We classify anyone that produces a document in the AltExchange format as an “Originator”. Typically this would be a GP, an Administrator acting for a GP or a Fund of Funds reporting to its Investors.
These documents are then sent to “Recipients” who are the investors in the fund.
The difference between the two is that Originators are focused on producing information in the AltExchange format whilst Recipients focus on consuming the information.
Step by step
- GP produces an AltExchange data file from their system or using an Excel plug-in.
- GP sends it to the AltExchange validation platform.
- Validation platform checks for completeness (not accuracy of numbers).
- Validation platform returns a zip file with the data AND certificate to the GP (this is all done online in a browser or via API and almost instantaneous).
- GP makes the file available to investors and their representatives using existing communication tools such as an investor portal or via email.
- LP receives a validated file that they can than load into their system or view using the Excel plug-in.
As an Originator, production of an AltExchange document can be done in two ways. The preferred route is that an Originator creates automated reports within their PE solution so that the documents can be produced in an efficient and reproducible way. The alternative is to use the AltExchange plug-ins and the AltExchange Excel templates.
The plug-in and the templates are ideal for initial testing or for smaller firms that do not have IT infrastructure. The Excel templates are available for download under Templates. Once a document has been produced it must be submitted to the AltExchange Validation Server which checks that all of the fields have been completed and that the data formats are correct. The submission can be either manual using a web browser or automated using an API.
The Validation Server does not store any data and cannot validate the accuracy of numbers. If validation is passed, the Validation Server returns the document and a certificate in a zip file that the Originator then distributes to the Recipients, either via email or through their investor portal.
Note – The validation server does not distribute the files for you.
As a Recipient you can be sure of receiving documents that are consistent across all your managers. This is after all the main reason for having a standard in the first place. There is a process for validating the certificate and document to ensure they match and that data has not been changed since its original validation.
Having a consistent file format means that you can build an import into your existing PE solution or analytical tool that will work for all managers. There should be no need to manually rekey data once the import has been built. The benefits of consistent data are significant in terms of automation and analysis.
An AltExchange plug-in is available for Recipients that will display the documents in a format in line with the ILPA guidelines. This can be useful for testing or for firms without IT infrastructure that simply need to load data from all of their managers into large excel files for further analysis.
AltExchange is dedicated to supporting the adoption of the Standard and runs regular training sessions for Originators and Recipients. Our aim is to help make the process as straight forward as possible and we provide telephone and email support to all AltExchange members. Once an Investor has raised the need to provide AltExchange documents with its GPs and managers, we can take over the education and training and provide regular feedback on progress. For further assistance please contact Support@AltExchange.com