IN THE PRESS
FEATURED IN HEDGE FUND ALERT
June 30th, 2021
Thank you to Hedge Fund Alert for featuring us in your latest weekly update highlighting our rapid growth and the efficiency our Virtual Pitchbooks provide for hedge fund managers who are looking to engage with potential investors in a highly personal manner.
"We have found that allocators are showing high captivation rates due to the Virtual Pitchbook multisensory features", Incos.Media Cofounder Raphael Blunschi
Craig Allen, Managing Principal
Allen & Associates Communications
P: +1 475 419 4468
INCOS.MEDIA THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
May 10th, 2021
Where other industries have progressed in leaps and bounds, the asset management industry lags behind to the detriment of efficient asset allocation and our environment.
The asset management industry assembles some of the smartest people. Forward-thinking investors spot new trends, innovative researchers identify new ways to gather and analyze data, and savvy technologists harness advancements in equipment, networks, and software to be faster and smarter. However, one component of the asset management industry remains frozen in time: investor engagement and its impact on our environment.
Whether for traditional mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, or new security issuances, C-level executives conduct an exhausting amount of repetitive storytelling while traveling around the world and polluting the environment.
Today, a typical asset-raising effort starts with putting together a pitchbook. Then, business development teams work to identify potential investors. This effort involves numerous unanswered phone calls and emails. Once the potential investor agrees to meet, the logistical challenges begin: finding a timeslot to meet, travel to the meeting location in a non-sustainable way, and dealing with flight delays and hotel reservations. Finally, at the meeting, asset managers give their “spiel” for an hour or two. Once that is done with the first prospect, managers then travel to the next meeting – which hopefully does not get cancelled with short notice – and do the same thing all over again.
These logistics cost money are not carbon free. Often forgotten, there are significant implied costs. C-level executives must spend time away of from their core duties. Instead of being good stewards of investors’ capital, asset managers instead spend time on the road repeating their stories of “who they are and what they do.” With less-mature organizations, this additional time commitment usually conflicts with the phase when C-Level executives are most needed to perform their core duties.
Worse, despite costly preparation and logistics, quite often allocators are completely unprepared for meetings. They do not read the pitchbook or due diligence material because reading lengthy documents is not convenient or engaging. Therefore, capital raisers waste time with “illiterate” audiences.
Once these meetings are done, asset managers walk away without knowing the true interest level from potential investors. Managers can remain optimistic and hope that these prospects are interested. However, there is no data to back this up. It is all a guessing game.
Without investors, asset managers and startups do not have a business. Human interactions are important because at the end investing is a “trust business.” Therefore, the question is how can the finance industry, as a whole, do better in terms of more efficiently connecting capital seekers with capital providers in a carbon-neutral way? There is a simple answer.
First, let’s distinguish between A) the simple act of providing information, and B) humans doing quality work to assess an investment opportunity and build trust. Then, let’s acknowledge that one needs to have information first, before the quality added-value work can begin.
Throughout history, industries have improved their processes by adopting technology. Repetitive tasks have always been the first to be replaced by advanced methods. This is the way businesses and societies have improved their productivity. The asset management industry is overdue for a productivity increase. Fee pressures are forcing us to re-think the capital allocation process. The pressure from the international investor community to focus on sustainability is increasing by the day.
Providing information during the capital raising process is an important, albeit boring, repetitive task. Hence, it lends itself to adopting technology.
A simple way to replace repetitive storytelling is to wrap the content into a fully-digitalized “Virtual Pitchbook” video, which can be used and reused for an unlimited amount of time. Wyzowil, one of the world’s market leading explainer video companies, says in their most recent State of Video Marketing 2021 that the number of businesses using video as a marketing tool has increased by 41% since 2016. The 2021 Video in Business Benchmark Report from Vidyard reveals that the number of videos shared by general businesses increased by 135% year-over year.
However, we as the asset management- and broader finance industry -have not harnessed this opportunity. Change is overdue. Fully digitalized Virtual Pitchbooks provide a multitude of benefits.
Let’s just list a few:
Sustainable, no carbon footprint
No logistical burden
Provide a broader reach to find interested investors
C-Level Executives can focus on their core functions
Convenient way for allocators to consume information (who doesn’t like to watch a movie?)
Analysts don’t have to take meeting notes repeating basic information. Video does it for them.
No need to sit through unwanted meetings
Boards and Investment Committees, who usually don’t meet managers, can see faces and form a visual connection
More time to build human trust factor
Prepares allocators for one-on-one meetings
Equal and fair information distribution to meet today’s compliance requirements
“Big Data” to track client engagement
Once basic information is provided, the human quality work can begin. High-value human interactions and value-added work includes asking questions, verifying data, comparing and contrasting, and having person-to-person conversations to get to know the person being trusted with capital.
Because more and better information is available with fully digitalized Virtual Pitchbooks; investors are prepared for one-on-one meetings and are therefore able to ask educated questions. Just like that, the quality of the investment selection process improves, and the number of onsite meetings can be reduced to protect our nature.
The ultimate beneficiaries of fully digitalized Virtual Pitchbooks are the asset owners: retail investors saving for their next purchase, retirees who can increase their pension payments, institutional allocators serving their constituents, and our environment.
In fact, all stakeholders involved in the asset raising process and capital allocation are better off, investors and asset managers/GPs/startups.
One challenge remains. Otherwise highly confident people, asset managers can find themselves uncomfortable in front of a camera. Not many people enjoy hearing their own voice or watching themselves on video. We tend to think we should look or sound so much better than we do. The reality is, we don’t look or sound the way we think we should. We are who we are, and the good news is that the people we are surrounded with know what they are looking for. So, there is nothing to worry about!
Fortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped change this perception. Asset managers and C-Level executives are increasingly becoming comfortable with video media. LinkedIn is a prime example of that. This will only continue because the rational benefits of digitalized Virtual Pitchbooks cannot be ignored. The demand from investors for a more sustainable world, higher returns, and efficient capital allocation processes will force our hand. If you do not know where the market is going, look at the younger generation. They have fully embraced video technology and understand how to take advantage of it.
At the end, a more convenient, efficient, cheaper way of providing information leads to better educated investors. Better educated investors lead to better returns. This is the ultimate intermediary function of financial markets. Let’s embrace a simple technology which will have a meaningful impact longer term, both in terms of investment results and environment.
INCOS.MEDIA LAUNCHES "VIRTUAL PITCHBOOK" OFFERING
April 19, 2021
Marks a New Fintech Company Disrupting the Asset Management Industry
New York, NY, April 19th, 2021 –Incos.Media, a team of former investors with distinctive skills, spanning filmmaking, software engineering, and analytics have launched Incos ‘Virtual Pitchbook,’ an innovative and insightful technology offering designed to help asset managers with the convenience of efficiently creating and delivering remotely produced fully digitalized due diligence videos and investor updates.
Incos.Media combines nearly two decades of experience each on the buy-side/due diligence allocating to hedge funds, supporting asset managers and allocators as a fund administrator, and engineering software across leading financial service companies. Furthermore, the founders have several years of professional film production experience ranging from music videos and animations to corporate advertising campaigns and documentaries.
“I would encourage you to think of another industry which has not changed in over 20 years? The asset management industry is one of the few, but the current fee pressure has made it a necessity to do so.
At Incos.Media we let technology do the boring, repetitive tasks, so that the smart humans can focus on the quality added-value work,” said Raphael Blunschi, Founding Partner. “Through our fully digitalized ‘Virtual Pitchbook’ we free up C-level executives to fulfill their core functions: manage investments, run operations, and control risks. We offer asset managers and investors the endless benefits of video-based learning,” he added.
Due to the team’s prior business knowledge of investing in and managing complex investments across the asset management and alternatives fields Incos.Media conveniently disseminates applicable information to allocators, and coaches’ managers to be fully prepared for one-on-one meetings with a range of institutional allocators.
“Asset managers spend countless, repetitive hours with prospective and current investors to cover basic information about their organization and funds. These meetings are critically important but distracting for asset managers. At the same time, little effort has been made to make these processes more convenient for allocators. We complement important human interactions and augment the time necessary to build trusted relationships. Ultimately, through this offering Incos.Media allows asset managers to be more scalable, economical, and sustainable,” Karl Gysin, Founding Partner added.
Key areas Incos.Media solves for include:
Providing asset managers with the convenience of efficiently creating and delivering relevant information to investors by way of customized productions of fully digitalized "Virtual Pitchbooks".
Freeing up C-level executives to fulfill their core functions: manage investments, run operations, and control risks.
Offering asset managers and investors the endless benefits of video-based learning.
Conveniently disseminates applicable information to allocators and prepares them for one-on-one meetings.
Complementing important human interactions and augment the time necessary to build trusted relationships.
Allowing asset managers to be more scalable, economical, and sustainable.
The founders behind Incos.Media combine a distinctive set of skills, spanning finance, filmmaking, software engineering, and analytics. Karl Gysin is the CEO of Swiss Financial Services – a global hedge fund administration business since 1985 - and the initiator behind The Alternative Investment Club (TAIC). The use of fully digitalized due diligence productions for his TAIC Asia Day 2020 enabled participants to conduct more insightful meetings based on the video-based introduction.
Raphael Blunschi, CFA, PRM, has spent close to 25 years in the alternative investment business. His career as a hedge fund analyst has spanned over 15 years. Raphael’s passion for developing new initiatives with a true added value triggered the idea for Incos.Media.
The founding team is completed with Stefan Maucher, IncosMedia’s technical and film production mastermind. His passion for filming and technology culminated in his own movie production company, and over 20 years’ experience as a software engineer with some of the industry most prestigious names.
Lastly, this unique combination of backgrounds offers a meticulous attention to detail, highlights the team’s analytical and presentation skills, and generates professional-quality content.
Craig Allen, Managing Principal
Allen & Associates Communications
P: +1 475 419 4468