Capital Raising Pitch Decks

Just a few days before our next cap intro summit in Dubai on September 20, it seems an apposite time to explore the topic of pitch decks when raising capital.

In the next few minutes, we hope to challenge your thinking about your own core deck & provoke debate that leads to you having highly differentiated marketing materials therefore providing a platform to get the immediate attention of your target investors.

Before we dive in, let’s take a meander down a short but pithy track together.

Can we agree that investment people rarely create good marketing and marketing folks can rarely manage money effectively? Sales people can rarely sell effectively without a marketing content platform & yet over 80% of global funds managing less than $1bn have a salesperson or 2 but no marketing or IR staff. We completely understand that there is a limited budget available in an emerging fund firm and we also get the temptation to load up on CFA type talent. However, whether the track record is already amazing or set to be amazing, tickets won’t write themselves – the messaging & marketing must be in place before the front line team go out on the road or funds are added to digital distribution platforms. Simply put, in our opinion having met more than 1000 asset managers over the years, most fund managers don’t take sales and marketing anything close to seriously enough.

So, now we’re going to return to that doyenne of traditional sales & marketing – the deck.

A few headlines to get us started:

  • Fewer than 10% of recipients of a deck over 10 slides in length will read it to the end
  • Fewer than 5% of recipients of a deck filled with charts and stats will read past halfway
  • Fewer than 2% of recipients of a deck majoring on investment views will read past slide 5   
  • Fewer than 2% of investment management firms have a brand recognition strategy
  • Less than 1% of investment management firms are recipients of globally recognised marketing awards

Whereas:  

  • Over 70% of recipients of a deck will watch embedded video content
  • Over 80% of recipients will turn straight to the team/people page
  • Over 85% of recipients rely on social proof based sources of info rather than decks   
  • Over 90% of recipients look for case studies that look like them
  • 100% of buy side deck recipients are socio economic group A and therefore engage daily with the strongest global brands which inform their subconscious and conscious as to what ‘good looks like’ when it comes to making purchasing decisions on who to work with   

And the two headlines that should make us all sit up and think:

  • The most successful capital raisers outside of finance don’t use decks at all…
  • People don’t buy data lakes & factsheets, they buy people they like and learn to trust   

If we overlay these points to most financial services decks, we can suggest with some significant weight behind us that the reason the majority of emerging to 9 figure AUM managers are struggling to raise capital across North America & Europe is much more to do with outdated marketing than poor performance.

If you have to use a deck at all, we recommend focusing on these hallmarks:

  • Case studies of your most recent investors – get their permission to name them & relate their requirements and decisions to the person you are pitching to
  • Case studies of your tier 1 service providers – why did they show confidence in you
  • Video your founder/s and tell their stories  
  • Video your portfolio managers and have them talk through their journey to your firm
  • Videos/Audio of you being interviewed
  • Find your ‘different’ and hang all your points off that   

Avoid:

  • Fund factsheets
  • Sending weekly newsletters containing news everyone has already seen
  • Claims to be better than peers or segments of peer group tables  
  • Risk/reward charts
  • Fees
  • Track record (particularly if unaudited)
  • And most of all, steer clear of predictions, prognosis & opinion on macro or micro conditions

We’re passionate about preparing fund managers of all shapes and sizes to be ready to raise money in the Middle East. In a few days time, 14 wonderful founders and fund managers will be with us in Dubai doing just that – want to be part of next cohort at our next Dubai summit on December 6? 

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