In our conversations with institutional investors, we never cease to be amazed at the stories we hear. Institutional investors are constantly subjected to approaches from so called “sales professionals” that are both irrelevant and inept. They push product, making no attempt to understand the unique circumstances of each investor. They use opaque, generic sales materials that fail to convey a clear proposition. They make no allowance for investors’ time constraints, and they persist in the face of a polite refusal. This ill-prepared scattergun approach ultimately reflects poorly on the businesses they represent.
Black Isle Capital Partners’ approach could not be more different. With combined experience of well over a century in UK institutional sales and investment advisory working for a wide range of asset managers and investment consultants in senior roles, we’ve seen it all. Over the decades we’ve been selling investment capabilities to institutional investors we’ve learned a lot, much of it counter to the way institutional sales teams typically operate. And we’ve put everything we’ve learned into the service we offer our clients, and the sales approach we adopt when we engage with institutional investors looking to allocate capital.
At Black Isle we feel strongly that:
- traditional in-house sales structures and approaches are often expensive and ineffective; and
- asset managers trying to raise capital frequently lack a genuine understanding of how institutional investors make decisions.
We want to offer asset managers, and other organisations seeking to raise institutional capital, an alternative that enhances their business and their market profile.
When we started Black Isle, we felt that a market niche existed for a specialist outsourced sales business focused exclusively on raising institutional capital. A business representing asset managers unwilling or unable to build an in-house sales team or keen to enhance the distribution reach of an existing team. We wanted to differentiate Black Isle in a crowded marketplace as a business:
- with a team comprised solely of experienced senior institutional salespeople with in-depth market knowledge and an extensive network of relationships;
- with a sales approach designed to appeal to institutional investors; and
- offering a personal service that is unique to each client, cost effective, flexible and extremely efficient.
We now know that the small market niche we set out to target is in fact a yawning chasm! Black Isle and the approach we take has resonated with an exceptional and growing client list and with the institutional investors with whom we engage. We set out to build a successful business. Now our sights are set higher: we aim to fundamentally change what effective institutional capital raising looks like.
While our initial focus is on the UK institutional market which Black Isle knows well, we aim to expand our coverage to provide our asset manager clients with access to continental Europe and the Middle East. There will be no compromise on the quality of our service, so the timing of our expansion will be driven by our clients’ needs and by our ability to find new partners who share our vision.
We would be delighted to hear from experienced institutional sales professionals who would like to join the Black Isle team, particularly those located in – and with extensive experience and contacts in – the Nordics, Benelux, Germany, Switzerland, and the Middle East.
Why Black Isle?
Steve is a Scot hailing from Glasgow, so he wanted a name with a Scottish connection. After a long career in investment, it hadn’t escaped him that some of the most successful businesses in the industry have names combining geological features with the colour black.
The Black Isle is, perhaps surprisingly, a peninsula on the east coast of Scotland north of Inverness. It’s nowhere near Glasgow, but the name is satisfyingly mysterious and distinctive. So Black Isle Capital Partners was born, and if our business achieves only a small fraction of the success of BlackRock and Blackstone, Steve’s theory will have been vindicated!