• David Grammig

Communication Essentials For Successful Investment Partnerships

Effective Communication Fosters Success

Communicating well seems simple, but we often underestimate how complex this task can be. What’s relevant, what’s extraneous, what’s the point and most importantly, how to say it? Every thought leader or founder who understands how much is riding on a presentation, a white paper or speaking engagement, takes great care to communicate as effectively as possible.

The stakes are high - poor communication generates bad first impressions, weak results, missed expectations, lost opportunity, failed partnerships or other undesired outcomes. How many times have you been put off by a generic email solicitation, a long-winded presentation or, worst of all, any communication that’s disingenuous or ‘salesy’? We are positively moved by messages that are personalized, sincere, concise, informative and tailored to our specific needs or interests.

Effective communication can build new relationships or save existing ones. Making a genuine connection - in business, in personal matters, in whatever situation - can lay the foundation for important synergies that generate ongoing success.

Honesty and Candor are Paramount

Knowing how to listen, interpret needs and articulate relevant information helps facilitate an understanding of what should happen next or the best way to move forward. More important than any given communication by itself is the motivation behind it - the underlying reason or objective. The premise of all business communications should be to deliver useful, valuable information with a selfless intent to clarify or provide some kind of helpful guidance.  

The investment marketplace is rife with communications that are ‘disconnected’ from their intended audience or motivated by profit over suitability. Another typical problem - communications are overly technical, long-winded or jargony. Everyone prefers clear language that explains things in the simplest, most concise terms possible. Most of all, we want communications that are authentic and sincere.

In my former life as an institutional asset raiser, I developed a deep understanding of the allocation process, what works and what doesn’t. One thing is certain - allocations only happen after thoughtful relationship development, careful examination of suitability and extensive due diligence.

For any meaningful dialogue to start, a basic level of trust and credibility must be established first. Well-conceived communications are a critical part of building trust, marketplace credibility and investor relationships.

My Fundamental Premise

I founded Catalyst Hedge Fund Marketing to help asset managers and startups do a better job of communicating and building relationships with investors. Having an outstanding presentation, based of course on a well-founded investment offering, is an essential ‘tool’ for raising capital. Depending on the need, I either audit and overhaul existing marketing materials or I develop entirely new investor materials. I also advise capital seekers to demonstrate their expertise and thought leadership through some form of regular communication - monthly blog posts, newsletters, white papers, etc. As I gave this advice, I realized I should have my own blog, but I labored over what to post (even I think articles about marketing are fairly boring).

I thought, much more interesting, I’ll interview family office investors who can explain for themselves what’s most important to them. To that end, I recently launched https://hedgeinterview.com as the video-blog associated with https://www.catalysthedgefundmarketing.com/

My hope is that Hedge Interview may facilitate better communication and relationship development in the investment marketplace. Each interview is intentionally brief, around a half hour in length - not too time-consuming, but long enough to help you form a critical impression and glean something important.

Often emerging managers and startups aren’t ready to meet the due diligence requirements of institutional investors. They’re too early, lacking infrastructure, experience or business fundamentals, but they push out their pitch anyway. Capital seekers often miss the mark in terms of thoroughly understanding what an allocator will consider. They may generally know that an allocator is interested in a certain type of investment, but they don’t know the specific criteria required for serious review.

Similarly, institutional investors sometimes accept meetings when they don’t fully understand what’s being brought to the table. So everyone wastes a lot of precious time.

Hedge Interview is designed to help both sides of the capital allocation equation understand each other more clearly.

The Investor Views series highlights the primary concerns and interests of family offices and other institutional investors. This series also highlights best practices for raising capital in the institutional investment marketplace. Every entity seeking institutional capital (companies, asset managers, etc.) wants to know what inspires and concerns you. Your interview is designed to shed light on the challenges you face, the circumstances you hope for and the opportunities that most interest you. Your insight may (hopefully) help the investment marketplace understand how to better meet your interests, needs and concerns. There is no cost for allocators to participate.  

The Manager Profiles series presents introductory profiles of leading and emerging asset managers. Investors will evaluate your performance data and all other quantitative metrics, but at some point they will want to meet you face to face. Your video interview provides an opportunity to introduce yourself and make an important first impression with prospective investors. There is a fee for capital seekers to participate.

Whether you are an investor or a capital seeker, participating as a guest speaker on Hedge Interview is very easy and convenient - no travel required and no overwhelming media production set. I conduct all interviews remotely, online via Zoom, so our interview takes place from the comfort of your office, right over your laptop or computer. Actual recorded interviews are between 20-30 minutes in length, but I like to book an hour for each interview so we can comfortably get set up and have time for conversation before or after.

Every interview is intended to provide a bit of valuable information so that institutional investors and capital seekers may pursue mutually beneficial relationships. I hope you gather something useful from these interviews - something that makes your future communications more constructive and your investor interactions more worthwhile.

If you are interested in being a Guest on Hedge Interview, please contact Jennifer Bruno at jbruno@hedgeinterview.com

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