Guest Blog by Dan Sullivan
DiligenceVault’s recently sponsored the PEI Investor Relations Marketing and Communications conference in New York City. Over $1 Trillion of AUM was represented among the conference participants – all coming together to highlight best practices and trends impacting today’s IR landscape.
Below are the key observations and takeaways after attending the event:
Fundraising Environment: Hot or Cold?
You’ve likely heard the reasons why fundraising is challenging in this environment:
Denominator effect, liquidity squeezes, and/or LPs reaching their max allocation ranges. These conditions have lengthened the time to close funds and make the search for new LPs more difficult.
More private capital GPs are exploring wealth management channels, HNW Investors, and International Family Offices.
Contrast the above with a handful of GPs that hit new highs in AUM in 2023. We suspect that GP’s fund size and sector focus are two contributors driving LP’s interest, either for diversification purposes or for access to niche investment approaches.
Investor Relations Role: One Size Does Not Fit All
One of our favorite sessions was “The Investor Experience”, a small group session that explored the most important functions of the investor relations role.
To no surprise, the Investor Relations title and responsibilities drastically vary across firms. Some are focused exclusively on fundraising and developing new businesses. Others might be part of a dedicated LP Services team, maintaining existing relationships and coordinating experiences like the AGM. Others are focusing on branding, marketing, and communications.
In some cases – all of these might fall on the shoulders of 1-2 people.
As one Private Equity Investor Relations Associate told us:
“Something that stood out to me is how broad the term “Investor Relations” is. Some firms see it and use it totally different than others, and I think that is what made the conference so interesting, as you see and hear topics that don’t normally correlate to your team or your firm, and it expands your knowledge on that topic”
We wholeheartedly agree, and we left the conference with a better understanding of what is most important for IR professionals across multiple firms.
Expect more information requests from LPs
Look no further than the recent Silicon Valley Banking crises – where teams had tight timelines and immense pressure to respond to LP requests fast and accurately.
This was one example of a topic that conference attendees unanimously agree on:
The rising number of LP requests (DDQs, ODDs, and/or one-off requests) is impacting their workload.
In our 2022 Manager Survey, we noted that GPs can expect upwards of 14% increase in the number of requests received in a calendar year.
Take that number, and potentially double or triple it if you’re actively fundraising – and you’ll be dedicating significant time and effort to these requests.
It’s important for IR teams to make the case internally for additional resources, either by staffing or by onboarding a dedicated, industry-specific RFP/DDQ software.
If you’d like to hear how we’ve helped other IR teams build the case internally for more resources, please reach out.
Portals & Technology: Are You Ahead or Behind the Curve?
There is no shortage of portals that IR professionals need to be familiar with. DiligenceVault is the largest, but there are proprietary ones and other portals including survey monkey and Qualtrics where due diligence questions and data are exchanged.
Some IR professionals are logging in to 3-4 portals to complete LP questionnaires. Having a baseline knowledge of how to use these portals is an increasingly important part of LP engagement and client services. Also, having a reference library of pre-approved responses comes in handy to respond to requests coming in different formats and via different mediums.
Investor Relations teams can also get ahead of the curve by using RFP/DDQ technology tools like DiligenceVault.
One of our clients told us that DiligenceVault’s Investor Relations platform played a significant role during their recent $2b fundraise, saving them time on each of their DDQ requests.
If you’re interested in learning how other IR teams have used DiligenceVault’s software during the fundraising process, please reach out to Dan Sullivan – firstname.lastname@example.org