Can you PR the Private Markets?

With more capital on the table than at any point in history, the stakes have never been higher for private market investment specialists. Is PR the answer to separate the wheat from the chaff?

Private market public relations feels rather ironic. In the past, private market specialists (infrastructure, real estate and real asset, venture, private debt, or private equity investors) sought a low profile away from the public and stakeholders. There was little engagement or interaction with the media either, aside from the customary ‘no comment.’ But what happens when private markets become not so private anymore?

Mainstream’isation of private markets

According to McKinsey, private markets have enjoyed strong tailwinds since the depths of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Interest rates stayed low, credit availability was high, and valuations rose consistently. Since then, the two investor bugbears – transparency (regarding valuations) in the industry, and liquidity – have improved. Rating agencies and third-party valuators are also playing an increasingly important part, with regulators taking more of an interest in the associated risks.

The biggest private markets investors understand this and have very savvy PR operations as a result. Global Infrastructure Partners, BlackRock’s recently acquired private market firm, was a case in point. No doubt a sound public profile for the firm will have helped grease the wheels for a transaction.

Once only limited to the confines of institutional investment, even retail investors are putting some of their capital to work in these strategies.

As such, the landscape is becoming increasingly competitive and crowded in line with market growth; private market firms need to put in the hard yards to stand out. Investors are not only looking at financial track records when it comes to private market firms, they are looking for firms who are ambitious and disruptive, with a strong brand and profile too.

The PR premium

It is crucial that private market firms embrace PR. A private market PR campaign can help showcase your specialism, help build deal flow, help you source deals, attract and engage with new investors as well as existing and potential employees, and strengthen awareness and reputation.

Private markets and PR

Notifying the market about your latest transaction doesn’t move the dial any longer; private markets PR has evolved to firms building a positive brand name and presence. This means that in the event of a crisis happening beyond your control, your private market firm has already built in some goodwill with the public-at-large.

It is a competitive field. Investment Week’s private markets specialist, Valeria Martinez, recently highlighted that the number of private funds has tripled within the private market sector over the past decade, to over 100,000 vehicles. It will be no mean feat to get your head above the parapet.

There are more people specialising in private markets, with much more at stake, and therefore, much more is at play for the market participants.

Private market PR specialists

It helps that some of our team have been private market principals and investors across venture capital and other private market areas themselves. We have skin in the game and understand your challenges and opportunities.

Tavistock helps private market investment specialists, such as private equity, venture capital, private credit, infrastructure investors and family offices. We support our clients with PR initiatives that are critical to their success, championing the leadership and corporate brand profile, advising on capital raising, investments and transactions, as well as providing management with a pioneering perspective and articulation around sustainable impact.

Do not hesitate to get in touch.

– Henry Adefope, Director

Read more about Tavistock’s Financial Services offering here.