Updated: Mar 26
It is sometimes difficult to express one's thoughts clearly in writing, especially if one is an emerging manager with little experience in this complicated exercise. Yet, accurate written communication is essential for all managers seeking to build a professional reputation and raise capital.
Clarity of language in the fund documentation. is essential to successful communication. When your presentations, factsheets, performance updates and research notes are easy to understand you can start to differentiate your investment expertise in today’s crowded market. Here are seven ways to help you present your fund clearly and precisely through your marketing materials.
1 Describe your fund in straightforward ways
When writing fund documentation, such as the fund objective and investment policy, you should seek to strike a balance between concision and simplicity. It is difficult to strike the right balance between keeping the fund documentation concise and avoiding jargon or technical terms to describe a concept concisely. But if a potential investor does not understand your strategy and investment process, they will not buy it. Even very complex "black box" hedge fund strategies can be explained simply. State what you are straightforwardly doing in your marketing material. Communicate without jargon and explain key points in simple terms to attract a wide range of investors.
2 Start your pitchbook presentation with a strong executive summary
This is the first page that investors will read, so make sure it catches their attention. Focus on what makes your investment strategy different through your core selling messages. Make sure you cover all the key aspects that today's investors are looking for, including correlation, liquidity and the expertise of your team, as well as the depth of the investment pool you have identified. Introduce each section in a way that draws people into the rest of your presentation.
3 Define your investment edge
Be proud - but not overly so - of what makes your fund different and make sure you communicate this in your marketing material. What is your particular investment strategy and how do you express your investment views? Do you use your in-house made trading technology? Do you have good access to products and information? What are your experience and specialist knowledge of the market? Explain clearly to investors why your fund is a good investment opportunity, a solution to their specific needs. They like to understand why you think your strategy will work and what sets you apart from the herd.
4 Consider the needs of your target investors
The language used to communicate investment concepts to clients is very important. However, it is not enough to take documents written for HNWIs (High Net Worth Individuals) and adapt them to professional and institutional investors. Instead, communications for a target group of investors should be designed from the outset for their use and written with that end reader in mind.
Cover all the key areas of information for your target investors and make sure you address all their needs and concerns. Describe the framework you have in place to manage investment risks. How long will investors have to wait before they can claim their money back? Do any of the partners have their capital invested in the strategy? Are the returns truly uncorrelated to traditional asset classes or to the market? How can you show that you have a solid business infrastructure? Address all operational sources of risk, including back-office functions and service quality providers, such as prime brokers.
5 Use case studies
Describe past transactions to bring your investment process to life and help investors understand the overall strategy. Show examples of trade ideas that have worked as well as those that have failed and explain why. You can use these case studies to demonstrate that your investment process is sound and repeatable. They can also show that you understand what determines the performance of the fund and how changing market conditions can affect returns.
6 Write focused biographies for key investment people
Information about your investment team is important to potential investors. Show how their experience and expertise is relevant to your fund's particular strategy rather than simply listing past positions. Has the team worked together before and for how long? How do their skills complement each other? What is the size of your team, including support staff?
7 Write relevant investment updates
Monthly investment updates are a useful sales tool, providing a good opportunity to demonstrate your investment expertise. Explain the themes driving the regions and markets in which you invest and how you think these trends will develop. For more complex strategies, it may be more difficult to appear logical, consistent and transparent, without revealing rather confidential information about trading and portfolio positions. The challenge is to clearly explain your investment vision and then explain how you take advantage of opportunities in the markets.
In Summary: Providing investors with clear and concise information and communicating regularly are the prerequisites of a professional relationship. By creating a suite of marketing materials with focused content you will be able to deliver a consistent message about your investment expertise. The results will be communications success as you maintain an intelligent conversation with investors.