The art of taking a company, analyzing it, and selling its value to investors is no small feat. And, unfortunately, it requires a lot of paperwork.
Fortunately, in today’s digital world, paperwork doesn’t take up as much space as it once did. Many of the documents investment bankers need to conduct due diligence on a company, prepare the necessary marketing documents to convince others of its value, and remain compliant with the National Association of Security Dealers (NASD) standards are now digital.
Working with digital files in a centralized repository enables investment bankers to share information more quickly with both internal and remote external sources. Instead of spending administrative time on finding and organizing documents, on ensuring that models contain the most up-to-date numbers, and on confirming that everyone is in sync in working from the latest version of documentation, digital file management provides a framework to automate administrative work and to fuel faster collaboration and deals among distributed teams.
Yet with the transition from paper and ink to type on a screen have come a number of security concerns. The ability to work remotely may be beneficial—but transferring files can make them vulnerable. Sensitive information can be endangered by a single employee who makes the mistake of using the same password in multiple places, as was the case when Dropbox was hacked last year.
So how can investment bankers get the benefits of technology for faster deals, yet without the security concerns?
A virtual deal room may be the solution.
Eliminating Security Concerns
A secure virtual deal room allows investment bankers to reap the benefits of technology—remote access, easy storage, search-ability—without endangering the sensitive information often contained within the documentation.
Most secure virtual deal rooms come with a variety of security features specifically designed to prevent unauthorized access to valuable data. For example, AppFolio SecureDocs offers the following security features:
A high level of encryption. SecureDocs uses 256-bit encryption, the same level of security used by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Multi-factor authentication. By requiring more than one type of authentication (such as a password and a code that’s texted to the user’s cell phone), multi-factor authentication prevents unauthorized users from accessing a user’s account.
Permission-based user roles. Account administrators control exactly how much access individual users have to sensitive documents; they can control not just which documents those users can see, but what they can do with them as well. That includes disabling printing options, preventing them from making changes or, when necessary, giving them complete access.
Around-the-clock monitoring. Fully redundant power and air conditioning systems at manned state-of-the-art data centers mean information is available 24x7x365.
Audit Logs. Each user’s activity is tracked, so it’s easy to verify that only those who were meant to see a file or document ever did.
Investment Banking Uses for a Virtual Deal Room
A virtual deal room can help investment bankers internally, when dealing with clients, and externally, when dealing with auditors, to accelerate the deal process.
A secure virtual deal room can be used during the due diligence process to share information from companies seeking funding. The company gets the security of knowing their data is safe, and the banker gets the convenience of working remotely. The entire process is greatly expedited through virtual, digital management of the information, allowing for faster deals.
A secure virtual deal room could be used for storing information on the options available to investors, making it easy for them to access information on a multitude of companies when making investment decisions.
It can also be used during the auditing process to demonstrate compliance with NASD standards.
What other uses can you think of for a safe yet remote file access system for investment banking? Let us know in the comments.