5 Ways to Add Impact to Your Hedge Fund Pitch Book

Action, Reaction.

Hedgeweek brings us a simple, five-point preflight checklist for creating pitch books that effective hedge fund portfolio managers never miss.

We’re of course a fan of #4 — Look the Part. Meaning, bring a killer pitchbook to your meetings.

There are five ways to improve the impact of your hedge fund pitch book with institutional allocators, according to JD David, partner and chief operating officer at Meyler Capital.

David says: “We produce a fair amount of marketing collateral… and in the process have exposure to a lot of manager material. While one can argue whether or not a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ approach exists to building a marketing deck, there is a compelling case to be made that there is definitely a ‘better’ and ‘worse’.”   In conversations with allocators, the deck’s primary purpose is to address some very straight forward questions.   “Unfortunately, many managers we interact with end up treating the deck like a DDQ and pack it full of information. As if somehow, adding more words makes it more ‘institutional.’”

Here’s a quick breakdown of the main points from this excellent article:

1. Eliminate the extraneous – The marketing deck is just one step in a long communication process. From a marketing perspective, the deck isn’t designed to “sell” your fund, it’s designed to help advance the dialogue.

2. Speak English – Industry vernacular can be necessary in order to effectively communicate certain points of your message, but syllable counts shouldn’t get confused with sophistication.

3. Make a statement – This is actually the easiest hack of all, but sadly, the hardest to convince people to incorporate into a deck.

4. Look the part – From oil well firefighter, Red Adair: ‘If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur’.

5. Practice – There is not a professional presenter in the world that gets up in front of an audience without a boatload of practice.

hedgeweek.com

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Introducing your Bank or Fund with a Well-Designed Pitch Book?

new york banking pitchbook design

This week at Launch Module Media, we’ve been hired to develop and upgrade, for an investment group and a hedge fund, short (south of 20 slides) PowerPoint presentations (generally known in banking as ‘Pitch Books,’ or, when I worked for Bear Stearns, ‘coasters’ (you put your drink on them while putting together the deal)).

Most of the time, we work on the shorter, more visually dynamic, presentations that financial companies (especially newer or startup-phase) need to attract institutional or private investors and business in general. These PowerPoint decks tend to have a slightly more sales feel and are not so dry graphically as the big M&A monster books you might see at a major IB.

Thinking over how we can do a better job on finding and serving this very specific market for design product, I did some reading on the Web and found an amazing overview of the structure of banking pitch books. What’s In a Pitch Book?  is a 2,622-word post written by Brian DeChesare, founder of Mergers & Inquisitions. A quick, well-documented read — this is the best synopsis/article on the subject I’ve seen. Valuable not just for nascent bankers, but certainly for designers like me as well. I’ll quote the part of the post that refers to the type of presentations we’re working on for our financial Clients this week.

Market Overviews / Bank Introductions

This is the simplest type of pitch book – it’s usually around 10-20 slides that introduce your bank and give an overview of recent market activity to “prove” that your bank knows what it’s talking about.

Common elements:

1. Slides showing your bank’s organization, the different departments, and how “global” you are.

2. Several “tombstone” slides that show recent deals your bank has done in a particular sector. So if you’re presenting to Exxon Mobil, you might show recent energy M&A deals, IPOs, and debt offerings you have advised on.

Along with these, you might create “league table” slides that show how your bank ranks in different areas like tech M&A deals, equity issuances, and so on.

3. “Market overview” slides showing recent trends and deals in the market and data on how similar companies (“comps”) have been performing lately.

These types of pitch books are the least painful for investment banking analysts because you mostly just copy slides from elsewhere and update existing data.

Some banks don’t even use these types of presentations at all – they’re more common at smaller banks where you actually need to introduce yourself.

So, I definitely recommend checking out Mergers & Inquisitions. If you are in banking and need to introduce your fund or group to clients and investors, do feel free to check in with us here at Launch Module, and we’ll help you take your pitches to the next level!