Raising and Retaining Assets is Hard. Make Sure You Hire Superheroes!

Jeremie Bacon wrote this on October 11, 2018

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Earlier this summer, Imagineer Technology Group published its 2018 Investor Relations Survey. This annual survey gives investor relations and fund marketing professionals in the asset management community the opportunity to share insights and best practices with their peers as well as their vision for where these functions are heading in the future. 

The published report showcases responses from the community regarding the role of strategy and the importance of proactive communication in investor relations and fund marketing and touches on other challenges these professionals face today.  This year's survey also covered a multitude of other topics we didn't write about in the report. One such topic looked at the skills and character traits most frequently attributed to successful investor relations and fund marketing personnel. 

For active managers of traditional and alternative asset classes, raising and retaining institutional capital is more difficult than ever before. For starters, the track records of many active managers have lagged the broader market during the current nine-year bull run, making it hard for many to differentiate themselves and convey their competitive advantage.  On top of this, many institutional investors meet with hundreds of fund managers every year but only allocate fresh money to a few of them.  Given the fact that there are tens, and sometimes hundreds, of managers running nearly identical strategies, and demonstrating similar performance and risk characteristics, the odds of winning one of those scarce mandates are always low.  What's more, the laborious investment and operational due diligence requirements of many asset owners mean that even if short-listed, most managers still struggle to win the mandate in the end.  

Even with a mandate in place, the ongoing requirements from institutional investors for broader transparency and more frequent communication have also grown substantially over the last several years. This isn't shocking given the fact that institutional investors represent the majority of the cash behind hedge fund, private equity, other alternatives, and traditional asset classes these days.  The result: not only are sales cycles long and arduous, they never really end because managers still have to sell themselves as a smart bet in good times and bad - even after they win an allocation.

Convincing people to let you manage their money is hard work!  Here are six character attributes that investment managers and their clients are looking for in marketing and investor relations professionals that help ensure the hard work of closing and servicing business pays off.  Feel free to copy and paste them into future job postings (or your resume). :) 

Team-oriented and collaborative, yet passionate and driven to hit or surpass individual performance targets. 

Analytical and knowledgeable about the markets, firm/fund strategy, and portfolio management, yet a consultative, relationship builder. 


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Quantifiable track record of capital-raising success in a variety of markets and economic cycles. Able to distill and articulate complex issues for audiences of varying sophistication.

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Possessing a deep understanding of regulatory, compliance, risk and legal issues. 

Strong academic background, ideally with an MBA or CFA, and excellent written and oral communication skills. 


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Filling the bench with teammates who possess these six attributes won't guarantee a fund's success, but it certainly won't hurt. Are there key attributes you feel our survey respondents missed?

Please share your thoughts!