Hedge fund managers may need to rethink their approach to marketing and building a brand, according to recent MFA commentary published online today by Institutional Investor’s Alpha, which states that the elimination of the general solicitation ban via the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act will lead to “greater transparency and information sharing between funds and those qualified to invest with them.”
In light of the new Post-JOBS Act climate, Brooke Harlow, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Development and Communications at MFA, recommends four issues for managers to explore: brand, media relations, events and speaking engagements, and digital and social media.
Building a brand may seem irrelevant to a numbers-driven manager, but Harlow notes that it is “the foundation of a business with staying power.” Media relations will also be useful, as managers will now be able to correct inaccurate reporting and the public record. In addition, Harlow writes that managers can now reach out to an audience beyond just industry professionals through their events and public speaking engagements, which have consistently been used by fund managers as opportunities to communicate important investment ideas. Additionally, digital and social media are also expected to play an important role in the Post-JOBS Act era, as they further contribute to building a company’s brand.
“We are entering a new era where funds of all sizes will compete for investors on a level communications playing field,” Harlow writes. “Managers must now invest the same quality of planning and analysis in their marketing and communications strategies as in their investment strategies.