Introducing Atlas — modern entity management for private equity

September 18, 2023

Ontra didn’t have to ask what private equity professionals think about entity management. Too many of our ranks used to traverse the maze of paper documents, binders, spreadsheets, and structure charts.

We asked around anyway.

In an Ontra survey, industry GCs clocked entity management as a top pain point, with 78% of respondents still using manual tools, such as Excel and PowerPoint, for this work.*

That’s how we knew building Atlas was the next logical step as we expanded our Legal Operating System, a suite of solutions that addresses legal workflows throughout the entirety of the fund lifecycle.

Entity management has been a growing issue for decades as funds have become more complex and advisers have had to carefully manage an increasing volume of entities and information — all while trying to stay ahead of an evolving regulatory environment in the U.S. and beyond.

The industry has matured to the point where GCs can no longer rely on hard copies or software solutions that weren’t built for private equity. It’s time for a better option. Atlas is a new, industry-specific solution that will change the game for busy PE professionals.

What is Atlas?

Atlas is a modern entity management solution for private fund managers. Atlas streamlines how firms organize and manage their many legal entities across funds, saving them time and helping them reduce risk.

Today’s entity management practices fall short

The long-standing method of managing funds’ legal entities lacks a single source of truth. Corporate governance information is spread across paper documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, structure charts, emails, and key personnel. This system (or lack thereof) is the root of myriad challenges.

Without a central source of truth, in-house and external stakeholders must rely on the disparate platforms already mentioned. Those platforms create silos of information, hindering internal teams’ ability to collaborate effectively. Professionals must reach out to other groups or outside counsel via email to gather crucial information.

On a practical level, stakeholders have to manually update and search the various platforms to find the information they need, whether for an annual renewal or completing a regulatory filing. Information within these systems can become outdated, which could lead to the firm taking an unauthorized corporate action or providing an external stakeholder with inaccurate information.

A common outcome of relying on disparate systems is that only one or two professionals at a firm know important information about legal entity structures, relationships, and corporate governance. The firm risks losing institutional knowledge should key personnel leave or fall ill.

Another fundamental disadvantage of working in this chaotic system is the inability to scale. Private investment professionals can’t simply manage more and more legal entities this way. Over time, the amount of information becomes too significant, and the operational, legal, and financial risks are too high.

What makes Atlas different?

Atlas provides firms with a centralized, digital source of truth with powerful features. Instead of relying on paper documents in binders (or boxes) and attempting to update spreadsheets, stakeholders can edit the application once — eliminating manual, repetitive tasks. From there, firms can visualize and customize structure charts with just a few clicks, saving and sharing them as needed with internal and external stakeholders.

Overall, legal, investor relations, tax, accounting, and deal professionals can use Atlas to:

  • Consolidate and store entity data and associated documents in a single source of truth
  • Generate customizable structure charts to easily visualize entity ownership and relationships
  • Track directors, officers, and authorized signatories to complete corporate actions appropriately
  • Manage internal and external access to information through role-based permissions to maintain data security and integrity

How Atlas benefits private investment firms

Less time spent

A comprehensive entity management system reduces time spent manually maintaining entity data and searching for information across multiple platforms and teams, enabling internal stakeholders to focus on more strategic priorities.

Reduced expenses

Streamlining entity management and maintaining accurate corporate governance information in-house means relying less on outside counsel and lowering costs.

Lower risk of inaccurate information

By centralizing and digitizing corporate governance information, firms can easily update data once, ensuring it’s complete and accurate at all times.

Accessible information

All stakeholders can quickly find information within the entity management platform, with access customized by the viewer’s role- or entity-based permissions.

Efficient collaboration

With a single source of truth, internal and external stakeholders can collaborate efficiently. Firms can also easily export and share information, such as structure charts.

Modernize entity management with Atlas

Ontra’s expanding Legal Operating System

Atlas is the latest addition to the Legal Operating System, an AI-enabled suite of solutions that digitally transforms legal processes for private funds. Backed by Ontra Synapse — our industry-specific AI — Atlas joins Contract Automation and Insight to provide private fund managers with solutions for the entire fund lifecycle.

*Based on an anonymously administered third-party survey of 105 industry CCOs, CFOs, and in-house legal teams conducted in December 2022. Survey participants received nominal compensation for their participation, which had no influence on their individual responses

Additional Resources

Ontra is an alternative legal services provider. We are not a law firm and do not provide any legal services, legal advice, or referral services and, as a result, we do not provide any legal representation to clients, nor do we participate in any legal representation of clients. The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to constitute or be relied upon as legal, tax, accounting, regulatory, or other professional advice, opinion, or recommendation by Ontra or its affiliates. For assistance or guidance regarding the impact or applicability of the topics discussed in this article to your business, please consult your legal or other professional advisers.

Explore our content