Bartow Street Capital (BSC), a Division of KEMA Partners LLC,“ a SEC licensed broker-dealer and member of FINRA, recently attended the Capital Raising Boot Camp of the Family Office Club in Atlanta, Georgia. The Capital Raising Boot Camp prides itself as “an intensive training workshop On: Investor Relationships and Raising Capital from Institutions & Family Offices.” The eight- hour boot camp consisted of a sole speaker, Richard Wilson, the founder of the Family Office Club, with breakout exercises throughout the day. In addition to family offices, various firms raising capital, including real estate, healthcare, energy, and other companies participated and made connections. Using the vernacular of the presentation, Wilson drew many conclusions with which the investment banking team of BSC would agree:
- Capital raisers, particularly those in the market for the first time (e.g. first-time or emerging funds), have the expectation that capital can be raised in three months, but in actuality a fund can take a year or more to reach its goal.
- Building trust with the investor is important. Research needs to be performed on the investor before contact is made, and follow-ups need to be carefully considered. Ideally, the placement agent has prior experience on how to connect with investors, and that experience can go a long way.
- Wealthy family offices have many similarities with other institutions from an investment perspective – many have CIOs, and they can require several meetings before investing. A very common misconception is that wealthy family offices are “price insensitive, return insensitive” sources of capital that make rapid decisions in regard to ordinary diligence standards. The reality is that many offices receive thousands of investment opportunities every year.
- Having a clearly differentiated product is pivotal. Wilson referred to this as a Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, and he said that even just a one or two percent difference from a competitor can be sufficient. BSC recently had a call for a client with a big institutional investor, and one of the key points BSC articulated was its strategy differentiation versus competitors.
- Hastily assembled teams with no prior experience working together will have problems raising capital. Prior experience as a team, even on non-fund-related projects, is very helpful.
- Expertise is key, and Wilson placed a lot of emphasis on this point. Expertise doesn’t necessarily mean Ivy League degrees, it can also refer highly relevant technical degrees, examples of significant exits, publishing, and the like.
Bartow Street Capital has clients and investors across geographies and, unlike many of the intermediaries that were present, raises capital for funds, venture and private equity, and companies. BSC also does mergers and acquisitions work. Another differentiator is that BSC is a FINRA licensed broker-dealer. Being licensed has become of paramount importance in both capital raising and mergers and acquisitions. BSC has clients in healthcare, real estate, energy, and general industrials. For more information contact BSC at 770-334-3952.
Bartow Street Capital, LLC is a subsidiary of Greenfield Advisors and is a separate legal entity from Bartow Street Capital, a division of KEMA Partners LLC.