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How to answer tough investor questions

What makes a great private equity pitch?

December 10, 2015

What is the best private equity pitch you’ve seen?

That’s the question I put to my panel at SuperInvestor, the annual conference for private equity decision makers. I asked four LPs to talk about a great private equity pitch they remember – teams that did something different and grabbed attention.

On the panel were Catherine Lewis La Torre, Anna Dayn, Spencer Miller and Marc der Kinderen.

Between them, they review 400 private equity fund pitches every year and they’ve seen them all – the good, the great, the bad and the ugly. Of those 400 pitches they see, they eventually invest in about 10 of them.

Here are their suggestions for a great private equity pitch:

 

Great private equity pitch tips | 1. Create a pitch that’s different

Anna Dayn recalled a pitch last year at SupertInvestor’s famous Quick Fire Showcase, where funds have just 90 seconds to pitch to a room of LPs. She told us about a pitch made in the form of a rap routine. Within 90 seconds, his rap managed to fit in all the fund highlights in a creative and memorable fashion.

 

Great private equity pitch tips | 2. Tailor your pitch to each investor

Spencer Miller reminded us how important it is to customise your pitch for each organization you are speaking to. “Know who you’re meeting,” he said. “Have an idea of what they are interested in.” You won’t always be guided by the LP. So focusing your pitch on exactly what the investor wants “makes it much more useful, and helps build the relationship.”

 

Great private equity pitch tips | 3. Demonstrate passion

“It’s fair to say that we see a lot of things that look more or less the same,” said Catherine Lewis La Torre. “One that did stand out for me was a German GP. When they went through their portfolio they got products out and started talking about them. They were so animated and passionate that they really conveyed how much they knew about the businesses and how they would be generating value. They just loved that business. And that came across.”

 

Great private equity pitch tips | 4. Show, don’t just tell

“It gets us excited when we can get closer to the companies,” said Marc der Kinderen. “We once had a team came in who brought one of their CEOs. He happened to be in NY, and they let him speak to us. He explained how they got started, what they were doing, how the PE firm helped, how often they spoke. That made it come alive.”

 

Professional support to increase your chance of success

Benjamin Ball Associates prepares private equity teams for investor presentations. We combine our knowledge of the private equity sector with executive coaching, pitch polishing and intensive role-play. We can support the pitches and presentations of both funds and portfolio companies, maximising your chances of securing investment.

> Help Me Improve My Private Equity Pitch


If you want to improve your pitch to investors, call Louise Angus, Client Services Director on 020 7018 0922 or email louise@nullbenjaminball.com. We’ll help transform your investor pitch so it’s confident, memorable and effective.

Video: How Private Equity Funds can pitch, present and persuade more effectively

Paul Farrow is a Partner at Benjamin Ball Associates. In this video from SuperReturn US East, Paul discusses the common mistakes made by Private Equity funds when communicating with potential investors. He reveals the unexpected personality trait that investors look for in fund managers, and why LPs don’t want to ‘be taken through your pitch presentation’. He shares essential advice that will improve your fund’s messaging, help you stand out and impress prospective investors. Click the play button below to watch:

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What Our Clients Say


“The new presentation properly represents the institutional quality of our fund. It has been a step change of us.”

Erwin de Kleijn Head of IR, Saemor Capital


“This training has contributed directly to new business – including a new FTSE100 client.”

Michelle Elstein Head of Business Development, Olswang LLP


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