CTA Lead List Basics

By Bart Mallon, Esq. (www.colefrieman.com)

“Purchased Lead Lists and How to Use Them”

A good resource for CTAs that are actively trying to raise money are lead lists – lists of names and contact information of potential future clients or investors.  This overview is for the CTA Expo 2009 program entitled Purchased Lead Lists and How to Use Them.  The program was sponsored by Patke & Associates and featured Jacques DeRouen of Pinnacle Alternative Investments.

Jacques started off by telling all of the CTAs that they need to get out and market to investors.  The point is to get your story to willing listening.  He then provided us with a brief background of how he got involved with lists and how he learned to use lists effectively.  The biggest takeaway is that getting good at using lead lists takes time and dedication – but don’t let the list intimidate you.  From here he discussed a number of items about lead lists in general.

Lead Lists in General

There are many different types of lists and the lists come in a variety of different formats and include various different types of information.  CTAs should research exactly what they will get with these lists and some questions which the purchaser should ask include the following:

  • Has the list maker described their list and what they provide?
  • What is the reputation of the list maker?
  • Does the list have references, if no, then why?
  • Is there a free sample?
  • What information is on the list – key contact names, size of the investor, email addresses.

CTA managers should think about making some calls to the investors on the sample lists which are released.  Basically the manager wants to make sure that the list is not something that was simply culled from the phone book – the leads need to be warmer.  If they are providing a general list of investors, this is ok but it will probably take you more time.

Budget

The biggest thing to consider is your budget.  If you don’t have money in the budget to buy a list, then don’t buy it.  A CTA should always be aware of the fees coming in and be able to justify any expenses, which includes a list.

Prepping an Investor Database

When you get a lead list it will typically be in some sort of spreadsheet like excel and it will be up to the CTA to clean up the data and make it user friendly.  There are a number of different ways to establish databases that will work for keeping track of investors contacted and to contact.  After formatting a database or input, the CTA should always back-up the new, manipulated data.  From here the CTA will want to export the manipulated data to a CRM.  There are a number of customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions which allow managers to manipulate large raw sets of data, such as the lead lists. It is very important for the CTA to take good notes about the interactions with the leads.

Notes About Emailing Investors from Lead Lists

Emailing your marketing presentation can be a very effective way to market to some of the investors on the lead lists.  However, CTAs should not send every piece of marketing material that they have.  A CTA may want to think about emailing a summary presentation with bullett points.  A teaser like this sets the plate so that when the CTA follows up with the lead (with a phone call), the lead has a little bit of background on the manager, but is not overwhelmed (or worse, annoyed).  CTAs should be aware that even with the best lead lists there is likely to be some email kickback from natural changes in the composition of the company.  The best systems are likely to have 2-3% kickback, the middle tiered lists are likely to have 5-10% kickback and the lower quality lists are likely to have much more.

Approaching Fund of Fund Investors

While many fund of fund investors don’t actively advertise that they allocate to emerging managers, they do and CTA firms should be calling these managers.  Even if a FOF manager decided not to invest with the CTA manager, calling is still a good way to connect and develop a relationship – potentially that relationship can develop down the line.  Fund of fund managers do like CTA and other emerging managers not only because of the potential returns but also because the FOF managers are likely to be able to negotiate carve-outs of the CTA manager’s future capacity.

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This article first appeared in the CTA Expo Blog run by Bart Mallon, Esq.  Mr. Mallon also runs the Hedge Fund Law Blog and is committed to providing useful and easy to understand information for CTAs and CPOs which can be found in our CTA and CPO Registration and Compliance Guide. For more information on CTA registration or compliance services please contact Mr. Mallon at 415-868-5345.

5 thoughts on “CTA Lead List Basics

  1. Pingback: CTA Expo 2009 — Hedge Fund Law Blog

    1. Hedge Fund Lawyer Post author

      Gibson,

      I think a forex lead list would be extremely valuable to Forex CTAs. I recommend you connect with forex brokers and forex introducing brokers. You may also think about advertising on various forex sites which are dedicated to the industry like forex robot and forex broker websites. It will be interesting to see how these lead lists will develop over time, especially when forex managers are required to register with the NFA – I imagine they will become an intregal part of a CTA’s marketing campaign.

      Thanks,
      Bart

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