How Microsoft 365 Copilot will benefit private equity and hedge fund professionals

ECI’s CIO Rich Itri and VP, Partnerships, Jamie Smith recently hosted a breakfast where they broke down everything our partners need to know to get ready for Microsoft’s game-changing AI solution. Here are their tips for preparing your organisation to make the most of the opportunity. 

To maintain a competitive edge, both private equity firms and hedges need to stay ahead of the technological curve.  

Enter Microsoft 365 Copilot. As it rolls out to enterprise clients, there are clear use cases that will add value across the high end financial services sector.  

Here are just a few – and with the platform still in its infancy, there are sure to be more to come. 

 

Analysing models 

Let’s say an analyst for a private equity firm wishes to review the latest changes to a deal. 

They can task Copilot with going through a cash flow model and comparing it with its previous iteration, in the process highlighting differences between the current and previous versions. 

Staying inside Excel, Copilot can generate a note that will summarise the changes in natural language, for example stressing highlighting increases in accounts payable. 

So far, this is an LLM function that we are growing increasingly familiar with on other platforms. 

However, our analyst can also ask Copilot to investigate the drivers behind the changes it has highlighted via the Business Chat interface. The Microsoft Graph API solution makes available all the data across the organisation the analyst has access to; Copilot can access this and put together a brief note listing possible details and drivers behind the delta. 

Generative AI solutions aren’t perfect, so the analyst will still need to review and validate the information surfaced; but even if Copilot is wrong, it is often usefully wrong. 

The note produced can then be passed on to the deal team for further use. 

 

Summarising research 

Meanwhile, over at a hedge fund, a trader is arriving at their desk and wants a summary of all the sell-side research material that arrived in their inbox overnight from a specific bank. 

Copilot can scan their Outlook inbox for documents from that bank, and if directed can summarise the key takeaways from the requested brokers. 

Again, this is a routine LLM function given a new depth of function by its integration with Outlook. However, Copilot can take this further by searching for and surfacing correlations and discrepancies with documents shared by other brokers overnight and create a summary document in seconds that would have taken a very substantial amount of time for a human to put together.  

Our trader can now review this summary, again checking it for any issues, add some additional context and share with portfolio managers before the start of trading. 

 

Other use cases 

Meeting summaries 

If a Teams call is recorded, Copilot can generate an accurate summary of the conversation, right down to noting who said what. This functionality can be applied to everything from morning check-ins to CEO calls. 

First drafts  

Whether it’s an internal email, a routine marketing communication, a fund report or a piece of thought leadership, Copilot in Word can save hours by putting together a first draft based on a few simple prompts. They’ll still need reviewed, but you’ll no longer need to face one of the most terrifying things of all – a blank page. 

 Generating decks fast 

If your Excel skills are somewhat ahead of your PowerPoint, Copilot can balance things out by putting together slides with relevant content from across your business based on some simple prompts. As with Word documents, they’ll still need to be reviewed, but the function is nevertheless a quantum leap ahead of starting from scratch. 

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