Private equity success is highly dependent on the firm’s ability to successfully fundraise. In the past, much of the fundraising process and communications were managed manually. In recent years, the explosive growth in the private equity space has increased the volume of people, information, and activities there is to manage. You used to be able to hang your hat on past relationships and handshakes, but today, LPs are demanding more access to information, proactive communications and reporting, and seamless exchanges with their GPs.
With these increased expectations, it’s worth taking a closer look at the steps in the fundraising process to determine if you’re creating an excellent experience for your investors. Evaluating your investor’s experience allows you to identify opportunities to improve communications and leverage technology to be more proactive and provide greater information access to your LPs.
Here are four areas to consider throughout the fundraising stage to identify areas where your firm can increase efficiencies and improve the investor experience.
1. GENERAL COMMUNICATIONS
How do you communicate with your investors? There are a variety of messages you might share with your investors—what you’re bringing to market, potential close dates, the fund prospectus.
Consider the channels you’re using to deliver these messages and make sure that they are accessible and convenient for your investors to receive. You might be sending this information via email, but consider the work the investor must do to keep track and aggregate the messages your firm sends. Find ways to simplify the delivery, improve the organization of the information, and personalize the message.
Communications can be improved using technology to provide targeted email messages, delivered based on the activity and behavior of your investors. Email tools can help your firm ensure accuracy and save time when emailing lists of recipients. Often, email tools connect to your CRM, allowing your team to create reports and lists and quickly send updates to groups. In the Altvia platform, users can “BCC” emails and track results for compliance as well as verify which recipients receive emails.
2. DOCUMENT SHARING
How are you sharing documents? In the fundraising process, due diligence questionnaires, reports, and agreements are shared back and forth between LPs and GPs.
These documents are often shared and requests are sent via email. With a decentralized system like email, files get lost and it’s not clear where ownership lies. This can create the impression that your firm is disorganized or can create delays in the fundraising process.
A portal where DDQs and agreements are posted, requests are transmitted and assigned, and progress can be followed would solve many of the problems that occur as a result of decentralized file sharing. Central file-sharing systems offer an organized structure that creates clarity for investors and provides the impression of professionalism.
3. STATUS MANAGEMENT
GPs need an easy way to identify who owns investor requests, the components of the request, and when they are due. Often LPs ask the same questions or request similar information.
By formalizing responses to requests, GPs can create templates or a collection of commonly asked questions and answers to pull information from more efficiently. This increases efficiency, ensuring a faster response and more consistency across LP communications.
4. FIRM DIFFERENTIATION
Investors are working with a variety of GPs—what is your firm doing to create a better experience for investors in order to build trust and differentiate?
Top firms are identifying points in the fundraising process (and beyond) to build brand equity and personalize communications. This can be done through investor nurture campaigns. Messages that might be included in a potential nurture campaign are:
- Information about the firm and your niche
- What you’re seeing in the market and learning from those findings
- Your firm’s investment focus
- Portfolio company performance
- Announcements of upcoming webinars and events
- Suggested resources and publishers for investors to follow
Firms can also include personalized content in nurture programs based on investor behavior.
Assessing and improving your investor’s experience during the fundraising stage is an important step to building more credibility with investors and strengthening your relationships with investors to ensure continued investment and future funding.
If you’re looking for more guidance on ways to improve the investor experience, read our full guide by clicking below and be sure to subscribe here for future insights.