[page_counter]
Private equity fundraising | Seven tips for first investor meetings

Private equity fundraising | Seven tips for first investor meetings

December 10, 2015

What do LPs want from private equity funds at first investor meetings?

That’s the question I put to the panel at SuperInvestor 2015, the annual conference for private equity decision makers. On the panel were Catherine Lewis La Torre, Anna Dayn, Spencer Miller and Marc der Kinderen. Between them, they see hundreds of first investor meetings and they’ve seen them all – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Of the approximately 400 private equity funds they engage with, they eventually invest in about 10 of them. The intense level of competition for investment underscores the need for a high impact and successful first meeting. This was their advice.

Seven tips for first investor meetings from LPs

First investor meetings | Tip 1: Be punctual

“Show up on time and not try to reschedule 10 minutes before the meeting,” was Catherine Lewis La Torre’s simple advice.

First investor meetings | Tip 2: Tell stories

Your only goal from a first investor meeting is to get a second investor meeting. How do you do that?

Spencer miller said, “I want to understand who they are; what the strategy is. Private equity fund teams can bring this to life by using case studies about investments. Case studies answer questions around competition, market positioning, strategy and value.”

First investor meetings | Tip 3: Start a long-term relationship

“What I really like to see is consistency, persistence and understanding,” said Anna Dayn. “We’re building long-term relationships, so I want to see recognition that this is a long game. In terms of understanding, it’s about finding the right balance with investors, staying on top of that and, after that meeting with us, following up, and not getting ahead of the process.”

First investor meetings | Tip 4: Explain what makes you special

“For us it has to be very clear what exactly you do to create value,” said Marc der Kinderen. “What’s the return driver? What is your ‘trick’ that you can do repeatedly? We’re looking for groups that can explain to us what they are very good at, and go into case studies. Then our team can sit together and compare notes in a systematic way.”

First investor meetings | Tip 5: Send information in advance

“We always get the PPM in advance,” said Marc der Kinderen. “One of our analysts goes through that in detail. We get a 10-minute pitch from our analysts internally, before the meeting actually starts.”

“Out of the 100 first meetings that we have, 70 of them we already know, because they came three to four years ago. So our analysts will go back and get that PPM, compare with the current one, and we are prepared. We go in, we give them an hour and a half, we talk about things.

“After that we turn down half of them virtually immediately, mostly based on risk, if we think there is too much team risk. The other half we invite back. Then we work our way down to five per year that we invest in.”

First investor meetings | Tip 6: Keep communicating

“Communicate if you close a deal,” said Spencer Miller. “Some GPs invite you to their AGM as a way of getting to know the organisation. There are subtle ways of building the relationship over a period of time.

“It’s rare to meet someone for the first time in the middle of fundraising and commit to them six weeks later. It’s normally a process of many months or years to build that understanding for a commitment to be made.”

First investor meetings | Tip 7: Make every meeting feel like your most important meeting

“The final thing for me,” said Spencer Miller, “Is that private equity fund teams have got to have all the energy, enthusiasm for the meeting as if this is the first meeting of the day – even if it’s the last.”

Professional support will give you the best 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.

If you want to improve your pitch to investors call Louise on 020 7193 0130 or email louise@nullbenjaminball.com. We’ll make your pitch confident, memorable and effective.

You may also be interested in...

Fundraising presentations: a survive and thrive guide for talking to investors

Apr 21, 2017

Fundraising presentations are hard work. You're bombarded with challenging questions from investors, worn out by long days, and struggling to...

Read More

Five psychology techniques for persuasive investor presentations

Apr 13, 2016

Investment decision-making is not a wholly rational process. Are you using all the tools at your disposal to create and...

Read More

Five reasons that good public speaking skills make you a better leader

Nov 11, 2016

Do your public speaking skills enable you to inspire, motivate and influence others? Many leaders in the corporate world are...

Read More

7 bad media interview mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Jan 19, 2016

You could shoot to fame for all the wrong reasons if a bad media interview goes viral. Unprepared, rude or flippant comments...

Read More

Why Body Language Matters When Pitching to Win Business

Jun 29, 2012

Better Body Language We all know that body language is important in business.  But how important? And does is really...

Read More

Confident Business Presentations – Control Your Nerves

Dec 30, 2009

We all feel nervous when we talk in public.  This is a good thing.  If we didn’t feel nervous, then...

Read More

Six essential tests for your elevator pitch

Mar 07, 2016

A weak elevator pitch is a wasted opportunity Last month I chaired the Quickfire Showcase at Berlin’s SuperReturn, the annual...

Read More

How to Take Charge of Your Media Interviews

Jan 16, 2013

Better Media Interviews The excruciating Newsnight interview with Treasury Minister Chloe Smith this summer is just one example of how poor preparation...

Read More