3 “Must Do” Actions Following Your AGM
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) represents one of the most significant interactions that GPs have with their limited partners over the course of the calendar year. The preparation and effort that goes into hosting these events is significant, yet many fund managers fail to do the most important thing after pulling off a successful AGM: follow-through. We know the importance of follow-through in golf, but what does it mean in terms of investor communication? There are three must-do “actions” that are critical to successfully following through after an AGM:
- Materials – As we advance toward a more digital world the hard copy presentations that were once hallmarks of AGMs have gone the way of the dodo bird. This transition, however, from analog to digital has not always been handled with care. LPs often don’t get access to the AGM materials in the data room for weeks, which means that investors can’t refer back to specific items of interest or share their findings effectively with colleagues who didn’t attend. Likewise, if there are areas that came up in Q&A that need more attention or discussion, those materials should also be distributed in a timely way as one-off pieces or more broadly to the investor group. This type of follow-up is unobtrusive and lets investors know that you hear their issues of concern or focus.
- Dialogue – AGMs also present a social element that is often missing during other parts of the year. The LPAC members typically spend the most time with the investment team, but there are plenty of opportunities at dinner, lunch or on the sidelines of the meeting to spend quality time interacting with LPs face-to-face. These discussions should be kept warm after the AGM. Too often AGMs are treated as the once per year check-in with investors rather than just another touchpoint in an ongoing discussion. Use the AGM season as a launching point to deepen your strong LP relationships and advance those relationships that are somewhat neglected. It’s easy to gravitate toward the groups that know and like you the best, but getting outside your comfort zone and building on some newer relationships will pay long-term dividends for you in terms of fundraising and other strategic initiatives you may undertake moving forward.
- Execution – All AGMs have a discussion of the “path forward” or “year ahead”, so getting some early milestones under your belt is a great way to keep the momentum from the meeting going. These early wins give LPs the confidence that you’ll achieve the other (sometimes loftier or more challenging) goals that you set for your team. One would think that GPs would be great at communicating their successes to their investors, but the type of information communicated, means of communication and timing of that communication are often fumbled as attention is diverted elsewhere. If one of the goals was to build out the team, then significant hires demonstrate the commitment to that effort. If the prospective goals were related to deal pacing or finding attractive valuations in this frothy environment, then even quality add-ons can be used to build on a discussion about the GP’s success in executing against the communicated plan.
AGMs provide new energy and momentum to conversations between GPs and their LPs, so allowing the momentum to dissipate or fade over time means that a lot of the quality efforts put into hosting the AGM are lost. The true benefit for GPs is facilitating a dynamic dialogue with LPs, which is only achieved when fund managers follow up and follow through. AGMs aren’t an obligation, but an invitation to participate more meaningfully as a group.
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Sixpoint Partners, LLC, is a registered broker/dealer, member FINRA (http://www.finra.org) and SIPC (http://www.sipc.org). Sixpoint Partners Asia Limited is licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission (http://www.sfc.hk).