First Round: Getting ugly

First Round has never, to its knowledge, spawned another smaller but equally perfectly formed magazine intro section. But it is fully prepared to accept that parents tend to look at their offspring through rose-tinted glasses.

Well, a similar thing can be said of GPs, according to one limited partner at Private Equity International’s recent Investor Relations and Communications Forum. When it comes to their funds, many “don’t want to say their baby is a little ugly”. Even if it has a blatantly cone-shaped head.

In fact, metaphor was one of the biggest winners at the conference. Another panellist, talking about the importance of being honest with potential investors, compared the process to removing Spanx, to reveal what really lies beneath (for readers unfamiliar with Spanx, they’re a type of undergarment that comfortably smoothes and streamlines the more ‘voluptuous’ elements of your midsection – obviously unnecessary for those of us with Adonis-like physiques).

This honesty will ultimately pay off, according to Kristin Custar of The Jordan Company. “If you haven’t been out talking to these investors, and you’re hoping to go out and raise in 2013, you’ve already missed their allocations,” she said. “Part of our job is knowing our investor base well …knowing which investor needs more information.”

For Custar and her ilk, this gives rise to an important question: which LPs are most eager to peel off your Spanx? First Round demands to know…