Once you have sold your investment product to a new investor, for years thereafter you will depend on your investor relations team. For the life of that investment, the investor will interact with your investor relations group through mail, email, telephone, online and through digital distribution payments. The investor’s experience of your brand will play a large part in their level of satisfaction and their decision whether to reinvest.
Here are ten important ways your company is represented to your investors by your investor relations team.
- Onboarding as a New Investor – The ease, smoothness and speed of the new investment process says a lot to an investor about the overall competency of fund management. The experience, technology and care of the investor services team will have much to do with how quickly and efficiently investors are admitted to the fund.
- Confirmation – Once an investor is admitted, investor relations will tend to every aspect of welcoming the investor with confirmations, web portal access set-up and answering any process questions they might have.
- Distributions – Investors expect distribution payments to be made on time, in the manner they have said they prefer and accurately tracked for later reference. Your investor relations team represents the care that you have taken to meet and exceed investor expectations for every payment.
- Questions – When an investor reaches out to investor relations with a question or concern, they expect answers and resolutions in a way that reflects fund management’s respect. Whether handling operational issues themselves or relaying fund specific questions to management, the investor relations team must provide the investor a seamless and gratifying experience.
- Tax forms – Tax season is stressful for everyone. Prompt delivery of 1099s and K-1s is one of the best ways investor services shows how fund management values the investors.
- Reinvestment – When an investor considers investing in your next fund product there are two main areas of consideration: investment return and the treatment they have received over time from your investor relations team.
- Transfers – Similar to the onboarding experience, the ease and simplicity with which your investor relations group processes a transfer leaves an impression with both the transferor and transferee.
- Web Portal – Your investor web portal is there to keep your investors informed and connected. Your investor relations team should ensure that access is easy and that navigation to positions, transaction history, tax forms and management contact is intuitive and efficient.
- Marketing – If your investor relations team has done its job, when you reach out to investors with a new investment product, the look, feel, attitude and values of your company has been supported by every interaction they have had with your firm, encouraging reinvestment.
- Exit – Even as your fund winds down, your investors remain your best source of future investment capital. The same proficiency and care investor relations has shown through the life of the fund should be reflected in the final distribution payment, statement and tax document.
Investor relations for alternatives is an intricate and multifaceted set of tasks that must be specialized and experienced to be effective in supporting your investors. The most efficient division of labor for a private fund has fund management focusing on sales and asset acquisition while outsourcing investor relations to a professionally equipped and experienced fund services team. The right operational architecture in place from the launch of your first fund is a critical ingredient in your long-term success.