The Hedgeweek USA Award 2011 for Best PR Firm is the latest recognition of Walek & Associates’ dozen years of work successfully managing visibility, reputation and brand for hedge funds around the world.
At a time when the regulatory sands are shifting under fund managers’ feet, and raising capital from investors is getting more competitive, the need to define, differentiate and defend brand position is fundamental for asset management firms of any size.
Walek has consulted with and represented scores of alternative asset management firms, including many members of the so-called billion-dollar club, new and emerging managers, and the business, legal and technology providers who serve them.
Founded by Thomas Walek (pictured) in 1998, Walek & Associates is today a multi-million-dollar consultancy with offices in New York and Hong Kong and clients in every key market arena. From defining market position to managing media visibility, taking charge in crisis situations, supporting portfolio holdings, improving investor outreach, safekeeping reputations, and handling the needs of highly successful hedge fund executives, Walek & Associates has pioneered the design and execution of public relations campaigns to support hedge funds.
“When we opened our doors more than a decade ago, hedge fund public relations consisted primarily of overexposure for those that struck it big or an uninspired ‘no comment’ from those who tried, in vain, to hide,” says Thomas Walek, the firm’s president. “We changed this approach by helping managers think about brand and position key players and institutions during the subsequent meteoric rise of the industry.”
The firm publishes proprietary research and analysis under the Alternative View brand (www.walek.com ). In a recent paper entitled What Hedge Fund Managers Need to Know About Social Media, Walek & Associates explores how investment advisors are responding to LinkedIn, Facebook and other private social networks. Previous topics have included media interest in hedge funds, brand management and wealth management.
The constant media coverage highlights how hedge funds have become an integral part of the global financial fabric. They attract more attention, more scrutiny and more criticism than ever. In this environment, management companies must set their own communications plans and deliver clear, consistent messages to investors.
“Our clients are focused on new strategies, new markets and new investor segments,” says Walek & Associates principal Armel Leslie. “The next generation of leaders is emerging, and we are telling their stories to target markets through the media, events, investor relations and thought leadership.”
“We are honored that the readers of Hedgeweek chose to recognise our firm with this award,” adds Thomas Walek. “This is our second Hedgeweek award, and we will work hard to give our clients and Hedgeweek readers reasons to vote for us again in the future.”