Co-founder and Managing Director, Adam Hadidi, chatted with PEARonline about BluePeak’s first fundraising close and LP reporting.
Adam, congratulations on your first close. You’ve been out raising a fund during exceptional times, how have you found this fundraising process compared to your experiences in the past?
It has been very different to fundraisings I would have traditionally been involved in. Historically, these would have involved traveling to face-to-face meetings for initial conversations with investors. Investor due diligence was also typically carried out onsite, partially remote, but mostly onsite with the teams. We didn’t do any of that during the first fundraise.
We launched the fund in late 2019 and kicked off fundraising in Q2 2020 with everything taking place remotely. There was a delay at first whilst each firm evaluated the lockdown and what their engagement strategy would be for new relationships. We were unsure how new investors might navigate these new relationships during a first close.
Our team started working remotely very quickly and became very efficient in many ways. We scheduled due diligence sessions with investors, which were very organized and completed in advance, resulting in a smoother process. We were fortunate to have personally met some of the institutions before COVID-19 developed which made a big difference to us.
Do you see BluePeak’s digital investor relations communications strategy remaining in place now that we can meet in person again?
We see a lot of digital communications staying for the foreseeable future, but our relationships are still somewhat more personal. As we invest in emerging markets, face-to-face communication is important to us as we build relationships and have formative discussions. But generally, a lot of other communication can move digitally. It has proven to be more efficient and, generally, people are happier with it. It won’t ever be a fully digital world, but it is an amazing mode of communication.
Why did you choose PEARonline for reporting to your LPs and what made it stand out from its competitors?
There are always a few ways to operate, but as a small and growing firm, the most important consideration for us was having a good product and system which allowed us to communicate with all our investors. We considered several other providers in addition to PEARonline, but as we rely on building strong relationships with all of our partners, service providers and team, PEARonline became our favored supplier.
We approach everything in BluePeak from a relationship-building perspective. As a team, we highly value the fact that we can always speak to a human at PEARonline who can help us with any questions or issues. It was immediately apparent that PEARonline is a firm with a focus on client satisfaction and tailoring everything according to what you need with a flexible approach.
The private capital industry is a big world, but also a small community, in which we regularly use word-of-mouth referrals, so it was also important to us to know that colleagues in other firms spoke very highly of PEARonline.
How did you use PEARonline as part of your investor communications strategy during this fundraising?
BluePeak is a new firm, so we have built everything from scratch. When we were deciding how to communicate with our stakeholders and existing investors for fundraising purposes, we wanted to use a system that was sufficiently flexible to tailor our communication to different people while not being overly cumbersome. That was an important mix from a technical perspective. All our communications are moving away from email or older forms of communication. When we watched our first demo of PEARonline, it was immediately apparent that the interface of the system was clean, clear and a very strong fit for us. It was flexible and easy to use which helped with tailoring communications to suit different investors.
In terms of strategy, we are involved with smaller funds in emerging markets. Investors are used to receiving communication via email in the regions we operate in, so having a system that was easy for our LPs to use was important to us.
Now all communications are carried out through PEARonline, so it was also important for us to have the system up and running from the start of the fund’s launch.
ESG is a vital part of BluePeak’s offering; how do you report and communicate to your investors on meeting ESG standards?
All ESG reporting is communicated through PEARonline and is tailored to each LP. For us, ESG is a core part rather than adjacent to our investment philosophy. As a company, we are investing capital on behalf of our LPs and growing businesses in Africa and because of this, there is a strong core focus on ESG and helping to build sustainable businesses. Our anchor LPs are the largest development banks in the US and Europe, so naturally, reporting is a significant part of what we do, especially around ESG. We have quarterly and annual reports with specific performance metrics for specific LPs, as there can be nuances to their requirements. Similarly, in our fundraising and reporting, there’s an incredible amount of detailing and tailoring and doing this through PEARonline is absolutely the way for us to go.
What were the key benefits of using PEARonline for you and your team?
PEARonline is one of three core systems we use as a firm. We have an accounting system, CRM system internally and then our database for stakeholder management, which is PEARonline. We coordinate teams and offices in four different locations with investors across Europe, the US and Africa. Having one place where every person in the team can see and track what we deliver is critical to us operating.
Communicating all our information to the outside world in one easily accessible place has made life a lot easier.
BluePeak wants to work with people who share the same business ethos, who believe in the product and want to help their clients. This really is important to us, and it is how we continue to operate in all aspects of our business. For example, despite not having met the PEARonline team in person, I know if our team has a question or a suggestion, it is going to be taken seriously and strongly considered. Being seen as a partner is integral to our business’ growth and made the decision when choosing PEARonline effortless.
As an individual, what are the key benefits of PEARonline to you?
- It is straightforward with in-built functionality. This frees up time for us and our LPs.
- The system is intuitive, clear and tailored. LPs are bombarded every day by information and using PEARonline eases this burden.
- Customer service and feedback are paramount to the team at PEARonline. We are treated as a partner which is important to us.