Why Agecroft Partners won the Hedge Fund Third Party Marketing Firm of the Year at the Hedgeweek US Awards 2020
Covid-19 put an abrupt stop to the road shows and in-person meetings that drove the traditional capital raising process. As the world locked down, most firms turned inward and put a pause on the capital raising process. Hedge fund consulting firm Agecroft Partners quickly shifted its business model to develop new strategies to raise capital for their hedge fund clients and enhance their reputation with large institutional investors globally.
Agecroft’s decision to quickly adapt contributed to its winning 72 per cent of the votes for Hedge Fund Third Marketing Firm of the Year at the Hedgeweek US Awards 2020. This is the ninth time in 10 years Agecroft Partners has won the award.
Agecroft Partners was early to anticipate the impact of Covid-19 on the hedge fund industry and published a white paper in early March of 2020 on how it believed firms in the industry would need to change their marketing and client service strategies. In addition to communicating their advice to others, Agecroft converted all meetings in its calendar from in person to Zoom, and spent considerable time educating both their managers and investors on how to use the platform.
Agecroft also began organising quarterly webinar calls for each of their hedge fund clients, where all prospects and investors already introduced to the manager by Agecroft were invited to participate. These webinars have had much higher attendance rates than what would be achieved by scheduling 1-on-1 meetings and have provided investors with well-prepared, high quality content. Follow-up virtual meetings are then scheduled for investors that have additional questions. These webinars offer a time-efficient method for managers to communicate with a large number of investors.
Most of the new allocations to Agecroft’s hedge fund clients during the second and third quarter were from investors who had met in person with the manager before Covid-19. However, beginning in the fourth quarter they are seeing more investors complete full due diligence on a manner through virtual meetings only.
Agecroft also realised the importance of helping keep investors updated on developments within the hedge fund industry as conferences and one-on-one meetings ground to a halt. Before investors will allocate to a strategy, they need to have a strong understanding of the benefits and risks of the strategy in the current economic environment as well as how they may change as the economic landscape changes. In response, the firm focused on increasing the frequency of its white papers. These were published in its new LinkedIn newsletter: Hedge Fund Industry Insights, which has amassed over 15,000 subscribers since February. The white papers have also been broadly covered by hedge fund media. White papers devoted to specific hedge fund strategies are intended to enhance knowledge of these strategies throughout the industry, and subsequently contribute to increased demand for these strategies.
In addition to a renewed focus on its white papers, Agecroft increased the frequency of its Gaining the Edge - Educational Hedge Fund Webinar Series. These webinars focus on educating investors on industry trends as well as ways to enhance the risk-adjusted returns of a diversified hedge fund portfolio. In each episode, Agecroft hosts four to five unbiased, leading hedge fund allocators who discuss their views about a specific hedge fund industry topic or strategy. These webinars have drawn over 3,500 registrants with institutional investors representing a large percentage of those participating. These webinars contribute to Agecroft’s reputation in the industry and provide Agecroft with valuable information about investors’ interests in particular strategies.
Agecroft also sponsored its first Gaining the Edge - Global Virtual Cap Intro event, which had approximately 1,000 participants, making it one of the largest private virtual cap intro events ever. More than 420 investors registered for the event and over USD200,000 was contributed to non-profit organisations that benefit children. To date, Agecroft Partners’ has donated over USD2.5 million to non-profit organisations that benefit children. In addition to the 300 funds that held virtual meetings at the event with potential investors, the event generated meetings for the managers with whom Agecroft has partnered. One ancillary benefit to Agecroft was the opportunity to identify high quality managers to potentially add to its platform.
Since its founding in 2007, Agecroft has worked hard to enhance its global reputation and brand, defined by its integrity, institutional quality and representation of top quality managers as well as being a thought leader and advocate for the hedge fund industry. In addition to frequently publishing its own thought pieces, the firm has been quoted in over 1,000 industry articles, has spoken at over 100 industry conferences, and has been a regular guest on business television.