Investors need to pitch themselves as well to raise money for their own fund. I get to see many of these decks from clients. And in them, investors make the same mistakes that they advice potential and actual portfolio companies not to make.

To be honest, they might even be worse. Unlike a normal company, there are very few things that differentiate the operations of one PE, VC, hedge fund, from another. And secondly, the presentation culture in finance is very conservative, most institutional investors (the ones investing in PE funds), want a sit down meeting with a paper document in front of them.

Here are some of the bullet points that will show up in any investor presentation:

  • We are a highly experienced team
  • We delivered great returns
  • We do really thorough due diligence
  • We do extraordinary risk management
  • We have a very sophisticated modeling capability
  • We are hands on with our portfolio companies
  • We have proprietary deal flow
  • We are being loved by our portfolio companies
  • We have a unique network of partners

Think about an institutional investor who receives hundreds of these decks, all making the same points, written in the same style, using the same (blue and grey) colors.

As a fund wanting to raise money, you need to decide which of the above are hygiene factors for which you can tick the box, and which are truly special in your case and build a story around that is consistent. 

And I see most funds do a pretty good job when they pitch the story verbally to me, the challenge is to get that verbal story translated into visuals. This is especially important because these decks are emailed around to decision makers who might not have been at the physical meeting. 

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