INVESTOR VIEWS Series features: Saad Hassan, President, Hassan Family Office

(Click image to play) In this episode of the Investor Views series, Saad and I talk about the Nvestiv platform which uses a proprietary algorithm to match family office investors with the specific investment opportunities they are seeking. We also discuss best practices for capital seekers who want to communicate with family offices and create meaningful relationships.

Show Highlights

In this episode, Saad and I talked about:

  • The Nvestiv platform — specifically designed for family offices, its ‘demand-driven’ approach and how it works.

  • The importance of privacy for family offices and the privacy features of Nvestiv.

  • The investment focus areas of interest to Hassan Family Office.

  • The critical steps capital seekers should take in communicating with family offices.

  • Understanding a family office’s priority — wealth preservation vs. wealth accumulation.

  • The importance of ‘fit’ and getting to know what interests a family office.

  • The million dollar mistake — what NOT to do in the capital raising process.

  • The materials capital seekers should provide to attract family office interest.

  • Family office preference for exclusivity – the importance of creating a ‘clubhouse’ mentality.

  • Understanding that investors need to put their capital to work and demonstrating the right ‘fit’ is essential for winning allocations.

Key Quotes/takeaways

1:43 | “…we simply built a tool which allowed investors to go on and set their investment criteria. Using the technology and machine learning, we’re able to look at all the deal flow that’s out there and match them to the investors that have a very specific appetite for those types of investments.”

5:11 | “…we had the luxury of not having to get clients first, the typical aspect of any business, especially in a marketplace model…Because we started with our unique approach, which is, here’s a free tool for investors, we already had a large base of investors using it. So, you know, we take form information of investors criteria, and so on — 80-plus touch points of each investor’s information. Multiply that by the currently 4500 or so investors that we have, and you can imagine, we have a very large aggregate data set of data on what the pockets of demand are within our business.”

17:07 | “…the thing I say to all capital seekers is, we understand that you all have a list of family offices and a list of investors. The list doesn’t really mean anything. What means something is the relationship that you have, and the understanding that you have with those family offices and their investment criteria.”

17:45 | “…those that do really well with us are those who take the time to understand what we care about and what we don’t want.”

19:44 | “…the feedback that we’ve always gotten, and I fully agree with this, is that people often tend to treat family offices as as a bank, as opposed to the fact that they’re people.”

30:10 | “…showcase that you’re being looked at by others. We are human beings, we have a herd mentality, right? So when we see notable investors looking at this deal, whether they plan on investing or not, it immediately piques our curiosity.”

31:00 | “If you’re pitching a family office, as I said, people love to talk about themselves. So ask the questions, and don’t be the one being interviewed. That’s the most important thing.”

31:11 | “Talk about fit…just address the elephant in the room. It has to be a fit, but it has to be a fit for both sides.”

34:25 | “…we’re actively looking to allocate just as much as somebody who is actively looking to raise, so the need is there on both sides, especially with inflation, all of those things that are happening, we have to make sure (family office) money is growing at a faster pace. So understanding that makes a capital raiser aware of the fact that the need is there. It’s about finding fit and finding the right people. And the moment you can just establish that, and the moment you can demonstrate that to an investor. It’s a very easy conversation.”

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Full Transcript

Jennifer Bruno  00:06

Welcome to Hedge Interview. This episode is part of the investor view series which features family office investors and other institutional investors from around the world. My goal is to help capital seekers understand marketing and communication best practices for developing meaningful relationships with allocators. My guest today is Saad Hasan. He is the founder and CEO of Nvestiv and he is the president of Hassan Family Office. He has many years of connecting capital seekers with investors, and he has raised over $15 billion from wealthy families and institutional investors. Welcome, Saad. Thank you for joining me today.

Saad Hassan  00:53

Hi, Jennifer. Thanks for having me.

Jennifer Bruno  00:55

So let’s start off with… give us a background on how you developed, what is Nvestiv? And how did you, how and why did you develop this platform?

Saad Hassan  01:07

So Nvestiv is a capital markets platform or ecosystem, let’s call it. It started out as a small piece of technology, which allowed family offices to qualify deal flow. So I had, in my past life, worked with many family offices. We did deals together, and one of the common questions that we always got, (was) how can we automate our deal qualification process? That’s something that is a challenge for most investors, whether it’s institutional (or) whether it’s family offices. Given my background in finance, and in technology, they said, ‘well, you’re uniquely equipped to be able to create something that serves our purpose.’ So we simply built a tool which allowed investors to go on and set their investment criteria. Using the technology and machine learning, we’re able to look at all the deal flow that’s out there and match them to the investors that have a very specific appetite for those types of investments.

Jennifer Bruno  02:12

Where do you get your data from?

Saad Hassan  02:16

User input. Actually, we don’t like to take any third party data. So given the platform that we built, as we grew our popularity base, a lot of those investors, they were driving sponsors, you know, fund managers direct deals directly onto the platform to fill up profiles, just so that it would give them a very streamlined understanding as to what level of fit there is.  Through word of mouth, it started spreading, and we have a pretty large base of of deal flow that have created accounts with us. And they’ve specified these are our specifics, and it just tells the investors, okay, this is a 98% fit to your overall criteria. We benchmark it with other deals and say, okay, this is a terrible deal compared to what you’re looking for. So that’s what it started out as.  We also then used third party data to augment the data that we already had on these guys. As our algorithms became a little more sophisticated, we started being almost a credit score for these businesses, using our own algorithms.  So it’s an internal thing that family offices we do, we don’t really advertise it too much. You’ll find that we never show ads or digital campaigns or anything like that, because really, it is meant to be a tool, a free tool for all investors.  But as a result, it does attract a lot of sponsors. And we’ve created that tool into a business eventually, which, you know, we charge our sponsors success fees based on the capital that we do raise for them.  And then, you know, giving sticking to the theme of providing value for for the players in this industry. I call them, you know, the brokers of the world, the deal sponsors, the investors, we created a data room feature, which I think is very needed, because the other complaint that we kept getting from the family offices were, you know, they were never going through data rooms, because they were usually Google Drives or drop boxes. And at the high end, a doc send, right, which were very unorganized, unstructured, almost folders, which you just drag in whatever you want. And, you know, I can use Dropbox to share photos, my weekend photos with my friends, right? That’s not highly intuitive with with an investment structure. So we built a structured data room which helps sponsors fill in their information and create data rooms which they can share, get analytics and stuff like that much like a doc send does. So that’s a free feature, for example that we’ve made available. It just unifies the way and standardizes the way that that family offices are. We’re starting to see deal flow. And so that really is what Nvestiv is.

Jennifer Bruno  05:04

Wow, that’s cool. Now, how do you qualify? Who gets to be on Nvestiv in terms of a sponsor?

Saad Hassan  05:11

Oh, that’s an interesting point. So we had the luxury of not having to get clients first, the typical aspect of any business, especially in a marketplace model, like a, like an investor, is, you know, it’s a chicken and egg scenario, right? If you get the sponsors, you need to have the investors and if you have the investors, you need to have a sponsor. So which side do you grow first? Because we started with our unique approach, which is, here’s a free tool for investors, we already had a large base of investors using it. So, you know, we take form information of investors criteria, and so on — 80-plus touch points of each investor’s information. Multiply that by the currently 4500 or so investors that we have, and you can imagine, we have a very large aggregate data set of data on what the pockets of demand are within our business.  I’ll give you an example recently, you know, with the markets crashing the way that they did, a lot of investors, they shifted their their priorities away from equity investments towards debt strategies. And we started seeing those changes as investors went in and updated their profiles. So where in the past, we were looking for deal flow in private equity, towards higher risk factors. Now we’re looking at very, you know, risk averse strategies and debt looking for eight to 12% returns, geographic focus, we started seeing shifted to their local areas, as opposed to outside of where they were.  These are all interesting statistics and analytics that we see, based on the aggregate data, and then we use that data as a rubric to qualify the manager sponsors that we see.  So if we’re trying to fill a particular spot, we’ll speak to seven or 10 different sponsors at the same time, give them our rubric and say, how do you align with this rubric? We’ll interview them, you know, and we’ll have a committee that decides, okay, let’s bring on two or three people that are doing something similar in this space, just to provide an option for our investors in that category.  It’s a very demand driven approach. It’s not a supply driven approach, which allows us to keep our conversion rates really high, but at the same time, it really does facilitate good conversations, because our focus is not volume, our focus is is qualification.

Jennifer Bruno  07:30

So who are you working with? Do you find that you have more funds or asset managers or, you know, direct types of investments? What types of investments? Do you cover everything? What predominantly are the offerings on your platform?

Saad Hassan  07:30

We don’t touch public markets, except for hedge funds. And so we do alternative investments in private equity and private debt, real estate, venture capital startups. Startups very recently, we haven’t really interesting had any interest in startups. Energy, natural resources, infrastructure, things like that.  Generally, it had been funds in the beginning, when we first started. We saw a very large shift towards direct deals in the last year, year and a half. Not only from our demand side, but then obviously, as I said, as a consequence, we started onboarding, a lot more direct deals, to satisfy the needs that we had.  So you know, even in real estate, even in venture, right, so I use the example of startups in the past, we had a lot of institutional investors that were investing into venture funds. A lot of family offices that were interested in venture funds, pretty soon they realized that, you know, the concept of venture is not that difficult anymore. And people decided, hey, maybe we can avoid a layer of fees.  We already get a lot of pitches to startups, some of these family offices actually built their wealth in building some sort of company or technology. So they have the experience and all of that. And they said, Okay, let’s try our own hand. Also, there’s this ‘youthification’ of family offices that’s happening right now. The baby boomers are now passing on their businesses to their younger generation and the younger generation tend to, based on my experience, have a better interest in direct deals that they can touch and feel, as opposed to an indirect investment through a fund.

Jennifer Bruno  09:35

Interesting. Now, there are a number of different varying types of platforms out there that are connecting investors and allocators. I mean, investors with capital seekers. So, how do you differentiate Nvestiv, the investing platform, what would you say is one of the most unique features of it? How is it different?

Saad Hassan  09:59

Well, there’s there’s one. First of all, we get compared to crowdfunding platforms a lot. We don’t we’re not crowd funders, right? We work with very sophisticated investors who will not ever write a check or do a transaction online, they require three to six months of due diligence prior to writing a check. So what we do is we create connections, we don’t actually facilitate the payments and etc. On the platform. We work with accredited investors only, right? The smallest investor that we have, in terms of their net worth, I believe, is about 14 or $15 million. Right. So no retail investors. But then most importantly, you know, this is something that is a high priority to us as a family office, but to all family offices is the privacy. We sometimes get bucketed into a database, sometimes you know, where we get compared to a pitch book or a CrunchBase, or frequent or something. We don’t list our data. The interesting thing about investing is that the accounts you create any information you provide us are extremely private, we use our internal algorithms to match you, but we do a blind match. It’s a double one. So if you’re a sponsor, and if I’m an investor, when we are seeing each other as matches, we’re not seeing each other’s identities, we are simply seeing the inherent qualities of the information that we’ve provided, and why we’re a match with each other. Only when we’ve mutually agreed to connect with each other, will our identities become revealed to each other?

Jennifer Bruno  11:32

Wow, interesting. So then what happens, you know, is there an email exchange?

Saad Hassan  11:42

So when a when a sponsor sees the investors information, the investor is happy, because they’ve opted in for that conversation. So it’s no longer a cold call for the sponsors to to reach out. So it’s a matter of the sponsor looking at the brochures, emails, or their phone numbers and say, look, we’ve connected on on invested, when can we set up a time, we have a inbuilt scheduler, which is just based off of a Calendly. So they can schedule with each other. And there’s a lot of different things that they can do. But the whole idea is that we create connections that are that are mutually aware of each other. And that’s really our differentiating factor, that privacy aspect, that law of privacy is what allows family offices to have confidence in working with us. And we wouldn’t have done this if it if it hadn’t been for the fact that we developed this whole thing with the help of family offices. So they told us exactly what they needed. And we just went and build what what we were directed to build.

Jennifer Bruno  12:39

Excellent. And so if someone wanted to find out more information about Nvestiv, would they go to your website? Or? Or do you have an online presence? Or how would somebody reach out to you?

Saad Hassan  12:53

We have LinkedIn we have, you know, our social. Nvestiv.com is the place to go. The nice thing about Nvestiv is that because we’re technology, you can actually create an account for free and just start browsing around to see what the app is like. There, the data rooms features free, I mean, everyone, a lot of people use the data rooms, and they don’t even use us to raise capital. And then the premium feature, what we call Iris, is our matchmaking system. So that comes after an upgrade. But you know, it’s very easy to kind of get a feel for what it is that we do without having to pay anything. And that really kind of builds that trust.

Jennifer Bruno  13:33

So now, just shifting gears a little bit, you’re also head of your own family office. And what are your focus areas, what interests you?

Saad Hassan  13:46

Alternatives, private equity, I have an outsourced portfolio of the public. Any family office, as you know, we have a balance in our portfolio. So all the public markets stuff I’ve outsourced to money managers and etc. because that stuff really doesn’t interest me. What? Yeah, what directly interests me are the private investments, the ones where I can roll up my sleeves and get involved. So that includes the real estate that includes the startups and the ventures, private equity deals. And when I say private equity, I mean things like I mean recently, we’ve just done a deal, where we built a data center in Finland. Right, so things like that interest me. Startups, we have about 16 portfolio companies under our belt right now. A few of them have exited already. A few of them are yet to exit. I believe they’re waiting on the markets to clean up a little bit. But yeah, you know, those kinds of things that really require involvement from an early stage, as opposed to they’re already a well oiled machine. That’s really the differentiator for me.

Jennifer Bruno  14:57

And so when now, in terms of how you are attracted to a particular investment opportunity, how does somebody pique your interest? How do  people contact you? Directly? You know, what, how does someone get your interest?

Saad Hassan  15:19

I was mentioning this to you earlier, we’ve done a pretty good job of of keeping ourselves off of databases, and etc. So it’s not often that that deals come to us, but in our involvement, and in our work, there are people who know of us and so a lot of our deal flow comes from other family offices. We are not that experienced to the family office and haven’t been around as long as some of these other guys. So we don’t generally lead the deals. We jump on to and piggyback other deals with other family offices that we like and trust. You’ll find I’m sure you know, this already that family offices, they like to work with other family offices.

Jennifer Bruno  16:03

Yes. Very good. That’s something that I think a lot of capitals seekers don’t necessarily understand is that, you know, if you mess up with one family office, you’ve messed up with many. So you want to, you know, be very careful and be very diligent in your in your process, I would think.

Saad Hassan  16:23

Yeah, and the other thing that I would say is very important is, is sponsors who are looking to reach out to family offices, I mean, myself, for example, you know, it’s very important to understand what the priority of that family offices, right. And the two main archetypes of that would be, you know, wealth generation and wealth preservation. A group like us, you know, considering we’re younger, not only are we looking to preserve our capital, but we’re obviously looking to grow that as well, right. But a larger, more established family office may not be as interested in higher risk or speculative types of investments that they’re more interested in just preservation. So, the thing I say to all capital seekers is, we understand that you all have a list of family offices and a list of investors. The list doesn’t really mean anything. What means something is the relationship that you have, and the understanding that you have with those family offices and their investment criteria. And every time you call somebody about a deal, that may not be a perfect fit for what they’re looking for, that’s one less phone call you have left in the chamber, until they write you off and say this is a, this is a sort of dud situation, this is not something that’s good for our pipeline, it’s a waste of our time.  So the first few conversations, those that do really well with us are those who take the time to understand this and understand what we care about and what we don’t want. I’ve used this word before the name of the game is disqualification. Right? And those who do that well, tend to either get investments from us or get referrals from us.

Jennifer Bruno  18:08

And so I often advise capital seekers to find out something about the family office that you’re going to reach out to you can’t reach out blind, you have to know something, you have to demonstrate that you know, something. And so often I will say, you know, do no, no mass mailings. Your communication needs to be very customized, you need to learn something about who you’re reaching out to. And I often say, you know, the the social media platform that matters is LinkedIn, because often family offices will sometimes say what their mandate is, and they’ll say, you know, ‘we are invested in XY and Z,’ sometimes. But what would you say is, sort of the, you know, as you use that term, chicken and egg, like, how would one find out about what you’re interested in? Given that family offices are fairly low profile? And they don’t want to waste your time, but how would they find out potentially?

Saad Hassan  19:19

So the answer to that is, we’ve done a lot of internal reviews about this. I’ve spoken to many other family offices, and I found that their answers to this is a lot different from mine. Maybe because I’m newer at this. If I’m around for a couple of decades, maybe then I’ll have a different outlook on this. But here’s what I feel. This is coming from Arab family offices. So some of the some of the larger, you know, family offices, sovereign wealth funds out of the Middle East. You know, they get pitched by startups from small business all the way up to large funds like Brookfield and KKR. And the one thing that, you know, the feedback that we’ve always gotten, and I fully agree with this, is that people often tend to treat family offices as a bank, as opposed to the fact that they’re people. Most family offices, they built their wealth doing something, some of it is family money from previous generations. But, you know, my family office, for example, started with a technology or a company, which, you know, gave me some success, and I was able to reinvest that into investments. So that makes me a normal person. It makes me, you know, a person who is more integrated into the world, than a large, you know, multi-generational family office, for example.  So, people have translated the example of, well, these are large banks, into this capital raising process, and they have forgotten the fact that there’s a person that’s making that decision. And if you forget to treat the family office, like a person at the your contact, like a person, you will end up not building a solid relationship with them.  One thing I’ve found all the time is that people suddenly start using big words with us, right? A conversation with a family office really isn’t an excuse to start throwing around your vocabulary. Talk to us, like you’re talking to a normal person, right?

Jennifer Bruno  21:29

I’m so glad you said that, because I often tell people, no technical jargon! Don’t (use a term) if your grandmother wouldn’t understand. I mean, these are real people. And not everybody knows your technology or your space the way you do. So speak in the clearest term. I mean, these are sophisticated investors, but you still don’t show off with jargon.

Saad Hassan  21:54

Jargon is one. Even, for example, when you’re speaking to somebody on LinkedIn. We had somebody within our group, evaluate all of my conversations. I had been away for the last year or so, working on a project overseas, and I left somebody control of my LinkedIn. Now, funny story, because she looked at my stuff and said, “Look, you know, I noticed the pattern while I was monitoring your LinkedIn, and I noticed that you interact more with people who are casual with you, versus those who come to come to you very formally.” I noticed and she very specifically pointed out she was like, I noticed people who use their full words in a LinkedIn chat, versus those who you know, truncate, or those who use apostrophes and abbreviations. She was like, Is there a reason for that? And I realized it’s just a subconscious bias, right? Because that’s how I speak with my friends. And that’s how I speak with my peers. And, and so when I see that it automatically mirrors me. And that’s what’s interesting to me. People forget to do that. These little, little things matter. So to answer your question directly, get to know the family office first (in order) to speak to them. Remember that there’s somebody you know, who built their wealth in something. And I found that people love to talk about themselves, right? So you ask a family office, or you ask an investor, how they got to where they are today, and what kind of things they’ve done to get here. An indicator of future investment is past investment, right? Past activities, getting to know that and asking casual questions will lead to the family office, or the executive, just looking at you and saying, “Okay, well, what are you doing? What are you working on?” And that is a good transition? Don’t bring it up yourself. Just have a conversation. Right?

Jennifer Bruno  23:49

Right. Well, you’ve covered a lot of the, you know, best practices of what TO do in terms of communication. And so what would be sort of a $1 million dollar mistake or a $5 million mistake? What NOT to do that you’ve seen that you’re like, ‘Oh, God, just please don’t do this.’

Saad Hassan  24:12

Anybody who is watching this, who is an investor will agree with me, PowerPoint. The moment you pull up a PowerPoint, in a first pitch, you’ve lost me.  I can read that stuff after. Right now, if you want to take me to a slide to actually show me visuals. Okay (I) understand, not a problem. But if you’re going slide by slide, going through the problem slide, and the solution slide, and then competition and market size, you’ve lost me. Yeah, I believe that’s the case with everybody. Because look, you have to understand, family offices get anywhere from 500 to 600 pitch decks a day. And I wouldn’t say that we’re reading them all, but we’re reading at least, you know, 30 or 40, from time to time. And there is this idea that all pitch decks and presentations tend to be the same, in the same format, just to create some consistency, so we know exactly what page to navigate to when we’re looking for certain pieces of information. (What) we want to know (is) the the color commentary around what you’ve already provided us, right? And that’s the most important thing about a pitch that really derails things in the very first conversation.

Saad Hassan  25:53

To be frank, most people don’t care if you have a criminal record. And most family offices don’t care if your criminal record is not related. I’ve invested in people who have, you know, DUIs. I’ve invested in people. Actually, I’ve invested in people who were accused of murder, but they were let go, but the court documents remain. So it will show up in a in a background check. They were you know, they were proven innocent, so I don’t hold it against them. I look at their work. And I see, okay, this is what you’ve done. So those things don’t really matter. I know, some people, some family offices care about that stuff.  But the only thing that will prevent me is financial-related, fraud-related crimes. Everybody knows that already.

Saad Hassan  26:40

And we will do background checks. That’s part of our initial due diligence, right family offices, it’s not that we’re opting to do a background check on you, it’s more along the lines of this is our process. One of our analysts will press a button that does the background check automatically. And when those things pop up, if you’re not upfront about it, it casts a shadow over the entire deal. What really has popped up to us, in the past, are there are some sponsors who will spend an extra three or $4,000, to do a full level three search on themselves, and provide that third party report as part of their data rooms. It may not have anything in it, it may be completely flag free, but it gives us a level of confidence to say, okay, these guys understand what we’re going to do and what we’re looking for. And they’ve taken the time to do it.  Now, you know, yes, it spares us an expense. (As a) family office, we’re willing to take the expense. That’s not the issue. But it’s spares us the time. And that time aspect is important. So that really speeds up transactions.

Jennifer Bruno  27:55

Interesting. Okay. And so now in terms of what how you mentioned data room, you had said, “Don’t do a presentation in your first interaction.” But do you require a presentation? What do you require to review?What is what are the what are the materials that you would want to review as part of your due diligence?

Saad Hassan  28:17

Actually, that’s a matter that’s very close to my heart. The reason why we built the data rooms is because most people don’t know what to put in the data rooms. Right. So our structure is we have a section which is a summary. We want a pitch deck, we want a maybe two to three minute video pitch, if it’s possible, and a summary and executive summary. Then there’s a section on a financials, we want their performance, we want their projections, we want their expenses, and we want a drawdown of how they’re going to be spending their capital. The legal stuff matters, you know, licenses, zoning requirements, any IP that they have if it’s a company, Traction is very important. And the one thing that I that I find myself, you know, uncontrollably attracted to are LOI’s and offtake agreements. If a company comes to us and says, “Look, we want to build this, but if we can build it, then we can ship it to our customers because of the signed offtake agreements.” And so it’s a very simple conversation after that.  So that’s on the customer side, but even on the investor side. So in our set data rooms for Nvestiv, we have a section that allows you to upload the LOI’s of other investors who are soft circling the deal. And I suggest that to all the sponsors that I’ve ever worked with, and I say, “Look, if you’re having a conversation with an investor that enters due diligence with you where they’re looking at your data room and have them sign an NDA.” That NDA should have a clause that says hey, let this be a Letter of Intent or something along those lines that I’m conducting due diligence in order to assess an investment opportunity. And therefore, the NDA must apply.  Just that first clause makes it a letter of intent. And you can put that letter of intent into your data rooms, which allows you to showcase that you’re being looked at by others. We are human beings, we have a herd mentality, right? So when we see notable investors looking at this deal, whether they plan on investing or not, it immediately piques our curiosity, so that’s (what) we care about.

Jennifer Bruno  30:34

Very, very helpful. That’s very valuable information. I really appreciate your input on that. So my last question is going back to I’m going to ask is going back to what you said about, you know, don’t do a presentation upfront, if what would be your ideal initial interaction? If not, in that format? What is your preferred format, as far as that goes?

Saad Hassan  31:00

If you’re pitching a family office, as I said, people love to talk about themselves. So ask the questions, and don’t be the one being interviewed. That’s the most important thing, right?  Take charge of the conversation and say, “Look, I’m interested in your family office.” Talk about fit, because we’re thinking in our heads just address the elephant in the room, right? It has to be a fit, but it has to be a fit for both sides. I mean, sure, we’re evaluating an investment. But the investment opportunity with a sponsor also has to understand that they have to evaluate us as well. KYC, AML, those are all important aspects that goes towards showing that the manager also has control over whether to take an investment or not. Now, because they’re searching for money, they have this, you know, this easygoing nature, of ‘I’ll take whatever I can get,’ but that doesn’t get you investors. If you can create some level of exclusivity and say, “Look, this is a deal, which we’re very picky about. We want the right people in our cap table.” And we want to understand fit, because we want to see what strategic value you bring. Those are conversations that you know, they’re simple sales tactics, but it works on a human mind, because we want to feel that way. Family offices are shameless in explaining this, that we want to feel exclusive, we want to feel that clubhouse mentality, right. So that is really what attracts us.  So I would say spend the first conversation, maybe even the second conversation, just getting to know the family office, getting to know their investment mandates and criteria.  Come with a questionnaire that you ask, look, do you invest in these localities? What are your projects or your expected returns? Right? Ask about the due diligence process explain, look, this is how long we have of a window to raise. Right? Does that fit into? You know, if we kicked off due diligence today? Would you be able to manage that time? And if they can manage it, would you prioritize this investment compared to the other investments that you’re looking at? Right?  There’s a lot of different things that are moving variables that that lead to an investment. And to really qualify those down from the manager standpoint, it’s very important.  I had one very successful manager told me, they told me this, and they’ve raised billions. They said, “Look, the one thing that really triggered me into success, where I wasn’t succeeding before, was understanding one very small but simple fact that, yes, we have an important need to raise capital, because our competitors and I are going after the same capital. If I don’t get there, somebody else is going to get there first.” But he understood that investors also have a need to invest their money. We don’t want our money sitting here sitting around in a savings account. Right? We need to put it to work. Particularly institutions, for example, a pension when the exit or in the last couple of months when there was a major sell off in the markets. That money is no longer sitting there in a bank account.  There’s an algorithm that families or institutions have and they say, we have to rebalance our portfolio by taking this capital and putting bits and bit pieces into certain asset classes so that we bring ourselves back into equilibrium. And we have a deadline to allocate that money.  So we’re actively looking to allocate just as much as somebody who is actively looking to raise. So the need is there on both sides, especially with inflation, all of those things that are happening, we have to make sure their money is growing at a faster pace. So understanding that makes a capital raiser aware of the fact that the need is there. It’s about finding fit and finding the right people. And the moment you can just establish that, and the moment you can demonstrate that to an investor. It’s a very easy conversation.

Jennifer Bruno  35:00

This is very valuable information. Thank you so much for sharing these insights today. This has been super valuable and much appreciated. You’ve covered everything that, you know the gamut of what I really wanted to glean from you and your experience, as far as, you know, how to approach allocators. So I really appreciate your time today. Thank you so much.

Saad Hassan  35:27

This is fun, actually. I enjoy talking about this stuff. A little less about the family office side, because you know, we try to stay private. But when it comes to the capital formation of capital markets, it’s something that I’m extremely passionate about. It’s something that I’ve done in the past raising capital. And now I’m on the allocating side. And it’s interesting. You get to see into the minds of other people. So you know, I appreciate the chance to actually be able to talk about it.

Jennifer Bruno  35:54

Right. Well, and also, what you know, from being a family office and just collaborating with other family offices, that just your willingness to share that information is really helpful for people to do it right. You know, and not miss the chance to line up in a way that is a win for everyone. So again, I really appreciate your time and thank you.

Saad Hassan  36:21

Absolutely.

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