How do we pitch to family offices?
How do family offices want to be pitched?
Family offices are one of the main targets for any fund manager or project owners. Unfortunately, not all funds or projects capture the attention of family offices, or in some cases, fund managers or project owners fail to pitch to family offices the way they want to be pitched. Yes, we will say it again, “the way they want to be pitched”. So how does one pitch to family offices?
Knowing who they are
Before approaching the family office, it is best to do some homework on them. Many times, investees fail to do some research on who their potential investors are, eg., what they have invested in, what they may be looking to invest in, their strategy for the year, and concerns. Getting to know your investors’ likes and dislikes is extremely important, especially when your potential investor is a family office.
Relationship, relationship, relationship. They call it “Guan Xi” in Mandarin. Your relationship with the family office matters. It is the intangible relationship that leads to tangible action. What we mean by “relationship” is:
- how you got to know the family office, i.e. who you know (Most of the time, knowing the family office owners directly is likely going to speed up things up a little or raises your chances of getting funded);
- whether it is through their family or friends (You are likely getting higher points than the rest if it has come through as a referral.);
- how good your relationship is (whether it is in-depth or superficial)
- how sound your relationship is (whether you are on good terms with them or not)
- how you manage your relationships with all the stakeholders in the family office (this is related to your relationship with the stakeholders in the family office (including the staffs), and how sensitive you are towards them)
Each family office is unique
It is important to recognize that each family office is unique, be it single or multi-family office. Their goals, wealth planning and asset enhancement strategies, investment strategies, investment mandates, stakeholders, and management team are different from each other.
Single-family office versus Multi-family office
The way single-family office is run, can be very different from a multi-family office. More often than not, multi-family offices are usually more professionally managed by single-family offices, and so are the investment team which is hired to identify and analyse potential investments, and decide which is best to invest in.
Preparing a Pitch Deck
Putting together a pitch deck, whether or not you will get to use it, will still help you in gathering your thoughts together, plan the flow of your pitch, and ultimately, what to pitch. It is also helpful to plan a 1-minute, 3-minutes or 10-minutes short, strong keynote pitches that may come in handy during quick conversations or when your investors are extremely time-conscious.
Having a detailed and well-written pitch deck ready to send to investors as soon as they request for it, generally leaves a good impression. You need to show the investors you are ready and you value them by putting in effort to prepare a good pitch deck rather than a shoddy one.
Broach the topic gently
Pitching to family offices is really a different ball game as compared to pitching to institutional investors. We encourage investees to first broach the topic gently after you have ascertained the product you have is likely going to interest them. Try broaching the topic with a “top-down” or “macro-to-value” approach, e.g., how current economy is performing, general investment landscape, investment sentiments, what your product is and how well it is performing or you think it is likely to perform. Once you have ascertain certain interest from the investor, you will arrive at a point at either the investor will ask if you have a pitch deck ready or you could gently ask if you could send over a pitch deck for them to take a look at.
Initiative or not?
Should we take the initiative to send the pitch deck without doing the above? In our perspective, never. Plenty of people tend to take shortcuts and send a generic email which they send to dozens of investors, introducing themselves and also attaching their pitch to it, hoping they will score a chance to get money. The success rate in such situations is low, its not impossible, but its just low with family offices, unless your pitch is so strong that it strikes their interest to know more.
We hope that this has been a useful guide, if you have any feedback or comments, please feel free to write to us.
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