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:



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.


Insights from Digital Banking 2017: Delivering on Speed and Simplicity

Posted by: AmberRoberts in: Financial Services -

At Digital Banking 2017, financial industry professionals gathered to exchange experiences and ideas revolving around how to connect with customers in a fast-changing industry.

In recent years, traditional banks have worked to earn back consumer confidence in the wake of the financial crisis, while fintech firms have stepped in to disrupt the environment with advanced digital tools and capabilities. What both sets of stakeholders can agree on now is that consumers are always in search of time-saving tools that need to be intuitive and safe.

With fintech companies setting the bar and often serving as partners, banks are working to deliver digital tools with the speed, simplicity and security consumers have come to expect.

Some compelling features are coming from big banks like Citi, which created CitiFintech to focus on game-changing applications. The global bank is one of the few to bridge banking, money movement and wealth management in one app. Designed for its top-tier clientele, the app engaged 2,500 customers in five months with 32 core features and 60 sub-features. The approval time to open a brokerage account was slashed 75 percent, and applicants now have 55 percent fewer fields to complete when opening an account.


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