professionals, who require the highest levels of quality from their service providers. This is what makes these awards a vital part of the work we do, and more importantly, facilitates the strengthening of private equity operations. Throughout 2021, private equity went from strength to strength. The industry embraced digital and virtual ways of working and used these increased efficiencies to speed up deal and fundraising processes. And that is in a large part down to the hard work of service providers. Companies that strive to provide innovative solutions, to continually keep pace with the changing needs of the industry, of investors and regulators alike.
It has always been our core belief that the health of the private equity industry rests in the hands of operating professionals - individuals enabling their organisations to scale and keep up with investor demand, to launch new strategies, to communicate clearly and effectively and all within a robust and compliant framework. With that, a huge congratulations to all of the companies that made it onto this year’s shortlist - the levels of innovation and support shown for the ecosystem were beyond impressive.
The credibility of these awards owes a huge amount to our fantastic judging panel, who were hugely generous with their time and expertise.
Greenstone stole the show for being a specialist business in the ESG space and being used by private equity firms globally, by the end of 2021. In particular, the firm’s cloud-based SaaS solution InvestorPortal, which enables secure ESG data collection, in-depth reporting and analytics for private capital investors.
“Our strapline is ‘Data that talks to you’ and that’s really what we’re trying to do. It’s not just data, it’s making the data do what you need it to.”
- Toby Robertson, Head of InvestorPortal, Greenstone
“The portal is used by private equity GPs globally to gather, manage and report on information from their funds and portfolio companies. It’s designed to be as streamlined as possible to minimise friction that typically occurs with any questionnaire process.”
As a specialist in the industry, InvestorPortal is a popular choice because the solution interacts with other current systems in GPs’ tech stacks. “A one size fits all API would be great, but the needs and software platform of every investor vary so much we find it easier to make them bespoke for the individual firm,” he adds.
“Generally, we build each one for each client, then they can link to whatever systems they’re using on their side.”
And that’s not all. Judges were impressed by the way the solution also contains a GHG Emissions Wizard that enables portfolio companies to calculate their carbon footprints and report this data to their investors. “Obtaining accurate carbon footprints across a portfolio of investments has long been a pain point for investors. We’ve been able to make the carbon emissions calculation process more accessible and efficient – particularly for those portfolio companies with little experience in carbon measurement.”
This award recognises Greenstone’s leadership in technology innovation through the launch and development of its investor ESG solution, InvestorPortal, which is currently being used by Private Equity firms globally with a collective total of over $400bn AUM. Through an easy-to-use interface, InvestorPortal simplifies the collection, management, analysis and reporting of ESG data for the General Partners, their portfolio companies and their own investors.
InvestorPortal is also enabling these firms to accurately calculate GHG emissions at Fund or Portfolio level. Measuring and tracking the GHG emissions of an investment portfolio enables investors to fully understand GHG impacts, identify climate-change-related risks, meet regulatory requirements and calculate indirect (Scope 3) emissions across a value chain.