Investment banking is highly complex. Whether an M&A, private equity, divestiture, recapitalization, bankruptcy or any liquidity event, it’s not simply the C-Suite of the companies involved who must review documents and financial statements. Dozens of external bankers, lawyers, accountants, advisors, consultants and other professionals — from all sides of the transaction — must also be involved in the due diligence process to ensure smooth sailing.
Unfortunately, the process is often marked with bottlenecks, due to the slow or even erroneous sharing of documents. Without proper sign-off, transaction approval can slow down or not proceed at all.
While due diligence used to be in-person only, conducted in the offices of the different stakeholders in a transaction, the process has largely moved online. However, simply having a cloud-hosted, document sharing account is not enough. The right tools with the right features are necessary to not only support the work of the professionals engaged in these transactions but also to enhance and improve the work, driving value into the investment banking process.
This is why you need a virtual data room (VDR) from CapLinked.
Making Investment Banking Easier
Secure document hosting and sharing is easier said than done. A virtual data room for investors from CapLinked provides the peace of mind you need for the following actions:
Our customer success team will help you launch your VDR in minutes, not days.
Our interface allows you to easily drag and drop documents from any device, using any platform or operating system.
From deal launch to transaction closure, our team is here to support you every step of the way. We also offer customized team training.
Why a VDR Is Essential for Modern Investment Banking M&As
A range of individuals working both internally and externally to the companies are involved in investment banking transactions. These groups of professionals include bankers, lawyers, accountants, advisors, consultants, industry subject matter experts and others.
As part of the investment banking process and associated due diligence, these professionals are given access rights to certain documents. A VDR enables these individuals to not only access the documents but also analyze and make annotations — effectively creating “conversations” within the documents as needed.
These digital, tracked conversations are essential, especially when in-person meetings are not possible. Even when virtual, real-time, face-to-face interactions (i.e., Zoom) are available, secure comment tracking keeps everyone on board.
Further, transaction participants can stay focused on the documents at hand without needing to exit the platform and launch another communication or collaboration tool (i.e., email, Slack, Teams) in order to ask or answer questions.
Meanwhile, the administrators of the data room oversee who is accessing what and how. The VDR has features that allow administrators to turn document access on and off, route questions and answers, audit activity, and generate reports on workspace usage. This is not only for security but also for project management, to ensure that the transaction will meet its intended deadline.
CapLinked Was Made with Investment Banking in Mind
There are multiple benefits to using a VDR from CapLinked. Let’s have a look.
Though corporate travel has returned, a VDR removes the expenses, hassles, and hesitation with scheduling in-person document review for investment banking transactions.
The cloud document-management solution is delivered as a service, and like all software-as-a-service (SaaS), it is delivered as needed. Pricing is based on the number of users and MBs of storage needed, and CapLinked offers custom solutions if needed.
A VDR meets the strictest of standards for security and compliance, without the need to engage an additional IT or security resource. This alleviates the stress or budgets on any one group of participants to engage their IT resources to host and deliver the documents.
Standards for virtual data rooms include the following:
- SOC 1/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402
- SOC 2 Type II
- FISMA, DIACAP and FedRAMP
- DOD CSM Levels 1-5
Documents are available via any device, platform or operating system.
Because the VDR is delivered as a service — via a web browser and a secure login — participants and reviewers do not need to download special software or upgrade their systems in order to use the data room. Documents are available for review 24/7 until the administrator revokes access.
Browsers and operating systems are known to push upgrades at rather inconvenient times. CapLinked handles and delivers all version upgrades, security updates, and service as needed, without disruption to the team members reviewing the documents in the VDR. No additional IT resource is needed to upgrade users’ settings.
CapLinked VDR Features for Investment Banking
The success of an investment banking transaction relies on a robust VDR, and there are particular must-have features of a data room for investors. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
Document Control and Management
Documents can often number in the thousands of pages, so the VDR must be able to accommodate a high volume of documents.
Further, in-app edits are critical. The platform must enable reviewers to make edits right in the platform, rather than through downloading the document, opening it in another program (i.e., Word or Excel), making the changes, and then re-uploading them to the VDR. In addition to being inefficient, such a way of working is also a security risk, as sensitive documents can easily be compromised when they leave the platform, even by mistake.
As with editing documents directly in the VDR platform without needing to download and re-upload, the ability to ask and answer questions and make comments or annotations right in the documents is important.
Reviewers need to stay focused on the documents at hand. Leaving the platform to communicate via email or a channel messaging system (like Slack) is not only time-consuming but also risky, as sensitive conversations shared via an unsecured connection could expose details about the transaction to outsiders.
Customizable Permissions for User Groups
To facilitate the authorization process, a VDR should include the ability for administrators to grant permissions not only at the individual level but also at the group level. This can be beneficial for larger teams with outside consultants who only need access to certain documents.
Enterprise-level security, including digital rights management, encryption and watermarking of documents, is crucial to maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of the documents being shared and reviewed within the VDR.
Activity Tracking and Analysis
A VDR should enable administrators to track all actions and changes made within the workspace. These activities might include document views, downloads, uploads, permission changes and pages viewed.
In addition to serving as a human security check, tracking document activity and participant behaviors can help move a transaction along. By better understanding which documents are being actively reviewed and which are not, administrators can nudge the review team toward what is needed in order to maintain the speed of the investment banking due diligence process.
- Why should you use a VDR for M&As?
A VDR provides the teams of professionals involved in an M&A transaction with digital, always-on access to the important documents needed during the due diligence process.
- Why should investment bankers use CapLinked?
CapLinked’s VDR was built with investment bankers in mind, providing such features as document control and management, customizable permissions, activity tracking and enterprise-level security.