A capital introduction to a key institutional investor is a goal of most emerging hedge fund managers. In order to stand out and receive potentially lucrative capital introductions, an investment firm must appeal to institutional investors. Firms can do this through clever branding and clearly communicating their “edge”. When you are clear and informative, contacts will want to pass along your information and take credit for the referral.

Managers should have the following branded material ready for others to review:

  1. Pitchbook. These marketing decks are indispensable for capital introductions. It will be the first item a prime broker or cap intro specialist will request from you. If you do not take the time or spend the money to get this professionally made, why should someone go out of the way to make introductions to their valuable connections and/or clients?
  2. Tear Sheet. Hedge Fund managers and financial advisors need to communicate investment performance. Display your numbers in a visually appealing way and you’ll score extra points for the effort.
  3. Web Site. Websites need to portray the same story and branding as your tear sheet and pitch book. It should be an extension of your print materials and have an area for people to contact you.

When those pieces are ready, here are some tips to get an introduction:

  1. Form a list of key people that are likely to know institutional investors and make sure you’ve kept in good contact with them.
  2. Send your professionally designed materials in a nice, neat electronic package that can easily be forwarded. Consider a .zip file. Make sure your email is short and sweet, without any unnecessary personal commentary unless it’s relationship building. The easier you can make it to forward, the better the email.
  3. Follow up with a phone call. Make sure you ask how the person is doing first and if there’s anything you can help with before inquiring whether any introductions will be made.
  4. Make a second follow up with a handwritten card and/or small gift if they’ve helped with feedback or an introduction. In an age of constant pinging and introductions, you would be surprised how far a hand-written thank you card will take you.