New York

The key to running a successful quarter-end — What does that look like?

Ross Hunter 25 April 2022
financial graphic design

When it comes to running a successful quarter-end, where better to start than at the beginning?

It may not be a revolutionary idea, but the key to a successful quarter-end commentary process is the planning—and I love it when a plan comes together.

Composer Leonard Bernstein said, “To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time”.

Sounds pretty much like a typical quarter-end to me!

So what does a good plan look like?

Here are a few ideas that we try to embed with our commentary clients, especially those with larger and more complex processes:

  • Are there any holidays scheduled – for the writers or for the fund managers – and is there cover in place?
  • Are your fund managers’ writing requirements documented or on their calendars?
  • Do you have a plan for how to chase them for information when they mysteriously go off the grid moments before the due date?
  • Have you set up control sheets to track the progress of each commentary through the process?
  • Are there any new funds this month, or funds that have been closed down?
  • Have you set up your commentary templates before quarter end starts?
  • Do you even have templates?
  • Are the market review sections of the commentary scheduled for drafting before the quarter-end?

And, the big Q! When is the best time to plan?

We think that starting the planning for next quarter-end is best done when the previous one is still fresh in the mind.

So, do your post-quarter-end debrief, agree on any changes to the process notes (what, you mean you don’t have process notes?) and document it all.

Of course, in the words of Mike Tyson,  “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

But we believe that having a plan is definitely better than not having one!

So when the curveball comes at you, which inevitably it will from time to time, it’ll feel more like a tap from a 30-pound toddler rather than a left hook from a Catskills brawler.

If this has got you thinking about your quarter-end commentary process, do not hesitate to get in touch.