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Private Equity Strategies

Tools of The Trade: Industry Insiders Weigh In On Branding

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

By: Bailey McCann, Private Equity Strategies

Do you have a brand? Take a virtual stroll through the professional section of Amazon, or a quick scan of business magazines and it’s pretty clear that if you don’t have a brand you need one. Brands are a way for investors or just other individuals to get a quick understanding of what they are looking at. A shorthand way of understanding this might be to say, that brands allow people to quickly stereotype you.

As such, along with our brands we’re also supposed to “differentiate.” Financial firms spend a lot of time trying to differentiate themselves, and according to a recent survey of LPs and GPs they probably need to do more.

The annual, “Private Equity Brand Equity” survey from BackBay Communications and PitchBook shows that 92% of respondents say that it is important for private equity firms to have a strong brand when it comes to fundraising and sourcing deal flow. 81% say a strong brand is also important for recruiting and retaining talent. The results make sense, there are hundreds of private equity firms, many of them generalists, and often there is no clear way to tell high performers unless their names are KKR or Fortress.

86% of LPs in the survey said they want to see a strong brand. 84% of CEOs in target portfolio companies said they did too.

“Private Equity firms have to communicate to a number of different constituencies, LPs, investment bankers, portfolio companies, that message needs to be consistent, and also show real execution if they want to standout,” said David C. Turner, Managing Director and Head of Private Equity, Guardian Life Insurance, at an event held by Axial and BackBay Communications unveiling the survey. Axial provides a platform network for private capital and corporate development. Turner helped Guardian move into private equity as an institution in 2007.

This article was published in Opalesque's Private Equity Strategies our monthly research update on the global private equity landscape including all sectors and market caps.
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