(Written by Hannah Malone, Aspectus PR)
After nearly a decade of writing about finance, making the transition from mergers and acquisitions, asset management and private equity into the world of PR has come as something of a shock to the system. Perhaps the biggest change for me has been joining an environment where there is actually some good news.
In my last job, I was an in-house writer for a private equity fund-of-funds manager. Private equity managed to escape the ravages of the credit crisis for longer than most other sectors of the financial world due to its longer-term investment horizons and lesser exposure to the toxic financial instruments that poisoned some of our biggest institutions.
That said, private equity did not prove to be an untouchable asset class and began to be shaken by diminishing returns and worried investors. Writing about an industry that is struggling can become an exercise in explaining away poor performance in the least demoralising way possible, and, after all, there are only so many synonyms for ‘credit crunch’. As the bad news stories started to outnumber the good, clients began to question how an asset class they had previously seen as ‘safe’ could be wavering.
So now I’ve swapped the lexicon of overleveraging and top-quartile returns for buyside trading systems and concentrated photovoltaic energy, and I’m being faced with a whole new set of challenges. I’m learning fast about new clients and their businesses and, so far, I’m finding this new environment far more creative than prescriptive.
A phrase that crops up a lot in the private equity world is ‘alignment of interests’, meaning that the firm and the client are essentially after the same thing: superior investment returns. When those same returns begin to fall, this handy phrase tends to get wheeled out a lot less.
Here at Aspectus PR, our interests are still firmly aligned with those of our clients, and we continue to win and retain clients despite the difficult economic climate. We’re lucky enough to have some exciting clients who are working in some of the most niche and innovative areas of technology, energy, IT and finance. This makes my job as a writer even more rewarding. And it’s even better to have some good news to write about.