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Placement agents: Perfect partners?

Once a private equity firm selects a placement agent, they might be working hand in glove on a fundraise for the next two years. A strong mutual understanding increases the chances of a favorable outcome

For one placement agent, the secret weapon is a Snickers bar. When a North American fund manager’s roster of LP meetings stretches deep into the Beijing afternoon, and low blood sugar threatens to impede his pitching performance, chocolate serves as a restorative and a reminder of home. It is one of many small acts that can keep the placement agent-GP relationship on an even keel during protracted fundraising processes.

“The smaller the issue, the bigger the irritation for many GPs. Is the car waiting for you in the right spot when you’ve finished the meeting or is it parked around the corner? Was there a better flight that could have been booked? Is the hotel satisfactory? Is the breakfast good?” the agent explains. “It’s never just one problem, more a bunch of smaller things – that aren’t directly related to fundraising – nagging away.”

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