This week Tweepler had a quick discussion about partner and shareholder accounting package Penny – It Works with CEO Art Shulman.
Tweepler: How long has Penny-It Works been around and where does the name come from?
Art Shulman: We started in 2005 as the in-house solution to an alternative investment shop (hedge fund). We have been an independent company since 2006. We refer to ourselves informally as Penny, which was the name of our flagship product, but after 2 weeks our first customer noted that the Penny system was running so smoothly they told us we should call the software “IT Works”. Thus we added the “ItWorks” to the Penny name – the “I.T.” – as in information technology – added a little extra fun into the mix.
Tweepler: Do you compete against the established portfolio and partnership accounting systems like Advent, SS&C, Bloomberg, Sungard, etc? Or are you addressing a different niche?
Art Shulman: Yes, we compete against many of the firms listed above. There are two big differences though, one is that we do not offer portfolio accounting, we leave that to others, two is the rest, which is the partnership and shareholder accounting. This is where we shine. None of the others can begin to touch the flexibility and functionality that the Penny It Works system offers. We have a much more robust system. 7 of the top 25 hedge funds assets flow through Penny.
One of the competitors listed above puts so much emphasis on their portfolio offering that they often give away their low functioning shareholder and partnership system for free…
Tweepler: Are your clients mostly hedge funds? Private Equity? Family Offices? Other partnerships?
Art Shulman: For the most part our clients are hedge funds, hedge fund administrators, PE firms, and management companies. As I noted above ours is a serious product and as such we service firms with a minimum of $100,000,000,000 in assets under management up to those with hundreds of billions of dollars being administrated.
Tweepler: What is the value proposition of Penny-It Works in the marketplace (cost? functionality? unaddressed niche?)
Art Shulman: The value proposition of Penny-It-Works in the marketplace is very straightforward. The product is the best in the market, yet reasonably priced based on Assets Under Management and number of users on the system. Costs grow as usage and the client’s ability to afford increased costs grow. Even better for clients there are no upfront fees and no long-term contracts – clients can leave with only 30 days notice.
Tweepler: How is business going thus far?
Art Shulman: 2013 was our best year ever with 2014 set to leave those numbers in the dust…