31
May

Private Equity Forum 2018 Highlights Part I: PE can drive organic growth for portfolio companies

Posted by: AmberRoberts in: Financial Services -

I recently had the privilege of spending two days with LPs, funds and advisers at one of the leading private equity industry events, MarketsGroup’s 7th Annual Private Equity US Forum. This year, I participated in a roundtable conversation, “Adding Value to Portfolio Companies,” a challenge I have been tackling for more than 10 years through marketing and PR counsel for PE client portfolio companies.

My fellow panelists represented various areas of expertise – sales and marketing, data, financials, operations, risk and insurance — and the group identified several best practices for taking portfolio companies to the next level. While all conceded that add-on acquisitions can bring immediate revenue, this source of growth inherently comes with a host of issues, such as integration, that require careful management.

The net of our discussion: organic growth is indeed the “holy grail” for portfolio companies. For those embarking on an organic growth strategy, the panel raised several key aspects to consider:

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03
May

BEYOND THE TOMBSTONE: WHY DEALMAKERS NEED PR MORE THAN EVER

Posted by: AmberRoberts in: Financial Services -

For the VC and private equity community, PR is like holiday decorations or fancy napkins: something to be pulled out for special occasions – such as important transactions and deals – then stashed in the back of the closet until the next party. While deal-driven campaigns are certainly an important opportunity for investment firms to elevate their brands, they are only one part of the equation.

Investment firms need to have meaningful visibility independent of transaction events, especially in today’s competitive climate, where nontraditional sources of capital also compete for limited deal flow. In the Pitchbook Platform’s recent survey of 45 private equity firms, 91 percent reported that the need for a strong brand has increased in just the past two years. To elevate and differentiate its brand, a firm must adopt a cohesive, ongoing brand communications program that articulates key value propositions both in and beyond a transactional context.

Messaging: Getting the Story Straight

The most important element of any strategic communications program is getting the messaging right. In institutional finance and investment, deals are made based on numerous factors, from metric-driven criteria to intangibles that may include chemistry with senior management or perceptions in the marketplace. The trick is to encapsulate relevant points in a cohesive and comprehensive narrative that resonates with potential investors.

Stakeholders invest in a story as much as they invest with a firm or in a deal. Telling a story clearly involves breaking it down into its foundational elements, including:

  • Mission/purpose: articulating not just the “what”, but the “why”
  • Origins and evolution: conveying the background
  • Investment philosophy: explaining the underlying innovative thinking
  • Distinct differentiators: highlighting qualities that set a firm apart

A comprehensive messaging platform may include additional elements, which should be identified at the outset of a program. This diligence ensures a narrative is communicated clearly and consistently across channels, at inception and throughout an ongoing program.

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17
Apr

Women x Food & Beverage: Key Takeaways from the 2018 Cherry Bombe Jubilee in New York City

Posted by: Malisa Meresman in: Food/Beverage -

The Cherry Bombe Jubilee is a day-long conference dedicated to conversation, connections, and, of course, great food and drink.  It brings together a wide range of speakers, from industry icons to up-and-comers, and some of the best chefs, bakers, winemakers, indie food producers and more that New York has to offer.  Founded by Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu, Cherry Bombe celebrates women and food through a bi-annual magazine, a weekly Radio Cherry Bombe podcast, and Jubilee conference events.  Diamond and Wu launched the Jubilee conference series because they felt women were being left out of the food conferences taking place around the world.  They wanted a day where women could come together, network, make friends, build their community and discuss the important matters of the day.

This year’s conference in NYC delivered on Jubilee’s reputation of addressing timely topics pertaining to women in the food industry, and gathered an inspiring lineup of speakers, ranging from industry icons such as Ruth Reichl, Nigella Lawson, Kim Severson and Ruth Rogers, to some of today’s up-and-coming innovators including Sabrina Chen & Alana McMillan of JaynesBeard; chef Preeti Mistry; author and entrepreneur Chitra Agrawal; and Adrienne Cheatham, best known as runner-up on the latest season of Top Chef. Some of the top trends we took away from this year’s Jubilee include:

  • The #MeToo Movement’s MAJOR Impact on the F&B Industry – Perhaps the most heated panel discussion of the event was the Bright Lights, Broad Nation  Moderated by Kim Severson of The New York Times, the panel gathered Jen Agg, Mashama Bailey, Adrienne Cheatham, Stephanie Danler and Angie Mar to discuss the challenges women face today in the industry. This discussion quickly honed in on the #MeToo movement and the ongoing issues that female chefs and food professionals are navigating. There were conflicting opinions raised by panel participants and audience members, indicating just how complex of an issue this is.
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