Highland Capital Management is an investment adviser based in Dallas, Texas, with approximately $14.8 billion of assets under management. An experienced global alternative credit manager, Highland specializes in credit strategies such as credit hedge funds, long-only funds and separate accounts, distressed and special situations private equity, and collateralized loan obligations (CLOs). Highland’s diversified client base includes public pension plans, foundations, endowments, corporations, financial institutions, fund of funds, governments, and high net-worth individuals.
Highland approached Kurtosys with a straightforward requirement – they needed an automated fund factsheet solution to report across their range of around a dozen retail mutual funds.
Highland’s marketing team was manually creating monthly factsheets, which was an arduous and time-consuming task, prone to human error. The data was sourced from their internal operations team, State Street as well as Morningstar. Various spreadsheets and internal processes meant that many people were involved in this manual process. Highland needed a partner who could consolidate their fund data from various sources, create the required factsheets quickly and provide a simple workflow for the approval process on a rolling monthly or quarterly basis.
“We have about 12 mutual funds so, as you can imagine, creating factsheets manually was a huge undertaking, especially when we were reporting on them monthly. We had spreadsheets and would run reports through Excel, pulling them into a template every month… and that was pretty time consuming.”
The Highland factsheets were designed to reflect their brand and included custom graphics and typefaces, making them visually appealing and easier for investors to consume. Therefore, an important requirement in the automation process was to retain their specific design guidelines and also receive hi-resolution CMYK printable PDFs to fulfil their on-demand printing process.
Kurtosys created bespoke factsheet templates exactly to Highland’s design specifications. Custom data loaders were set up to import Highland’s data into an SFTP that would be ingested into the Kurtosys platform. A simple workflow was then applied so that Highland’s marketing team could make changes, edit and reject/approve the PDFs as they were being published. Highland worked closely with our Document Production Lead, Bryce Bland who’s based in our Reno office.
“I work with Bryce and he is very helpful, always able to answer questions, he’s very responsive. Since we moved from a monthly to a quarterly model, we had some issues with historical data – Bryce was able to find solutions and talk me through the problems we were having. Bryce was a life saver, I definitely couldn’t have done it without him!”
One issue Highland had internally was dealing with all of the various holding names that were being compiled from their multiple data sources such as abbreviations, mixed use of letter cases and other small inconsistencies. Kurtosys created a simple workflow to allow Highland to ‘normalize’ these holding labels, so that investors could understand the information easily.
Fund disclaimers are also managed through the Kurtosys platform. Highland reuses them across multiple factsheets, which reduces manual errors and increases compliance efficiencies.
“It’s a lot easier now, we don’t need lots of people double checking the numbers are correct. We trust that Kurtosys is running the reports correctly and we’ve never had a problem with any of the data being wrong, unless it was from our side.”
Significant time has been saved with the automation of Highland’s factsheets, freeing up the marketing team to focus on their core work. Kurtosys places considerable value on the relationship with Highland, and strives to assist them with their ongoing requirements.