Investor relations and fundraising in Private Equity are client-facing functions dependent on building strong relationships with investors and rooted in transparency, trust and consideration of mutual benefits. Strong relationships take time to build and require an investment of time and effort on part of the Private Equity manager and the investor to gain a deeper understanding of the expectations, objectives and styles of functioning and communicating. Those foundations are tested during stressful and uncertain times during any crisis and are often challenging for practicing professionals to navigate effectively. The current COVID-19 pandemic adds an additional layer of complexity with social-distancing restricting in-person and face-to-face meetings, even when investors are within walking distance. Limitations on ability to be in the company of and to connect directly with investors also limits the ability to deliver complex information and difficult messages while simultaneously evaluating responses, reading body language and assessing the environment at their office, all become difficult while working remotely. Managers and investors are quite aware of the limitations and are working to bridge that gap. In fact, cliched as it may sound, one would be forgiven for believing it will not be the same from here on. As difficult as managing existing relationships is, it is even more challenging to build new relationships and convince prospective investors
As Private Equity managers and investors navigate the ‘new normal’, this discussion will focus on how successful managers have built the necessary infrastructure and strategy during the good times to deal with a crisis later on; how they are adapting lessons learned from the previous crisis; how they are incorporating and leveraging best practices in investor relations that build strong partnership with investors to understand each other’s, if not mutual, objectives and expectations; what they are doing to build confidence with investors and gain more trust during a crisis; understand the path forward; and, how roles and functions will evolve in the coming years.
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Partner, Crestview Partners
Lindsey King joined Crestview in 2012. She is responsible for managing all investor and consultant relationships, fundraising and marketing and is a partner of the firm. Prior to joining Crestview, she was a member of Macquarie’s infrastructure and real assets team where she led relationships with a diverse group of institutional investors and consultants. She also worked in Citigroup’s investment strategy group, analyzing healthcare companies and advising clients on their investments. Lindsey served on the board of directors of NYDJ Apparel. Lindsey holds a B.S. with an emphasis in finance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a CFA charter holder and a member of the CFA Institute and New York Society of Securities Analysts.
Managing Director, Business Development at Providence Equity Partners
Lisa Lee is a managing director based in Providence Equity’s New York office, where she focuses on business development activities. Prior to joining Providence in 2015, Ms. Lee was a managing director at CVC Capital Partners where she was responsible for managing the firm’s North American investor relations and fundraising activities. Before CVC, Ms. Lee worked at Merrill Lynch, first in the mergers & acquisitions group in New York and then in the private equity funds group in London where she was responsible for origination and distribution of alternate asset funds in Europe. Ms. Lee started her career with A.T. Kearney where she worked across North America and South Korea. Ms. Lee received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University.
Hemali Dassani (HBS ’99) is an experienced fundraiser and investor relations professional within the alternative investments space and is currently a placement agent and consultant to multiple Private Equity funds. Hemali was previously Director of Investor Relations and the Chief Compliance Officer for Argand Partners. Prior to Argand, she was Director of Investor Relations for Castle Harlan, a middle market private equity fund. Hemali was also a Managing Director with Old City Investment Partners, a multi-family office dedicated to finding high quality investments for the firm’s clientele of family office investors. Ms. Dassani has an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University. She was President of the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York and currently sits on the Board of the Club. Previously she sat on the Board of Governors for the Harvard Business School Real Estate Alumni Association and the Steering Committee for the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels Association.
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