The number one attribute is a team that listens, because it’s two different languages. It’s English that I’m speaking, and Martian that you techy guys like to occasionally speak.
Anybody that’s face to face with families all day long and dealing with stuff, does not necessarily understand the language of 0’s and 1’s, so it’s really, really important to have humans at the other end that you can talk to and negotiate with, debate, and get solutions that work for both sides.
We as a client have to accept you can’t do everything. Some things, the juice just isn’t worth the squeeze, but most things we can have a grown up conversation about, so that’s my absolute number one, we can talk to you and you do listen to us.
Then, within reason, we can present data to families in a format that families like. This is a challenge for both sides though. Apple have got it down to a fine art, in that we all have the same iPhone, but all our iPhones are different. Each family’s got to look at that reporting system and feel that it is there’s and not like they’ve picked somebody’s phone up. We’re well down the path on that.
Secondly, but equally important to a business person, it needs to be the right colour, it needs to be branded, it needs to be white labelled, it needs to look like it’s come from your office. Again, it just unsettles a family if the output is a different colour or from a different source than everything else, it’s a simple enough concept, you guys have mastered that well for us.
Data security of course, we’re all constantly quaking we’ve left something on the bus that’s going to destroy our life’s work, and you guys are probably are the forefront of that, you’ve passed all of our tests and some, so data security is critical.
Ultimately, I think this is a journey not a destination, it never ends, and will never end. And after I leave the business and one of my management team continues to run the business, and on and on and on, the reporting has to evolve, it can never stop. Therefore, you’ve got to work with a team that’s young and dynamic and who are growing their business at the same speed with the same enthusiasm, so the two grow together, and that’s a critical bit of chemistry for all of us. So they’re the boxes that I can say in a very unbiased way that you have ticked, and it works well.
The very first time we showed you guys a huge menu or private equity that one particular family has, you didn’t bat an eyelid, you’d seen it before. A number of the institutions that we all have to drag our feet from, they’re all big names, we all know who they are, you guys have worked with them and seen them before. We haven’t got to go on a journey of educating what PE is or what VC is or anything else. That’s important.
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