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  • Obediah Ayton

10 ways to get the most out of your Family Office Roadshow in the UAE

Target the Right Investors: The ideal match is where both the investment focus of investors and your company’s corporate strategies align, 97% of the Middle East is run by family businesses, it is easy via website to see these business verticals. Pre-meeting intelligence on investors’ general knowledge of the company and industry, historical ownership details such as cost basis in your company or your peers, and recent holdings activity, alongside points of considerations prior to investment will make for a more promising list of investors in the UAE.


Diversify Your Outreach: Plan to meet with both value net workers, Family Group employees in the region and public growth investors while staying in touch with your prospective and existing contacts. Most doors are open in the UAE, linkedin is a viable tool to book meetings, however it may be hard to book meetings day one with the key decision maker. Expect to go through the process or find someone locally, who can work on a top down approach, starting with the principle or chairman.




Know your Destination: Choose your destination wisely, learn the landscape, google the leading family groups. If the UAE makes sense for your business or you are dedicated to raising growth capital, then "go for it". Doing so will make way for you to tailor your geographical and institutional outreach to corporate objectives. Picking a group of families with a reliable track record, will help the outcome of roadshows. Knowing the city, for example Abu Dhabi, will help you spend your time wisely and will also help to plan an itinerary that minimizes commute time and maximizes face time.


Identify Key Questions: Anticipate some questions Local Families may ask during your meeting and consider the answers you will provide. Review historical earnings call transcripts to understand what analysts and families are most concerned with and the result will be a more precise hand on the pulse of how your company is being perceived in the market. Prepare to communicate progress on developments and reforms both within your company, industry and country to reinforce aforementioned goals and initiatives.


Simplify the Message: Taking your corporate story to the streets requires a clear, consistent, and concise message. Articulate your strategy, how you intend to get there and present proven results of execution in the past through financial metrics, peer comparisons and key insights otherwise missing in research reports. Say what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, and prove you’ve done it successfully in the past. Arab Families are old school, they like identifying the value as fast as possible, how you add value to them, not how they add value to you.


Gather the Right Intel: An effective non-deal roadshow requires a strategy rooted in detailed knowledge. In advance of a roadshow, call or meet with the local advisors or fundraisers and analyst. Doing so will establish familiarity and continuity in the message being sent to investors about your company. Conducting this “prep-work” will also ensure that you have fresh information to discuss and expose possible areas for improvement to better your presentation, before landing in the UAE.


Make it a Two-Way Street: Prepare a list of your own questions for local families you meet that will allow you to identify communication gaps, clarify concerns on your next due diligence call, or provide value-added feedback to the C-suite and the board by asking investors questions like, “What would you like to see from our family management to be a holder in the future?”


Survey for Feedback: It’s not just a block of text automatically appended to the bottom of an email message. Feedback can be used to measure the success of a roadshow and guide a more effective interaction in the future and in turn can become another measure of a successful round two roadshow.


Know the Market: Keep up with news on the region and the families activities, your competitors, your industry and your economy. Doing so will position your IR program in a proactive, informative state while opening the door for swift and transparent reaction to new developments in the UAE.


Measure the Results: How do you measure the success of a roadshow? Counting how many times you have gone on the road is easy, but can you quantify results from those efforts? Tracking the holdings of a targeted family is one method, but learning from a good meeting with no change in holdings is another. A company can learn a lot about a family in the UAE from examining the context behind an unfavorable investment decision. Perhaps the local family office decided on a competitor or altered its industry-focus. Investigating the “why” behind the “no” can shed valuable insight for future interactions.


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