Working with Mega Managers in the Investment Industry: A Comprehensive Branding Guide

June 15, 2023     |     Darien Group

In the competitive world of investment management, standing out can be a daunting task. A small set of investment firms rise to the top echelons, distinguishing themselves by raising significant capital over the years. These firms, often featuring in the top 30 or 50 of the PEI Top 300 list, present a unique challenge and opportunity when it comes to investment management branding.

As we’ve explored in recent articles, the right approach will vary depending on the size of a firm. Having covered spinout managers and middle market private equity managers, it’s time to move on to branding best practices for large-scale investment firms. 

The Varied Landscape

A striking feature of these organizations is their varied structure. Some are publicly traded firms with a clear hierarchical structure and a plethora of fund products. Despite their size, they have often retained the nimbleness and flat organizational structure akin to a middle market manager.

Navigating the Silos

One noteworthy characteristic is that such firms tend to be somewhat ‘siloed’ by strategy. Engaging with such a firm often means working directly with the portfolio manager, partner, or managing director responsible for a particular fund. It is a targeted engagement, often involving developing investor presentation materials and website content.

Adjusting to the Visual Brand

Working within an existing visual brand is a crucial aspect to note. Large firms usually have a robust, regimented brand style guide. Our task has often been to modernize the existing template while adhering to the set rules — a challenge we’ve enjoyed and excelled at.

The Unlikely Resemblance

Interestingly, working with these firms is akin to operating with a spinout. We engage with a business unit comprising a handful of people and help them enunciate their strategy. 

Often, the group we work with is launching the first fund of a new strategy or business line within the firm and is seeking to align its value proposition and opportunity with the broader messaging of the firm while differentiating itself in the space.

Consulting on the Pitch

Ironically, these units within larger groups often request more assistance in crafting their pitch. Contrary to what one might expect, it isn’t always the smaller firms that need such support. Helping these units build their pitch has always been a gratifying assignment for us.

The Rewarding Outcome

Success within one business unit often leads to referrals within the organization — a fulfilling outcome for us as a small to medium-sized creative agency. We take pride in having worked with some of the largest names in the investment management business.

Conclusion: Investment Management Branding for Mega Managers

In summary, working with Darien Group can take many forms. The best path forward will depend on the client’s maturity, size, business objectives, and catalysts for seeking a partnership. 

We thrive on helping our clients expand their brand awareness, raise more capital, and push a differentiated message. These objectives align perfectly with our core mission at Darien Group, making every partnership rewarding and fulfilling. Contact us today to find out more about tailoring your firm’s investment management branding.

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