All in A Day’s Work : Financial Controller, Alternative Asset Manager

10 Jun 2020

Cash flows, valuation, accounting, and fund structures, budgeting, reviews… As the one who holds the purse strings, you are smack in the intersection of activity and decision-making! Discover what it’s like to juggle concurrent transactions throughout the day with multiple stakeholders (funds, regulators, bankers, lawyers).  Here’s a day-in-the-life of a Financial Controller:

9.00amCoffee first! Then let’s organise our day.

10.00amLet’s start our Finance team meeting and go through our firm’s existing funds, their Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and incoming funds.

11.15am: Gotta attend a board meeting for Fund A that invests in logistics. My role here is to present the valuation, call for capital, discuss cash flow and answer any dividend-related queries on behalf of the firm.

12.30pmLunch time at last!

1.30pm: Looking into the upcoming Fund C that invests in a commercial space. There’s a conference call I have to sit in later at 5pm, let’s prepare for it.

   Here’s my to-do list before that first call: 

  1. Review the 30 SPVs structured, 
  2. Set up the fund structure 
  3. Liaise with the Limited Partners (LPs) and understand their requirements later

3.20pmQuick 1-to-1 mentoring with our Junior Accountant to brief him on auditing the investments. Promising chap as he picks up quite fast!

4.00pmGoing back to reviewing and taking note of possible changes in some of the SPVs for Fund C. One more hour till the next meeting – shall brief the Senior Accountant & invite her to join in the call as well! 

5.00pmCall with Fund C has begun! Great, glad to see Senior Accountant 2 stepping up to be accountable for the SPV level, while I take the lead on the fund-level finance responsibilities. 

6.15pmGreat call, managed to understand the Limited Partner’s (LP) requirements and expectations for Fund C – targeting to have this up in the next 6 months! Time to debrief with Teammate 2 to identify and clarify any technical understanding discrepancies. These include the IFRS framework, service providers (e.g auditor, fund administrator, lawyer, banks, etc) and the frequency of the reporting review. 

6.35pmThe firm has recently launched a new joint-venture (JV) Real Estate fund, Fund B. Preparing the first valuation for Fund B and calculating the capital to call for in tomorrow’s meeting with the LPs. It’s going to be a long night…

7.45pmLet’s call in dinner first – thank goodness for delivery apps!

8.35pmBack to the grind for Fund B – last lap: consolidation and tax calculation…

9.45pmWe are done for Fund B. Now to look into the corporate accounting side of this firm: monthly accounting reviews by our service provider and to analyse the balance sheets before reporting back to the Chief Financial Officer in our headquarters!

11.30pmThat is a wrap! It’s time to go home, finally!