Arnaud Monnet is Director of Real Estate Management at Acer Finance, a French asset management firm, which currently counts more than 20 employees, 2,500 clients and more than 600 million euros in assets. His mission is to assist clients in the selection of direct or indirect real estate assets, and to advise real estate professionals and agents, promoters, etc. in the structuring and management of investment vehicles.
After having used Closd for more than a year, he tells us in this interview about his experience with the solution and the benefits he has witnessed in terms of project management and customer experience.
Arnaud Monnet: Acer Finance is a portfolio management company. We are a family office with accreditations that allow us to assist our clients with both wealth management issues and personal or professional investment strategies. We use Closd for both matters.
Our main problem was to exchange information on contractual closings: we wanted to be able to find all the information in the right place, for each update to be easily identified by everyone, and for everyone to be able to interact and create their own task lists.
Before that, everything was managed by mail or email, and each time, one of us had to take care of organizing, archiving and filing the documents manually, and coordinating the different signing sessions. The most complicated part was to make sure that all the parties could sign on the same day, which sometimes led to improvised scooter rides all over Paris to collect all the signatures. In the worst case, the documents sent by mail were sometimes lost.
Signing simultaneously or in a specific order was a real challenge for us and for our relationship with our clients.
I was looking for an electronic signature solution for a basic contract, and a tech entrepreneur friend of mine recommended Closd, an ultra intuitive solution used by his lawyers. That’s how I discovered the solution. We quickly set up the platform to manage a first project for a real estate operator and his co-investors who needed to structure a real estate acquisition.
The tool allowed us to communicate in real time in a particularly stressful context, so that everyone, even remotely, had the same level of information, and could perform identity verification safely before signing.
The signing part was very easy to coordinate, so we decided to keep using the solution for projects that require information and contractualization.
The features we use the most are the electronic signature, the data room and the project management feature.
We use Closd for the following transactions: sale or acquisition of a real estate property or a company, equity investment, unlisted assets, contractual tasks between our clients and us … The platform helps us structure the services that we provide to our clients, starting from the setup of a transaction following the request of an operator to structure a financial need.
Some transactions may require the participation of many external investors who do not know each other, and this is where Closd helps us streamline our organization. By automating manual tasks, the solution allows us to save time and energy, and above all, improve traceability.
It is therefore a key operational issue for us, which allows us to standardize information.
On the one hand, Closd has allowed us to gain in flexibility and improve the readability of the files; on the other hand, it has allowed us to save a lot of time; finally, Closd offers strong guarantees in terms of security and confidentiality for our sensitive documents, which is a key issue for us.
I know that Closd offers a traceability feature, which we have needed in the past but which was not released at the time. This is very useful in case of a dispute. If someone claims to be unaware of a piece of information, we can easily access a list of their activities: times and duration of connections, documents viewed…
Our clients are quite pleased with the platform, because we don’t ask them as much about organizational matters. We still want to preserve human interactions, but once we get past that stage and the legal and administrative process is started, automation becomes very useful.
All our clients who have used the platform have mastered the tool very easily, which is quite user-friendly and intuitive, especially thanks to the reminders on the signatures.
We are very satisfied with the tool, and we want to keep using it to make our customers’ experience more fluid and comfortable. This is key to us, and I think it is Closd’s main strength
We have noticed that most clients sign their documents during their weekend or in the evening: the real strength of the tool is that it has made everyone very autonomous, and that it has lifted this constraint on deals that can be quite stressful, both on the seller’s and buyer’s side.
The stakes on these cases are high, so it is important to be able to relieve this administrative part and make it as comfortable as possible for our clients. We free ourselves from the stress of not being able to sign or waiting for documents that never arrive. No more excuses: our clients are able to validate a document in a minute!
In addition to the fact that we are very happy with the solution, I think that it would benefit from being more widely known for other uses than simply legal matters. For example, a tool like Closd could be perfectly adapted to companies, especially for managing subsidiaries.
For example, our teams sometimes use Closd to exchange information with their clients in the context of wealth or financial advice, which facilitates the implementation of recommendations made by advisors.
Thanks to Mr. Monnet for his testimony. If you want to learn more about Closd, schedule a demo now!