Cap Intro Hacks for Emerging / Boutique Fund Managers And Founders

We are blessed to have a bench of superstar funds and founders – to a woman and a man they are all wonderfully coachable and keen to add skillsets to often prodigious ability in their primary day job! A very material part of every day at DXBP is building new marketing and sales lenses through which our clients can see the world ahead in a different way than before. Armed with this new ammunition, they thrive at our quarterly cap intro summits and the delta of poor outcomes is reduced.

 

One of the reasons we spend so much time on performance coaching with our clients is to counteract the mistaken belief that once the track record is built then the investors will follow. From time to time this does happen, most of the time though the phone doesn’t ring any more often after reaching $100mn or $1bn of assets as it did when you had $25mn. The good news is that we have spent decades figuring out the hacks and activities that make all the difference to driving demand to your door. Having made every mistake in the book on our own journey, we’d like to share a few of our pithiest reflections for your delectation.

 

Health warning – we don’t apologise for the rather prescriptive language!       

 

1. Stories Not Statistics 

The number one error committed by most emerging shops is the creation of fact filled fact sheets and decks but a complete absence of story about the founders and C Suite and no case studies about the clients already on board. Nobody will read your data unless they first know you and like you. Unless you’re Blackrock or Bridgewater, none of us can rely upon our brand preceding us. Thinking about sending a monthly factsheet to prospective clients? Think twice and instead send them stories about you and your team – what makes them tick, why they are likeable, talented & hungry to perform.   

 

2. Repel To Attract

As a boutique with a limited product range and likely limited brand awareness, you will not appeal to everybody, you might not appeal to many at all. This is fine! Breathe it in and learn to close down conversations which aren’t going anywhere and use that extra time on finding those clients who want what you have to sell. It’s liberating to cull your pipeline and focus only on clients that look like a ‘fit’.     

 

3. Know Your Audience

We know you’d love that Sovereign Wealth Fund sized cheque but perhaps your product is perfect for family office investors or the asset management arm of a bank instead. Always take the meeting with any prospective investor but be realistic about those who can’t allocate to you yet. 

 

4. Founder Role

Make sure you elect a founder to be your spokesperson, to lead from the front, to be visible. A surprising number of founders enjoy being back at base architecting world domination – all very laudable, but please not when you’re raising money!   

 

5. Be Available

At this stage in the firm’s gestation, getting investors is very, very hard so please be there for calls and meetings every day of the year at any time the client wants. Sounds simple doesn’t it, but we’re constantly amazed at the number of founders who prefer not to take a call at the weekend! If you don’t take that call, your arch enemy peer will… 

 

6. Different, Not Better

There are so many appealing aspects of being nimble, flexible, innovative, owner/managed and perhaps new. Somewhere in your recent journey, product suite and team is why you deserve attention from new investors – why you’re different. Find it and milk it, hard. Avoid the temptation to suggest you’ve invented a better mousetrap than the other guys – chances are, you haven’t.   

 

7. Brevity

As founders, we all forget that a deck of 6 slides is almost always more impactful than one with 36 slides and a description of your career since 1990 is going to be a lot less interesting to your new client than the part of your journey which benefits them directly. Practice getting your verbal pitch in any setting down to less than 3 minutes.

 

8. Dialogue Not Monologue

Most of us ‘A’ type personalities talk much better than we listen. There’s lots of reasons we do it – feeling imposter syndrome, filling silences, excitement to share information, defer poor feedback… 

But we bet you remember those meetings much more where your guest asked a vast array of open questions showing interest in you rather than delivered an address. We certainly do!   

 

9. 2x Everything

Even in the Middle East which is moving much faster and with much more capital than most Western financial markets, it will be twice as hard to raise money than you think, it will take twice as long and you will need to budget twice as much money to get it done.     

 

10. To Sell, First You Must Market

Don’t hire a salesperson until you have a marketing engine switched on and turning. Even the very best networked and charismatic seller will have their work cut out if your story is still the best kept secret! Owned, earned and paid media all have a place in almost every business these days but particularly in financial services, digital, healthcare, real estate, tech….