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New Managers September 2019

MARKETING CHALLENGE: Anatomy of an Upset


Everyone loves an underdog. While superheros have their fans, there's something about a dark horse or a comeback kid that generates support for a hard-won victory. Take the recent US Open tennis championship match between Serena Williams, the sports media's proclaimed GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) and arguably the most dominant women's tennis player ever, and 19-year old Canadian upstart, Bianca Andreescu. Andreescu stunned US fans, sports media, and Serena herself by winning the 2019 Open in straight sets, beating back the legend's late surge to close out the victory in commanding style. It was truly a modernday David and Goliath moment.


In the alternatives world, there exists a perpetual David and Goliath struggle between emerging, niche, and small-scale funds and the behemoth organizations that run the lion's share of hedge fund and private equity money. Giant funds are virtually self-perpetuating machines, with plenty of financial cushion for riding out dry spells in management or performance issues. Small funds are in a constant battle to win over new money, meet expenses and development needs, and recruit top talent. As Malcolm Gladwell puts it in his book, 'David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants,' "People can lack resources and power and all kinds of material blessings, but they are forced to develop their wits." It's hard to be an underdog in the alternative investment world—a fact we know all too well. But rather than bemoan the myriad of hardships and failures that litter this universe, let's take a look at some qualities that help underdogs succeed. Andreescus exist in this world, and can thrive with the right behaviors.

I CAN DO IT, I CAN DO IT... One: Keep Your Eye On The Prize. When you start from behind, you have no choice but to persevere or go under. To achieve success, having focused goals including att......................

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This article was published in Opalesque's New Managers a top-down monthly analysis, news and research publication on the global emerging manager space.
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