Agecroft Partners specialises in consulting and third-party marketing for hedge funds. Its objective: to raise assets globally for institutional quality hedge fund managers by utilising a consultative approach within the institutional investor community.
The firm was founded by Don Steinbrugge (pictured), who has 28 years of experience in the institutional investment management industry. The six senior professionals at the firm pride themselves on having strong investment and industry knowledge giving them significant credibility with large institutional investors. The partners average over 16 years of industry experience and a majority of their partners have previously worked for multi-billion dollar alternative investment firms.
Agecroft is highly selective of the firms it represents. As a result it utilises an institutional quality due diligence process in manager selection. This begins by leveraging its industry-leading reputation to attract high calibre managers requiring marketing support. The firm’s approach to selecting managers from a universe of thousands involves a four-stage process, namely: direct contact from hedge fund managers; hedge fund referrals from institutional hedge fund investors and service providers; industry research, and finally screening hedge fund databases.
The principal aim of Agecroft, following the screening process, is to raise assets for its managers on either a global basis or their coverage can be tailored to enhance a hedge fund’s existing marketing strategy where they will focus on a particular geographic region or investor market segment. Senior partners typically are in touch with over a thousand investors a month and conducts direct meetings with fifty to a hundred.
The fact that its screening process is so rigorous has helped foster Agecroft’s reputation and enabled it to stand out from the competition and also enhances the credibility of the managers it represents – investors know that only very high quality funds are represented. “Our research process involves screening 2,000 managers each year,” Steinbrugge tells Hedgeweek. “Usually we add one or two new managers a year.”
Each hedge fund client receives tailor-made marketing to help its business grow effectively. “We try to be more than just your typical hedge fund sales organisation,” explains Steinbrugge. “With our managers we’re continuously providing feedback to portfolio managers following any meetings with potential investors and identifying followup plans for each prospect. For investors we use a consultative approach where we not only keep them updated on the managers we represent, but also share our industry knowledge to help them manage their portfolios more effectively.”
Steinbrugge says that most net inflows into alternatives over the last two years have come from large pension funds “and we expect them to continue to be large investors. However, we also expect endowments, large family offices and FoFs to significantly increase their allocations in 2014 as well. This should benefit small and mid-sized hedge funds.”
On winning the Hedgeweek award, Steinbrugge comments: “We’re always focused on making sure we have a very strong brand. Obviously we’re very honoured to have won this award and what we’re most proud of is that most of your readers are based in Europe.”