Asset Raising & Retention

Our practice focuses on identifying and delivering human capital who directly generate revenue or develop new strategies for our buy side client base.

Our asset raising and retention team provide candidates that are qualified to manage both a fund’s existing investor relationships and/or candidates with the investor contacts to facilitate the growth of assets through new investments. We appreciate that for emerging managers the role quite often will involve both asset raising and retaining responsibilities, whereas larger institutional managers will require more specialisation in each role and will require specialist geographical coverage. We work across the business landscape including fund managers, distribution platforms and placement agents.

Our Expertise Covers:

  • Institutional Asset Raisers (UK, Nordics, Benelux, German speaking, French, Southern Europe, Middle East and USA)
  • Wholesale Asset Raisers (UK, Switzerland and Continental Europe)
  • Product Specialists and Institutional Portfolio Managers (IPMs)
  • Investment Consultant Relations specialists
  • Investor Relations
  • Client Services
Case Study: Head of EMEA sales for a US based fixed income manager

A boutique US based high yield asset manager was searching for a European head of business development to be lead its small London sales office as it sought to future proof the business by decreasing its reliance on US clients. The search had been running for eighteen months through a US based search firm. The manager was very particular on finding someone who could meet the product requirement and cultural fit. The business had a very long conservative history and needed to find someone who understands that culture whilst still being able to adapt to the differing styles of European investors. When we first spoke to the client they believed that they had covered the entire market in London for potential candidates and had cancelled the search accordingly.

On speaking to the client we demonstrated to them that their previous search firm had left many ‘stones unturned’. We flew to the US to meet with them and discuss the role and demonstrate our detailed market maps. This allowed us to highlight that certain candidates actually had the required the product knowledge where it was not always initially obvious. Over the course of four months and twelve new candidates meeting with the client, we refined the cultural criteria that were so important. This resulted in an offer being made and accepted by a candidate who came from an anomalous background that did however still meet all the product and cultural criteria that was necessary.

From being on the brink of closing down their London based European business development office and moving all responsibility back to the US, the client was able to see a number of relevant candidates from not so obvious avenues. From which they were able to hire a head of European business development. The client has subsequently grown the London office with the further hiring of two business development professionals.

Our asset raising and retention team provide candidates that are qualified to manage both a fund’s existing investor relationships and/or candidates with the investor contacts to facilitate the growth of assets through new investments. We appreciate that for emerging managers the role quite often will involve both asset raising and retaining responsibilities, whereas larger institutional managers will require more specialisation in each role and will require specialist geographical coverage. We work across the business landscape including fund managers, distribution platforms and placement agents.

Our Expertise Covers:

  • Institutional Asset Raisers (UK, Nordics, Benelux, German speaking, French, Southern Europe, Middle East and USA)
  • Wholesale Asset Raisers (UK, Switzerland and Continental Europe)
  • Product Specialists and Institutional Portfolio Managers (IPMs)
  • Investment Consultant Relations specialists
  • Investor Relations
  • Client Services
Truth vs Myth - Addressing Common Misconceptions on Marketing Funds to the Middle East

By Yasmine Dargahi


Mondrian Alpha has spent five years placing Middle East marketers in investment managers building out an EMEA sales presence. We have put together extensive research on all teams and individuals marketing to the region and have included some of our data in this piece. Furthermore, we have interviewed 10 Middle East marketers who have kindly anonymously shared their insight with us.


Institutional investors based in the GCC have combined assets under management of around $3.5 trillion (2016) of which $2.9 trillion is accounted for by Sovereign Wealth Funds. The next two largest pools of capital are also associated with governments, pension funds and government owned institutions, and have combined AUM of $530bl.

With Europe’s $22 trillion of AUM (2016) why have so many managers chosen to focus on the Middle East and why does it become a crucial part of a manager's EMEA strategy?

The particularity of the Middle East is that it is dominated by Sovereign wealth fund investors which have the most prestigious capital for a fund manager. Capital is highly concentrated – there is approx. $2.9 trillion of investable assets spread across only 11 of these investors and this is projected to grow by another trillion by 2021.

The size of these investment organisation allows them to give large amounts of money to a manager. Specifically, their alternatives portfolios are some of the most developed. For example, Qatar Investment Authority has approximately $50bl of capital in hedge funds and is known for some of the largest hedge fund tickets.

Another unique attribute of the region is the loyalty of investors. It may take a long time, longer than anywhere else, and commitment to build relationships and trust with investors in the Middle East. But once a marketer has, investors are loyal clients and long-term investors who won’t redeem as soon as there is a performance down. Partnering with institutions in the region can be key for a business – investors tend to start with an allocation and continue to add capital – it’s not a one-off investment.

With so much concentrated capital, the opportunity for large and high-quality investments, the Middle East would seem like an obvious market to target, however, it is often the last priority for international managers across asset classes when building out an EMEA business.

There is a fear of the region and multiple misconceptions. Managers have this image of ample tea drinking, discussing family, exclusivity among locals, and opaqueness. While this is certainly happening in the family office and retail space, it is limited in the institutional space, which is much like Europe in sophistication and professionalism.

Managers often seek our advice when considering a Middle East marketing hire; we consistently get asked the same questions and notice the same misconceptions. We try to address these in this paper.

1. Women cannot market in the region - Myth

It is clear when speaking to women in the role that this is a topic that almost always comes up with a prospective employer and sometimes with colleagues - especially portfolio managers who need to be proven wrong by going on a roadshow with a female marketer in the region.

However, based on our mapping of active fund marketers, 20% of London based sales people targeting the Middle East are women. The consensus is that women don’t avoid going to any countries in the Middle East and do not feel uncomfortable, don’t feel that they have a disadvantage, and don’t feel that they are not taken seriously.

Examples of high ranked women in finance include Farah Foustok, the CEO of Lazard in the Middle East, Carmen Haddad who was appointed CEO of Citi Saudi Arabia in 2017 and Amanda Staveley, the British business woman famous for her connections with Middle East investors who played a prominent role in Qatar Investment Authority’s investment in Barclays in 2008.

2. Allocators are mostly locals - Myth

In the institutional space, there is a real mix of international and local allocators, and many of the locals are internationally educated. The proportion varies by country with the UAE, Qatar, and Oman having more internationals than locals in the role and Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi having more locals in the role.

While the allocators who marketers interact with on a day to day basis are diverse, C-level roles are increasingly dominated by locals. One marketer noted that “there is indigenization – CIOs of sovereign wealth funds used to be foreigners but now at the top there are only locals even if they don’t have the same skill set in many instances. Investors are tired of paying an international too much.”

3. Shariah compliant funds are necessary - Myth

Shariah compliant investments and funds are in accordance with Islamic Principles - Islam strictly prohibits interest. Essentially one cannot make money from money. This can be interpreted in vast ways and in some interpretations, one is not able to invest in funds at all. In practice, Sharia funds respect certain rules on how interest is paid and gained. Moreover, there are social restrictions imposed – the alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco, ancillary activity, pork production, bank (and any other banking institutions involved in interest) sectors cannot be invested in. Lastly, the contract between the two parties involved cannot have “unacceptable uncertainty” which could cause a dispute.

Most investors in the region don’t require Sharia compliant funds. If required, it is usually by retail investors. However, the ability to customise a fund is crucial as most investors will ask that the above sectors be removed because they are in a Muslim country.

One marketer pointed out the similarity between Sharia restrictions and ESG noting that ESG has similar requirements and can be even stricter.

4. Speaking Arabic is crucial to success as a marketer - Myth

There is a consensus amongst marketers that speaking the language is not necessary. With sophisticated investors, business is conducted in English. While the language is helpful in building a connection, what is more important is understanding the culture. This is easier if one has Middle East roots which gives an advantage but can be achieved by someone without, who completely immerses themselves in the region’s ethos and customs. The non-Arab marketers who have been successful are the ones who have devoted their career to the region. Many have also spent some years living there.

One marketer mentioned that when they go outside the large institutional investors, they sometimes bring an interpreter – one example was for meetings with a $7bl family office in Jeddah. They have a successful partnership now with this investor

5. Relationships are more important in the Middle East – Truth

Relationships are more important to investors in the Middle East. The consistency of representation of a firm builds trust vs sending a different person every time. In fact, if we observe the tenures of Middle East focused marketers across asset classes in London, the average years at a firm is eight years, much higher than for other regions. To gain credibility a marketer needs to demonstrate loyalty both to their clients and their employer.

Many investment managers get excited about the big pools of capital in the region and start to cover it, giving up and retracting after one or two years when results don’t come fast enough. The region is used to that and looks out of for that.

Investors want to see commitment to the region and that a marketer will be present on the ground if things go wrong, not just to get their investment initially. One marketer who covers investors across EMEA pointed out that in contrast to Europe where product alone dominates, in the Middle there is a real combination of the product and the relationship with the marketer, especially when the investor is a local.

6. A marketer must be aware of cultural intricacies – Truth

A strong marketer will be aware of the region’s religious holidays, the customs, and the different working hours - the weekends are Friday/Saturday and the working hours are usually 7:30/8am until 12/1pm resuming after the temperatures have begun to cool from 3/4pm until 7/8pm.

Moreover, it is important to have an appreciation of how seniority works in the Middle East – rank is important in the region. The way investor teams behave with their seniors and how a marketer should behave with different seniorities is different than it is in Europe.

Finally, a marketer should be familiar with the customisation required for investors to consider a fund and should represent a flexible investment manager who has committed to the region and will make the required changes to their strategy.

7. The region has the longest lead times – Truth

When speaking to marketers, the average lead time is two years, longer than other markets. One fundraiser even gave the example of a seven year sales cycle. The decision-making process is different in the Middle East – firms tend to be more bureaucratic and hierarchal and this can result in a “laisser faire” attitude – no one will stick their neck out. There are many committees, but the final decision is always made by the top individual who usually has many other board positions and whose time is limited. The portfolio management and analyst teams are a mix of internationals and locals but this end decision maker is usually a local. This and the many layers of hierarchy means that there isn’t always clear connectivity between the analyst teams and the decision maker, creating longer and more challenging sales cycles for marketers.

Other explanations could include the shorter work days in the region and Ramadan/ summer holidays which can remove up to four months of decision making. Also, investors are further away from a geographical standpoint and rely on individuals coming to the region to update them- they don’t have the same access and resources as investors based in New York or Singapore.

8. Marketers must be based locally to adhere to regulation – Myth

Many small alternatives houses with centralised global/ EMEA teams as well as large global asset managers, including JP Morgan. Wellington, Fidelity, and MFS for example have London based Middle East marketers. There are approximately 70 London based asset raisers covering the region.

While it might be more convenient for a marketer to be based locally, investors actually prefer that the marketer is based where their firm’s portfolio managers and analysts are based, closer to the news and is able to travel to them to update them.

Regulation doesn’t stop a marketer from being based abroad if they are targeting the institutional space. There are stricter rules for speaking to retail investors and in this case funds also need to be registered. If a marketer is pitching to institutional and qualified investors (Sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and regulated family offices) then the restrictions do not apply and only some small precautions need to be taken. For example, in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain, a marketer based abroad and visiting should only have generalist discussions with clients in a meeting and not talk specifically about a product. The rational is that if one is having product specific conversations in the country itself then their funds should be registered. This same rational means that a marketer can send by email any fund documents as long as the email comes from outside of the country.

9. Consultant Relationships are important in the region – Truth

The region was particularly impacted by the financial crisis having had large exposure to structured products. Investors have become more savvy and sophisticated– one noticeable change is that while they were slow to affiliate themselves to consultants, they have become very reliant on them. The most focused on the region are Cambridge Associates, Hamilton Lane, Stepstone, Albourne, and Willis Towers Watson.

10. The Middle East is challenging to market to - Truth

There is a fear of the Middle East in general. It is an unknown. By many it is conceived as a war zone. Certain events, including the recent murder of Jamal Khashoggi’s in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, can raise ethical debates about which countries managers should transact with. Therefore, it can be challenging for a marketer to communicate the differences of the region to western institutions and marketing the region to portfolio managers internally. Many are at first reluctant to visit the region with a marketer. Once they are convinced by a first trip then they are usually willing to go back.

Another factor making the Middle East challenging to market to is logistics. The infrastructure in the cities is poor and slows a marketer down. Also, for marketers based internationally, the flights to the region are often inconvenient.

A manager’s main buyer in the Middle East is the government while in Europe the channels are more diversified. The bureaucratic nature of these government institutions creates a challenge for marketers.

Business is conducted differently in the region – in addition to the cultural intricacies, one point that consistently comes up is that investors in the region tend to frequently disappear for months at a time and it is important not to take it personally. Phones and emails are frequently not answered. Getting to the right individuals is not like anywhere else – it’s difficult to reach investors.


The key and accelerating trend is that the region wants to have better control on its assets and how they are invested.

One unexpected initiative to that end has been consolidation. In 2017, Abu Dhabi completed the merger of Mubadala Investment Company and International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) – the newly combined Mubadala merged again this year with Abu Dhabi Investment Council (Adic) and now has combined AUM of over $200bl. Abu Dhabi also merged its First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi in 2017. There have also been talks of Oman merging its two Sovereign wealth funds.

Gaining more control on assets is allowing the Gulf’s players to focus more on internal investments, investing back into the region. There are big projects in Saudi Arabia and the UAE for example, created to invest in the future of the country through developing the region and the economy.

This increased desire for control and investing locally is making in house investments, co-investments and local investments more common among investors. An asset manager can address this by investing in the region and creating products for the region. This would require teams of investment professionals dedicated to looking at investments in the region and then being able to sell Middle East focused funds to investors in the region. The region is interested in attracting capital from outside and increasingly asset managers will be asked the question by investors – “What are you doing for our country and its development?”


Ernst & Young (2017). Rapid change on all fronts. The EY GCC Wealth and Asset Management Report 2017.

Terrapinn (2018). Middle East Investment Summit 2019. (2018). Shariah-compliant Investments | UBL Fund Managers. [online] Available at:[Accessed 22 Dec. 2018].

Our asset raising and retention team provide candidates that are qualified to manage both a fund’s existing investor relationships and/or candidates with the investor contacts to facilitate the growth of assets through new investments. We appreciate that for emerging managers the role quite often will involve both asset raising and retaining responsibilities, whereas larger institutional managers will require more specialisation in each role and will require specialist geographical coverage. We work across the business landscape including fund managers, distribution platforms and placement agents.

Our Expertise Covers:

  • Institutional Asset Raisers (UK, Nordics, Benelux, German speaking, French, Southern Europe, Middle East and USA)
  • Wholesale Asset Raisers (UK, Switzerland and Continental Europe)
  • Product Specialists and Institutional Portfolio Managers (IPMs)
  • Investment Consultant Relations specialists
  • Investor Relations
  • Client Services
How to Be a Successful Business Builder – Insights from Rahul Moodgal

Rahul Moodgal’s Biography

During his five year tenure as the partner who headed Investor Relations and Business Development at TCI, Rahul claimed the crowns for single handily raising the most capital in the shortest period of time ($20bn in 3.5 years), the largest country fund launch in history ($1bn for India fund TCI New Horizon) and for the largest sector fund launch in history ($1.1bn for financials sector fund Algebris) in the investment management industry. Prior to working in investment management, Rahul was an academic and he studied at 19 universities in four countries – the UK, the US, Russia, and Japan. He is a graduate of the Universities of Keele and Cambridge as well as the London School of Economics. He is also a qualified counsellor, bartender, musician, English teacher, interior designer and DJ. Rahul is currently training to be a music therapist.

Today, Rahul works independently helping investment managers across the world build out their businesses. Currently he is a partner to one firm, where he works officially, but he is in discussions with several others to determine who he will partner with. He has also done numerous pro bono projects.

Rahul is also involved in multiple charities. He is a trustee of Whizz Kids (a charity for disabled children), trustee of the CrEdo Foundation (which deals with the mental health of young people), patron of Mulberry Bush (which launched the Rahul Moodgal Prize for Therapeutic Child Care in 2015 in his honour), patron of British Olympic Association / Team GB, patron of the Triangle Playground (the oldest playground in the UK that provides a play space for children in an area of inner-city deprivation in London), Chair of the the board of Scientific Adventures for Girls (Oakland, California) and an active fundraiser for the British Red Cross, particularly focused on their disaster response team.


One thing that struck me right away about Rahul was the greeting card I received to my office after our first 10 minute introductory call. The card was handwritten with a short and sweet message that thanked me for my time. I have never received a card after a meeting, let alone a call. Even though I knew I wasn’t the only one Rahul had written to, I still felt special, important, valued, and impressed by Rahul. I was excited to start what would hopefully turn in to a long-term dialogue.

I didn’t know at the time that I would receive more cards, one pineapple themed after we met, and my favourite one which read “you are awesome”.

When I first heard about Rahul and his accomplishments, I didn’t know what to expect. I meet successful fundraisers daily, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, but what was I to expect from the man everyone refers to as the most successful hedge fund marketer in the world?

I expected I would meet someone inspiring and intelligent from a career standpoint and also a bit arrogant, perhaps condescending, and who wouldn’t be interested in speaking to me without at least 10 attempts at contact. Instead, my first message was responded to on the day and I eventually met someone down to earth, empathetic, and honest. Very honest. I can’t ever imagine being disappointed in someone like Rahul, because he is so much himself.

Every day I am asked the question “What makes a marketer successful?” Who better to answer this than the man who broke numerous fundraising records and can call on all the biggest investors in the world. Perhaps we can all learn from him, beyond his answers, from his story.

I am neither a manager, nor a client, nor someone who can provide a service to Rahul, and yet he still took the time to write me cards. Something so simple, but something that inspires so much positivity would seem to obvious.

Why doesn’t everyone write a card? Why doesn’t everyone strive to make other people feel important? Why doesn’t everyone go the extra mile to build relationships?

1. Rahul, what is your story?

19 universities in four countries?

“I was told by teachers that I wasn’t smart enough to attend university. I wanted to be a diplomat so worked hard, got good grades and went to Keele to study International Relations. I then went to Cambridge and did a Masters in the Economics and Politics of Development. After my Masters, Keele asked me to come back and run their Politics of International Relations Course and teach second year undergraduate students. Afterwards, I decided to do a PhD

and become an academic. I went to LSE. My PhD focused on how regions with resources use those resources to gain political and economic leverage over central governments. I chose to focus on the relationship between the Russian Far East (the area between Siberia and the Pacific Ocean) and Japan. As part of that, I did some field work which included time in Japan and Russia. I was the first British and European student to ever study at the Far Eastern State University in Vladivostok (the most south eastern city in Russia.) I also studied Russian and became fluent at the time. The top guy in my field was at the University of Hawaii so I went there and then also spent a bit of time at Harvard, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Washington in Seattle. I had a great time! Hence all the different universities.”

How did you get into fundraising?

“I got bored of academia. I had done some work with the United Nations in the interim too, but it just wasn’t for me. So, I applied to different jobs and one came up at a boutique asset manager called TT International. They had never had someone looking after clients and they thought that the skills needed to look after clients were similar to those required for teaching – they needed someone who is patient, who can explain the simple and the complex, someone who can write, and someone who is able to deal with people of different backgrounds. I was there for seven years and overtime I got more and more involved in the process of asset raising. I was never the lead asset raiser; I was looking after clients and helped the firm close the circle. I loved it - you just learn how the whole industry works. The unique thing about investor relations is that you need to understand all the different parts of a business because you have

to elaborate on all of that to investors, both prospects and existing. So that’s where I learned my trade, and overtime as the firm grew, obviously the number of people grew, processes grew, glass ceilings grew and so I went to work for a private Swiss Bank. I hated it! I lost my confidence. It stood for everything I did not value and so I resigned after six months.”

How did you start at TCI?

“While working my notice period at the private Swiss Bank, I was approached by a head hunter for a role at TCI. He was very principled and became and remains a dear friend. At the time he was the guy recruiting for all the hedge funds in London and he had a rule of not stealing from one guy to give to the other. If he helped you recruit he would never steal from you. I remember, he showed me the job description and I said “this is my dream job”. I went in, did five years there, had the time of my life. It was just insane how much money we were raising and how quickly we could raise it. We had investors from all over the world. From Hawaii to Australia, Iceland to South Africa. I did it on my own for two years and then I built a team – I had at the peak six people working for me directly and I was part of TCI management team.”

What do you do now?

“After the crisis, I thought I want to go out and do what I had done for TCI but with the people I want to work with. Parvus, the first and only remaining manager on the TCI platform, said they wanted to continue to work with me. And so, I had my first manager. I then also added another manager in the same building whom I had unofficially assised for years. And then, a year later, The Hewlett Foundation, an investor I’ve worked with for 20 years, approached me with a portfolio manager who was starting on her own, and said we want you to build the firm and we will be the anchor investor. Overtime those managers have evolved. I still work with Parvus and I am now in discussions with other managers with whom I want to work with for the next twenty years!”

2. What do you consider to be the necessary traits to be a successful marketer?

“Patience. Ability to take rejection. Being grounded. Having self-awareness about you, your peers, and your competition - who they are, what do they do, and how you are positioned against them. Humbleness. Being transpar- ent in what you are doing and why are you doing it. If you are, then people will be more transparent with you. There are three key things: Talk about mistakes you’ve made and lessons you’ve learned, demonstrate how you are different and unique, have a business plan in your head - how you think about people, assets, infrastructure and where you want to be vs where you are now. People don’t just want to invest in a fund, they want to invest in a person, a team, a business, a vision, a strategy!

I can call almost any endowment and give them an idea. I’m just honest - I’ve told investors to redeem from funds. People would never do that. If you are paid on assets raised, you would be giving away your compensation. That is why don’t believe in that formula. It is not alignment. It is focus on speed not quality. I actually care about investors. There have been situations where I don’t know what the manager is doing, I feel they have lost focus and tell an investor they should redeem now. There are times when people have said they don’t believe me but then they come back saying wishing they had listened.”

3. What are the key mistakes you see marketers make and what has led to your success?

“When marketers don’t listen to the investors or keep annoying and harassing them. Aggressiveness. People who really don’t understand how they are positioned and what market standards are for terms, fees, liquidity, performance. In many instances, marketers/funds thought they were amazing and unique and had a great philosophy, but the reality is that what they have delivered is bad. It is not unique!”

I have focused on relationships instead of assets and have taken a long-term view. I spend time understanding what investors want. I want to be able to say that I can call on those people in 20 years’ time. Really knowing who people are, how they are connected, who is on their boards, how they think, what has worked for them and what has not.

People spend so much time focusing on raising assets as quickly as they can from investors and spend little time on relationships and organisations.”

4. What do your clients respond to?

“Honesty, good analysis, unique information - controversial and thought provoking, personalised communication. Make a personal connection with someone. Find out what someone likes and invite them, for example to a wine tasting

– when people share common value then there is a point where people can interact. In some cases, I have known an investor for many years before an investment happens. One investor I’ve known for 20 years, took 15 years to invest with me and when they did they put $300m to work with two ideas I gave to them.”

5. What are the key lessons you learned as a marketer

“To focus on the quality of the assets; you need to focus on making sure investors are aligned with you. To tell investors never to give you all their allocation in one go but instead to spread it over time. This allows investors to take bites and taste and therefore understand an investment and like it before committing more to it. Also, when you first invest in a fund you’ll never know how it will perform in contrast to other funds in your portfolio. This allows investors time to understand that.”

6. Can you tell me about the most challenging situation you have had to deal with in your role?

“The hardest thing is working with a portfolio manager who does not listen. Also, I’ve had a situation where an investor threatened me because I couldn’t give them capacity in a fund I was working with. A more common situation is where an investor has done all the work, said they’re giving you the money and then change their mind on the day they are meant to be wiring you the monies. Either they have not been transparent in the process or they’ve had a blow up with another hedge fund in their portfolio or something else has changed. But you have to be long-term and think about a relationship with the investor.”

7. What, if anything would you do differently?

“I’ve helped some people along the way that I probably shouldn’t have helped and that just manifests itself in the way that they are not appreciative, don’t listen, or don’t respect the process of fundraising. But at the time they seemed like good people. It’s not that I didn’t believe in them, but I look back now and they were not appreciative. I question their integrity, mission, focus, their egos, and this is such a relationship driven business. It’s crucial to attach yourself to the right people. You are effectively an ambassador for a person, a product, a strategy, a fund, a brand. I’m much more careful and thoughtful about it now. You learn over time who you want to work with and why you want to work with them.”

8. Why have you not built your own 3rd party marketing business?

“It’s disingenuous to the manger and to the clients. You get paid very well but you’re just raising money then you go away. You don’t retain an interest in the business. You’re not bothered if the firm does well or not, as long as you get paid. I don’t think you can retain long-term relationships if you bring people to the table and don’t remain with them on that journey. Your focus is speed and execution, i.e. to get paid, and not duration and quality. I’ll tell managers I work with, I can bring you the best investors in the world, but you have to know that I will be with you, know what you are doing, and still be in touch with those investors. So, I have an interest in what you’re doing and making sure you’re doing it the right way. I don’t want to just introduce someone to a firm, get paid, and walk away, because then that person can go bad not listen, or do something stupid. But if I’m part of the firm at least I have a say and still have eyes on the ball.”

9. When and why did you start writing greeting cards

“I’ve always done it. I always do it after I see people. I take relationships seriously. It adds a different level. It shows people that you really care about a relationship and you’re willing to spend time to solidify it. If it’s important to you, you would take five minutes to write a card. I think it just takes relationships to a different level. If I don’t write a card after meeting someone there is a reason why!”

10. What led you to getting involved in philanthropy?

“I’ve always done charity work – from the age of eight at school. I just think we all have a moral duty to do something, especially to give back to people who are less fortunate than ourselves. The big thing that people don’t have today is empathy and the EQ to understand that the marginal five, ten pounds, whatever the number is, doesn’t make a dif- ference to your own life but can make a difference to someone else’s. It’s not just about money - it’s about time and energy. For me, with wanting to be a diplomat, studying development, when I was offered the TCI job it was a culmi- nation of my passion and my abilities at one firm – I can be working with a guy who is giving all this money to charity and I can still do my fundraising and business building. When I resigned from TCI all my immediate team, except one person, left with me and one of them went to work for Whizz Kids which is a disability charity. She reached out and asked me to help her arrange a charity event for them and upon meeting Team Whizz-Kidz I fell in love with them. That love still reigns today! The rest is history.”

11. How do you see the future of the industry

“Regulators are not necessarily focused on all the right things. Regulation isn’t 20-20, it’s looking back in the rear mir- ror. People don’t understand the asset-liability mismatch of UCITS and 40 ACT funds for example. Retail investors are in structures where there is such a mismatch. People think these funds are more liquid than they are. The use of social media and advertising to promote alternatives strategies is growing. Some managers are advertising on every social media platform. Social media is bad for the industry as it targets retail investors. If we look back at the financial crisis – why did we let the retail investors go into certain products?

Also, there is institutionalisation of the industry, which means larger pools of capital are investing and strategies are becoming overcrowded. The opportunity set is declining. Historically there were a lot less hedge funds – now there are more people playing in the same space. It’s harder to generate alpha. At the same time, pre-2008, there was this culture of ‘…..graduate Friday, start a hedge fund on Monday.’ But barriers to entry are growing. Regulators are taking this more seriously. This is a good thing.”

12. How do you think a marketer’s role will change and how do you think marketers need to adapt?

“Yes, it’s already changing - a lot of it is about education, understanding the universe and your peers and how you are different. Now the due diligence process is much more thorough and detailed. Investors hold on to cash and are cynical as too many of them have made mistakes. A lot of marketers don’t understand the industry – structure, governance, liquidity, asset-liability, duration. This is key to being able to target the right investors. For example, a manager recently gave me a list of 800 investors and I narrowed it to 40 for them to focus on. A marketer needs to understand who would really consider an investment with a manager.”

13. How should a marketer be compensated?

“We have to raise the funds and get them closed and then we have to look after those clients. If you are paid only on assets raised, you don’t have to maintain the relationships. Your compensation should be aligned with the busi-

ness. Otherwise, how are you incentivised if a manager is closed and you are building a pipeline? In an ideal world, a marketer should have a profit share of the business. It’s just a different mindset. This makes you focus on duration not execution. I don’t believe managers should give away equity stakes, it’s too complicated if things go wrong. Having a profit share or shadow equity amounts to the same thing.”

14. What would be your advice for anyone thinking of building a career in alternatives fundraising?

“Be yourself don’t be something that you’re not. Be prepared to be punched in the face a lot. Make sure you understand what you’re selling. Focus on duration not execution. Be patient. People tend to focus on a fund’s strategy but it’s not about that! It’s about structure – structure of a fund, of a business, of a team, of incentives, of fees. Etc.”

15. Do you have any future projects planned?

“I want to help a lot of new smaller guys and get in there in the beginning to have an influence on them, their funds, their firms, their visions, their strategies as I believe many people know how to manage money but have no idea how to manage businesses. Indeed, it is usually mismanagement of businesses that leads to problems for them, for investors, and for the industry.”