HEDGE FUND AND PRIVATE EQUITY CONSULTING & MARKETING STRATEGY
Agecroft Partners believes there are three critical steps involved in order for a fund manager to be successful in raising assets in today’s competitive environment. These include the quality of the fund offering, the investor’s perception of the quality of the fund offering, and their marketing and sales strategy. Leveraging our founder’s experience in running sales for some of the largest investment firms in the world, Agecroft is uniquely qualified to help fund managers through each aspect of this process. At Agecroft’s industry leading conference, Gaining the Edge, Don Steinbrugge describes the 3 Keys to Successfully Raising Hedge Fund Assets. To view the video click here. Below is a brief outline of Agecroft’s consulting and marketing strategy.
1. Quality of the hedge fund/private equity offering
The first step in the process is utilizing our institutional due diligence process to analyze the quality of the product offering across each of the evaluation factors investors use to select fund managers, which are discussed in the “selection of managers” section of our website. We will then provide feedback on potentially enhancing any areas of weakness. For clients we help raise assets for, this is an ongoing process as we get feedback from the market place.
2. High quality marketing message
Many high quality hedge funds and private equity funds have difficulty raising assets because they do a poor job of articulating their message to the marketplace. The marketplace is highly competitive and investors use a process of elimination in selecting fund managers. This typically begins by screening the thousands of fund managers in the market place, meeting with a couple hundred, having follow up meetings with a small percentage of these, and hiring a select few each year. Performance tends to be a quantitative screen to eliminate a majority of managers, but once performance has reached a certain hurdle its weighting in the evaluation process is less important than most managers realize. It only takes one poorly worded answer to get a firm eliminated from consideration.
It is Agecroft’s objective to work with fund managers in order to perfect their marketing message and ensure that the market’s perception of the firm is equal to reality. This requires a consistently delivered, concise and linear marketing message that identifies the differential advantages across each of the evaluation factors investors use to select fund managers. It is important that the marketing message is consistently integrated throughout all the firm’s mediums of communication, including oral presentations, written materials, due diligence questionnaires and quarterly letters, and their website. A well prepared and accurate marketing presentation eliminates inconsistencies and helps foster a level of integrity when interfacing with potential investors.
3. Marketing and sales strategy
The most successful marketing and sales strategies are well thought out and are very process oriented. Agecroft works in partnership with our clients to ensure that they receive the assistance that is necessary to grow their business effectively and to maximize their time in focusing on doing what they do best: managing money. In order to maximize the probability of success, Agecroft adds value in the following ways:
The industry reputation of a consulting and marketing firm has a direct impact on an investor's perception of the alternative investment organizations they represent. Agecroft’s brand in the market place enhances the credibility of managers they represent and significantly improves access to institutional investors often at senior levels.
Identifying who to contact
The alternative investment industry investor base is highly inefficient. Public databases of family offices are of poor quality. It is challenging to identify which pension funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds are making direct fund investments, whether or not they use a consultant for fund investments, and what type of relationship they have with their consultant. Agecroft's team has created one of the largest proprietary databases in the industry, and has developed strong professional relationships with investors with whom they are in frequent contact on a global basis.
Screen for suitability with manager’s strategy and investment style
Agecroft Partners' number one objective is to maximize the time of both the investor and manager. Our goal is to ensure that investors with whom we arrange meetings for our hedge fund and private equity clients are well screened for their interest in the strategy. The same is true for investors, we do not put pressure on investors to take a meeting, we only set up meetings with investors that show interest in meeting with our clients.
Develop tailored follow-up plan for each prospect
Agecroft understands that each prospect is unique and has different due diligence requirements along with short and long term needs for their portfolios. Agecroft strives to get detailed feedback from each prospect and then develops a follow-up strategy to help investors through each step of their due diligence process.