Commonfund, founded in 1971, is an independent nonprofit asset management firm based in Connecticut, USA. As of December 31, 2016, Commonfund manages $24.3 billion for nonprofit institutions with a focus on outsourced investment management and alternative strategies. Part of the Commonfund charter is to create educational programs that will bring current best practices to institutional investors of all sizes and segments. Their insights have helped to advance asset management practices and grow portfolios through ever-changing investment environments. As a private, nonprofit organization, they are beholden to their investors, not to outside shareholders.
Commonfund places great value on digital marketing. The firm has invested considerable time and resources into improving their digital footprint and providing quality content for investors. To this end, they first approached Kurtosys to help them build a new website which would fulfill their strategy of better presenting all of the content that they publish regularly, as well as to make it easier for their marketing team to update.
Commonfund had a legacy system for managing their older website, which was sufficient to create new content but was generally inflexible and time-consuming for the marketing team. Any changes or slightly more complex requirements required them to rely on their IT department to facilitate that work, which could impact timelines.
“It’s nice to work with a partner who is not only a great technology provider, but also understands asset management and focuses on that. Having that expertise allows for a deeper level of collaboration and creativity than you might get otherwise, and I think that matters a lot in our business.”
Commonfund needed a freshly designed website – with a modern, responsive theme – to complement their content marketing strategy, as well as cater to a mix of public and private audiences. Additionally, because the firm’s investment strategies area of the site sits behind a secure login, an additional requirement arose to incorporate interactive fund tools into these pages as well as implement SSO (Single Sign On) functionality to allow investors to login to multiple areas such as their client reporting portal, using the same credentials.
Kurtosys designed and developed a fully responsive WordPress website, taking into account Commonfund’s editorial and content marketing requirements and providing their users with suitable SEO tools and plugins. Because of the nature of Commonfund’s mix of public, but mainly gated content, a certain amount of work was undertaken to join areas together using Single Sign On technology, which enabled their users to login to all areas using the same credentials. Interactive Fund Tools were also created for the Investment Strategy pages.
“The WordPress-based solution has made life 100% easier. We now have the ability to update content, change the website, add pages, add posts, change the navigation, all of the main things we need access to – my team can now do that directly.”
Another part of the project involved some integration work with HubSpot and Google Analytics. Commonfund needed to be able to track user activity through their marketing automation platform, but also wanted more visibility into the actions taken by their investors within the gated portal area of their site. To help achieve these goals, Kurtosys implemented a solution to append portal user data into Google Analytics and match up this valuable visitor data. This has now allowed Commonfund to track the digital movements, and better understand the actions taken on site, by their investor audience. Not only has this work helped meet Commonfund’s goals for their sales and marketing teams, but it has also enabled Commonfund to monitor and report upon the online behaviors of investors and the content they are viewing.
“If we have things that require an additional level of technical expertise, we have Kurtosys support there available all the time, who are very responsive, without worrying about a lot of competing other priorities like our own internal team had before. The whole thing is just much simpler, faster, better overall.”
Finally, Kurtosys’s FundPress application has enabled their marketing team to have full visibility across their imported fund data. It has given them access to useful features such as the Data Healthcheck, which allows Commonfund to audit their fund data for issues and ensure accuracy of the data that is live on their website.
“Being able to see all the of pieces (of fund data) that we update in a consolidated view over a quarter, as opposed to having to login to multiple places, is very useful to us. At a glance being able to see if something’s right or wrong allows us to make the appropriate fix.”
The Commonfund website can be viewed at https://www.commonfund.org
“Our monthly traffic doubled, which is huge…I never would have guessed that.”
Here’s some of the core features of the Commonfund website project.