It was the business idea that the UK private equity industry wouldn't allow to be born. Four years ago, Emma Payne first pitched the idea of providing a range of outsourced marketing services to private equity firms before deciding instead to accept a role as marketing director of Directorbank, the private equity-focused executive search firm.
On leaving that job one and a half years later, she revisited the original pitch at mid-market investment firm West Private Equity (now Lyceum Capital) – hoping the firm would provide her with funding to get her business off the ground. Instead, West offered her another marketing director role, which she once again accepted.
Having since moved on from West, Payne has finally launched her firm, known as EVP Marketing. She reflected to Private Equity Manager: ?I'm now glad I didn't launch it four years ago because the market is in exactly the right place now, with outsourcing having grown exponentially over the last few years. Plus, I have the experience of my time at Directorbank and West.?
EVP will provide services to small to medium-sized UK private equity and corporate finance firms where there is currently ?no marketing function, or only a very small one.? These services will include developing a marketing and communications strategy, implementing that strategy and executing specific projects.
EVP will also serve as a conduit to other service providers. Payne said a ?key part of the model? is to recommend specialist providers in areas such as public relations, design and web development, which can implement parts of a strategy, thus freeing up time for Payne to move on to her next project.
Payne said one specific aspect of marketing for which there appears to be particularly strong demand at the current time is honing GPs' presentations to external clients (such as management teams and existing/potential investors, for example). ?The presentation is the most important marketing tool firms have,? said Payne. ?But there is often no consistency of message between different members of the team and they end up losing a great sales opportunity.
Currently working on her own, Payne said she is planning to recruit another team member in a year's time. Within two years, she hopes to be the outsourced marketing director for ?five or six? firms. After such a long lead-up, she's clearly intent to make up for lost time.