Marketing Investment and CMO Hire

RWC Partners - London
26 Apr 2021

Marketing Investment and CMO Hire

The key qualifications for the CMO are:

  • Extensive knowledge of current marketing tools and techniques applied by successful professional service businesses to raise brand awareness, drive engagement, garner qualified leads, and attract and retain clients
  • Finance experience, with a strong preference for asset management specific experience, is important - but equally important is a very strong understanding of digital connectivity
  • Evidence of innovation and an entrepreneurial approach in past work
  • Results-oriented, with track record of turning marketing strategy and activity into tangible business results.  It is also important that the candidate can do this with a limited budget
  • Ability to think strategically and execute tactically
  • Strong written skills
  • Ability to organize and execute multiple projects and work streams on an ongoing basis
  • Strong leadership skills coupled with a team ethic
  • Effective at change management – helping people appreciate the evolution
  • Creative out-of-the-box thinker with demonstrated story telling skills and an ability and willingness to originate and execute ideas

The role is a player-coach position.  The chosen candidate will work closely with the CEO and Head of Business Development to formulate and distribute our core messages and develop our brand, while overseeing the marketing team and budget on a day to day basis.

The additional marketing support resource will work closely with the CMO and will be hired after identifying the final candidate.


About the Opportunity

This is a very exciting time to be joining RWC.  We are in the middle of a transition from a small, UK focused specialist to a global firm with a wider range of strategies attracting a diverse range of investors.  We have also recently completed a transaction to increase internal ownership and put the firm on very solid financial footing for the long term.  The following summarizes our history and current developments.

At inception RWC (then MPC) was focused on offering alternative investment strategies and, even after gradually expanding to long only specialist strategies, up until around 2015 our investors were predominantly professional fund selectors managing assets for networks of HNW investors (private banks, wealth managers and specialist fund of funds).  Since then, our client base has diversified significantly, with the addition of various institutional investor categories around the world, and recently we have extended the diversification further with inroads deeper into the UK wealth market and even the UK retail investor segment through the mandate to manage the Temple Bar investment trust. 

As our investor base has diversified the need to also develop and enhance our communication with investors has gradually increased, but we have mostly extended those efforts with the use of established tools.  For the intermediary channel that has meant doing more 3rd party events and for the institutional market it has been primarily through an increased volume of emailed content focused on our various investment propositions and updates on those portfolios. 

Latterly we have expanded the use of tools to greater use of video – webinars and website hosted updates, infographics – typically distributed in partnership with various media, an enhanced web presence through the launch of an RWC microsite, specific media packages that combine content distribution and web events and an ever-greater population of third-party performance and diligence platforms.  All these activities have been predominantly focused on individual investment teams.

Even prior to Covid, which has forced most of our investor communication to go virtual in one way or other, there was a strong trend to investors across all client segments wanting to easily find relevant information on our strategies without interacting with our sales and relationship team.  As referenced above that also drove an increasingly rich and varied set of outputs to serve a diversifying range of investor segments.  

In order to meet this demand, we implemented a website upgrade and have also moved to a new CRM platform.  Together all these enhancements will allow us to reach people – in the manner they want to be reached and consume information about us – and to further extend and track these initiatives. 

What we have not done, however, is clearly and consistently articulate our brand and distinct value proposition – what we stand for – what are our values and goals?  What is our purpose – what is our role in the ecosystem of managing the world’s savings?  Investors have a sense of us as a specialist manager offering predominantly equity-oriented investment services, but not what may be unifying about those services and who we are as an organization.  We believe our structure and approach is in fact a meaningful, and necessary, competitive advantage to staying relevant in the long term, but we have not communicated that.

Another development we believe is creating an opportunity, but also a need, to more clearly articulate our role and relevance is the gradual convergence of the structure of the institutional and intermediary investor segments.   The allocation decision across those segments is increasingly made by a new generation of increasingly diverse, digitally savvy professionals, with similar educational backgrounds and beliefs. 

The underlying mechanics are also converging, with a discretionary wealth manager increasingly competing with – or in fact managing – pensions savings pools.  The consultants serving these segments are also increasingly the same.  This is driven by the move to DC, but also by specific developments such as the breakdown of the traditional “industry” system of superannuation funds in Australia, and the development of OCIO businesses sitting within the traditional consultants. 

We need, and have a great opportunity, to tell our story and to have that resonate across most investor channels.  There will of course remain, for a while, a group of “old school” endowment type investors who mostly invest with “very high alpha” independent specialist managers who stay under the radar, but even the majority of those have gradually come to see the benefit of our structure, especially for alpha oriented long-only solutions.   

Our increasing exposure to the broader consumer market will require some targeted activities (often in partnership with the organizations that serve them), but even there our enhanced digital platform will be critical in maximizing the efficiency of those activities.

There is an increasing recognition among investors and their consultants that the culture of an investment organization is critical to its long-term success (note the Towers Watson “Thinking Ahead Institute” work on Culture).  Culture, as expressed through beliefs and behaviours – is underpinned by organizational and ownership structures, with management marshalling those structures in support of beliefs and behaviours.  This is the second reason we need to more clearly articulate who we are as an organization.  We believe the underlying factors driving the need to “tell our story” creates an opportunity to drive further commercial success.

In order to respond to this opportunity, we are therefore undertaking a brand development and articulation project with an organisation called AML. As we reach and communicate with an increasingly broad range of clients, we need to better explain our core proposition; to create a clear and distinctive narrative for who we are and what we stand for. This will be vital in supporting our future priorities and ambitions; it will allow us to provide our investment teams with the best commercial opportunities possible.  A well-defined brand that is activated in the marketplace to raise awareness for RWC will afford greater accessibility: our clients require increasing availability and convenience of information and services. Much of this communication is digital, the volume of which will only rise with time, and we need to ensure that our investors receive a compelling, memorable and consistent experience when dealing with any aspect of our organisation.

Joining RWC now will offer the right candidate an opportunity to participate in and help shape these dynamic developments.