What’s the worst private equity pitch you’ve seen?
December 08, 2015
How to lose respect and alienate investors in a private equity pitch
I asked the LP panel at SuperInvestor 2015 what the worst pitch they’ve ever seen was. On the panel were Catherine Lewis La Torre, Anna Dayn, Spencer Miller and Marc der Kinderen. Between them, they review 400 fund pitches every year and they’ve seen them all – the good, the bad and the ugly. Of those, they eventually invest in about 10 of them.
The pitches they recalled as the worst show how a single snapshot of a fund manager’s behaviour determines the investor’s decision whether or not to continue the conversation.
Here are four pitch mistakes you definitely don’t want to replicate:
Worst private equity pitch | No. 1: The sleepy fund manager
Anna Dayn recalled a first-time meeting with a fund manager from Asia. Five or six men were sat across the table talking when their colleague at the end fell asleep. Anna advises, “Get in your Zzzs ahead of the meeting because that just looked awful to us.”
Private equity pitch mistake | No. 2: The unbalanced fund manager
Catherine Lewis La Torre told us about a group who spent an hour talking about one of the weaker companies in their portfolio. It gave the impression they did not know how to focus. They should have used their time more wisely.
Worst PE pitch | No. 3: The injured fund manager
Spencer Miller met a managing partner who asked if he could lie down as he had a bad back. From the boardroom floor he then proceeded with his pitch. Spencer said, “I didn’t know whether to sit down at the table or on the floor with him.”
Bad private equity pitch | No. 4: The egotistical fund manager
Marc der Kinderen spoke of a group of six or seven professionals who came to deliver a pitch. He was impressed that so many were in attendance, and was looking forward to a strong presentation. But the founder had other ideas, reeling off his own achievements in one long stream of ‘I bought… I did… I sold… I made…’. Marc added, “The moment that one of his juniors began to speak, the founder took out his iPhone and started emailing. That was enough. We want teams, not one guy.”
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 +44 20 7018 0922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll make your pitch confident, memorable and effective: one of the best your prospective investors experience, rather than the worst.
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:
Contact us for a chat about how Benjamin Ball Associates can help you.
What leaders say about Benjamin Ball Associates
"Essential if you are going to be a spokesperson for your business"
Senior Analyst, Sloane Robinson
"Being an effective communicator is essential to get your stock ideas across. This course is exactly what's needed to help you do just that!"
CEO, Blast! Films
“Our investment in the coaching has paid for itself many times over.”
Corporate Finance House
“You address 95% of the issues in a quarter of the time of your competitor.”
“Good insight and a great toolbox to improve on my presentations and delivery of messages to not only boards, analysts and shareholders but to all audiences”
“We had a good story to tell, but you helped us deliver it more coherently and more positively.”
CEO, IPSO Ventures
“Ben did a great job on our presentation. He transformed an ordinary set of slides into a great presentation with a clear message. Would definitely use him again and recommend him highly.”
“Moved our presentation into a different league and undoubtedly improved the outcome and offer we received.”
Head of IR, Equinox
“A fantastic job reviewing and transforming our marketing material and helping us get our message across with clarity to potential investors.”