How Hedge Funds Can Cut Through the Noise: Branding

As the financial industry continues to adapt to changes and new regulations, debates continue on which might be in store for the future of the investment management industry. Strategies, vehicles and asset classes shift in popularity, and even the typically vaunted hedge funds have recently found themselves under the spotlight with fees and performance concerns.

In the past, many hedge fund managers avoided the spotlight and sought to only do well in one area – returns. Incentive structures were designed so that performance would be the chief avenue of profit for hedge funds. As regulations changed however and hedge funds were suddenly opened to the world of transparency, scrutiny and potential advertising, more experimental hedge funds were able to gain an upper hand in a new way – marketing and branding.

This might even be a bigger necessity today as some market commentators are calling into question the role of hedge funds and their fee structure—especially in the early wake of DOL. Hedge funds as a whole have largely underperformed in the past decade or so, and the once high-performing category has struggled accordingly. Communication as a whole has been lacking, leaving investors frustrated and searching for clarity. Hedge funds are finding that the old strategy of strictly relying on the numbers isn’t enough in this market environment – hedge fund branding and financial marketing has become crucial to standing out.

Hedge funds can better communicate with investors through branding. Financial and investment branding strategy brings out the benefit of communicating with sophisticated investors in a more authentic, personal way, clearly and favorably communicating important facets such as investment style, culture, differentiation or goals. These details are significantly more memorable than AUM, historical performance, or financial engineering – the details many hedge funds tend to talk about. By delivering a clear message showcased through authentic and confident branding materials, a hedge fund can better attract investors. As a too small portion of hedge funds have participated in a strategic financial marketing and branding exercise, this creates opportunity for those that do engage in the practice.

Crafting a story around your hedge fund and creating financial marketing materials to support it is something many other alternative investment managers acknowledge is important in a more competitive market landscape, yet the practice is not as prevalent as in other industries. Many creative agencies may not have the financial and investment background to efficiently support alternative investment firms or prioritize information during storytelling. On the contrary, internal teams rarely have the capacity to lead a rebranding project.

MBC Strategic works with a number of hedge fund, alternative investment, mutual fund, and SMAs providers to assist in their financial branding and marketing efforts. We facilitate the branding process by tapping into the core drivers of each financial firm, discovering what makes the unique, who they are, and what about them resonates the most with their target clientele. Our experience and expertise in financial firm branding further sets us apart in the financial branding space as we bring years of experience working with compliance and pushing the design envelope in the financial space. As an experienced hedge fund branding and marketing firm, this allows us to create pointed investment marketing materials. Check out our case study on the dynamic alternative investment strategy and SMA provider below to see how our branding efforts benefited Berkeley Square Capital Management.

MBC Strategic Case Study – Berkeley Square:

The team at Berkeley Square had developed something big: a dynamic strategy that evolves modern portfolio theory to the world of relative strength in today’s liquid alternative investments. This disruptive investment approach offered the unique opportunity to develop a brand story that communicated this adaptive and dynamic investment approach. MBC Strategic’s assignment included the design and development of a complete brand identity for the alternative investment firm and registered investment adviser including a new visual identity, website, fund materials, and investment presentation deck. The materials and brand identity were able to engage audiences and leave a lasting impact, positioning Berkeley Square Capital Management as an innovator in alternative investments and setting them up for future success.