Assette: Communications 2.0 for the Investment Management Industry

Sep 16 2016 | 9:39pm ET

Editor’s note: Significant elements of the alternative asset industry have migrated to the cloud, so it stands to reason that sales and client communications would do the same. The team at Boston-based Assette offers a high-tech, one-stop-shop solution to help managers tell their story using professional, institutional-quality materials – crucial to instilling confidence in prospective clients and consultants – through customized cloud-based software that includes everything from data interfaces to compliance checks. 

Company name: Assette LLC

Location: Boston, MA 

Website: www.assette.com

Fintech Sector:  Investment Management

Elevator Pitch: Assette helps investment firms take sales and client communications to a new level.

Year Formed: 1998

No. of Employees: 35

Stage: In-revenue

Notable investors:

  • Peter Bennett, former CIO (Equity) of State Street Research and Mgmt.
  • Grace Fey, former EVP and Director at Frontier Capital and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts
  • J. David Wimberly, Chairman Emeritus at Frontier Capital
  • Michael Cavarretta, Chairman of Frontier Capital
  • Nalin Kulatilaka, Professor of Finance at Boston University
  • Michael Barry, General Partner of Barrier Island Capital

Tell us a bit about your company and what it does?

Assette provides cloud-based data management and reporting software that helps institutional asset managers produce sales and client communications automatically. The company started by two people who worked in the investment management industry and experienced first-hand issues with producing marketing and client materials.  

Our software lets investment firms solve these issues – what we call the “last mile” problems. While the industry is highly automated, automation has been done in silos - i.e. portfolio accounting, performance, trading, analytics, etc. However, firms must bring together data from all these systems, and add qualitative insights, to show how they add value to clients. Creating these documents – the last mile – is highly manual and error-prone.

Assette has plug-and-play interfaces to leading data sources like APX, Axys, and FactSet, and our software has been cloud-based from day one.

How is your company different than others in the same space?

Assette is laser focused on the institutional asset management industry. Assette is extremely easy to use, and we automate every ‘nook and cranny’ involved in producing marketing and client communications.

We also have a host of compliance features that ensures the inclusion of mandatory disclosures, including requirements of GIPS.

What is your revenue model? How will the company make money?

Assette operates with initial setup fees and monthly recurring subscription fees.

Who is your target market?

Mid-sized institutional asset management firms, generally those managing $1-$25 billion in AUM.

How big is the opportunity? 

There are over 2,000 firms in the U.S. that manage institutional assets. If you include wealth managers and include those with AUM > $750 million, this number more than doubles.

Why are you and your team capable of succeeding? 

We have 17+ years of experience, and our software is built for institutional firms. We offer exceptional client service and have survived two of the worst economic crises in the U.S. – the dotcom bubble in 2000 and the financial crisis in 2008.

What is your company’s next target/milestone?

Revamping our client portal software (Assette for Web) to provide internal views of the data used for marketing and client communications.

Can you tell us one unusual fact about your company?

While we are a software company, we partner with academics to apply academic concepts to solve practical problems in the investment industry. For example, we partnered with Professor Joyce Walsh of Boston University to provide guidance on creating professional documents through the use of color, font and information organization. We are also working with John Minahan, former senior lecture at MIT Sloan, to help investment firms better articulate their investment philosophy. There is more to come!


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