How can you be seen as a top 1% fund by investors? At SuperReturn Emerging Markets in Amsterdam, experienced LPs and advisors shared their private equity fundraising tips and discussed what makes a fund stand out.
On the panel were Will Poole of Capria, Guarau Ahuja of Chris Capital and Alexandre Alfonsi of Axonia Partners. Here’s a recap of their best private equity fundraising tips:
LPs see hundreds of funds for each one they invest in. Your first challenge is to rise above everyone else who is competing for attention, so you become the 1% that they remember and talk about. All of the private equity fundraising tips shared here will help you stand out. In short, it’s all about seeing things from the LP’s point of view. By keeping your LP at the centre of everything you say and do, you’ll stand out in his or her mind as being more engaging, memorable and investor-ready.
Are your marketing materials too complicated? They may make sense to you, but if they are hard for an LP to understand then you’re unlikely to secure investment. Successful funds have clear, concise and consistent communications. Consider your messages about your fund, your marketing materials (including your Private Equity Fund’s Pitch Book) and your follow-up communications: they should all be as easy to read and understand as a newspaper. Potential investors will quickly see what makes your fund different.
One of the repeating themes from the LPs at SuperReturn was that trust is built during communication outside of fundraising periods. You need to be researching your LPs, tracking their investment mandates and learning about their investment goals over time. Keep talking to them. Then, when you’re fundraising, you can tailor your pitch to the LPs you’re targeting.
Every fund forecasts promising returns. Top funds demonstrate what their team does differently to drive above-average performance. What is your team’s background? Why does that give your fund a unique advantage? It’s not enough to have a blue-chip experienced team: you need to link your team’s experience to those great returns you’re forecasting.
Lastly, are your fundraising pitches one-way broadcasts or two-way conversations? Top funds listen to LPs, aiming to understand, not just respond. They ask follow-up questions to check their understanding and have high levels of emotional intelligence. They detect verbal and non-verbal cues to pick up what is and what isn’t being said. Lastly, they handle tough investor questions without becoming defensive.
The more investor-ready you are, the quicker and easier it will be to raise funds. But how do you know when you’re ready? Our new eBook, Standing Out with Investors, sets out eight questions to answer about your Private Equity Fund’s investor meetings and pitches. Each question will help you identify whether that element is a strength or an area for improvement.
The eBook is also full of practical tips, advice and feedback from LPs, and will help you make immediate improvements to your investor pitches and meetings. Download it for free here.
At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help Private Equity and VC funds to stand out as Top 1% Funds. We do this by polishing how they pitch themselves to investors. We help refine investor messages, clarify pitch documents and coach pitch teams so that funds impress investors.
So, if you’d like to be seen as a top 1% fund, please give us a call. You’ll find that working with our experts is a surprisingly small investment that can deliver amazingly high returns. Call Louise Angus on 020 7018 0922, email her via email@example.com, or read more about our process in the Little Green Book for Private Equity Fund Managers.
For more practical tips about private equity fundraising, head straight to these articles:
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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