A common way of tracking client communications, both internal and external, is through the use of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software package. But, as many hedge fund managers will know, finding the right CRM is not as simple as it may appear, with certain systems better suited to certain types of business and IR/marketing set-ups. Should you be considering an alternative CRM system? In the third section of this report we take an in-depth look at the most popular providers of CRMs, what they have to offer, and how satisfied managers are with their service.
Having reappraised the data from our previous sections, HFM had one overarching question: how does the way a manager communicates with its clients change as it evolves? From the frequency and form of standard communication, to CRM solutions and supplementary actions, this final section sets out to a provide an answer, and, in doing so, a sense of how much control an IR/marketing professional can hope to exert over such matters as the business around them changes.
How and how often do managers communicate with their investors? Monthly and quarterly investor letters may be the industry standard, but some managers, for a host of reasons, choose alternative methods. From video calls and podcasts to client events and white papers, hedge fund firms have myriad options to reach current and new investors and build up their brand. We explore all this, and more, in this first section, as we seek to establish the status quo and get a sense of investor preferences.
Even the best fund managers will go through a rough patch at some point, but how to communicate this to investors? The Insights team asked IRs about their approach to subpar performance and how they communicate with clients when a significant market event is causing disquiet. We also asked investors to indicate how long they would tolerate disappointment before placing a manager ‘on watch’. Building on data from both sides, section two offers a flavour of best practice during challenging periods.
What changes does a hedge fund manager’s IR/marketing function undergo as its client base evolves? As part of our previous Insights report, Winning New Business, we identified the AuM range in which most managers start to evolve their investor base towards institutional capital: $300-999m in AuM. The AuM range before (sub-$300m) was considered the ‘pre-evolution’ stage and the AuM range after ($1bn+) the ‘evolved’ stage. For our final section, we analyse earlier data at these same three stages, seeking trends in the ways IR teams adapt to the influx of new clients.
Going from two staff and a Bloomberg terminal to a multibillion dollar firm with 50 employees or more is no mean feat and the role of marketing and IR staff is essential to that growth and development. But also of importance is where the IR/marketing function sits within and interacts with the wider management firm. What proportion of staffing does it account for and how does this evolve over time? These considerations and more are covered in section two.
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