Leveraging Technology for Successful Investment Controlling: Insights from Interact London 2023

This year’s Interact London, a renowned event series hosted by S&P, took place under the umbrella of “Achieving Operational Alpha in Uncertain Markets”. Katharina Köll, who serves as a Senior Manager at Deutsche Beteiligungs AG overseeing Investment Controlling, joined a panel discussion on “Best practices in PE and VC portfolio management” and shared her valuable insights and thoughts on portfolio management, technology, and operations.   

In this article, we will delve into some key points discussed during the panel, highlighting the benefits of digitization, automated processes, and the importance of data quality and buy-in from the organization.

It is critical to emphasize the pivotal role of technology in investment controlling practices. To operate successful, Deutsche Beteiligungs AG (DBAG) have embarked on a journey to digitize various processes related to portfolio monitoring and investment valuations. By leveraging technology, the firm has been able to streamline these processes, resulting in increased efficiency and improved decision-making.

Automated Financial Reporting
Other notable achievements were the tech-enabled and automated financial reporting processes. By implementing advanced tools and systems, DBAG has successfully eliminated manual and time-consuming tasks, allowing for real-time data access and analysis. This automation has not only saved valuable resources but has also improved the accuracy and timeliness of the company’s financial reports.

Managing Resources Effectively
Data quality emerged as a key concern, as accurate and reliable data is essential for making informed investment decisions. By implementing rigorous data validation processes and investing in data quality assurance tools, DBAG managed to effectively tackle this issue head-on. Furthermore, it is critical to obtain a buy-in from the organization and the wider team. To nudge on this as well, the importance of data quality is not limited to investment processes. As a publicly listed company, it is mandatory to fulfil high and sophisticated reporting standards. To meet these requirements, it is necessary to pool data from various sources, hence, processes must be clear and seamless.

Given the fast-paced and increasingly complex private equity space, it is quite important to enhance efficiency and streamline processes. With respect to this, leveraging best practices instead of reinventing the wheel. Technology, in particular digitizing processes, automating financial reporting, and addressing data quality concerns, has proven to be a significant catalyst for successful investment controlling.