A specialist in executive coaching, training for presentations and helping private equity firms thrive, Steve Giglio has worked with more than 20,000 pros from the ranks of alternative investments and corporate America since launching his practice in 1989. He also penned the 2003 book “Beating the Deal Killers … Overcoming Murphy’s Law (and other Selling Nightmares).”
Nowadays, Giglio is seeing more emphasis from private equity firms both on their marketing messages to LPs and how they communicate and deliver recommendations to portfolio companies.
“It’s a huge issue for hedge funds and private equity firms, not only in shaping their message, but in how they relate down to their DNA — not only to existing investors, but especially to prospective investors,” Giglio said.
Giglio focuses on these issues when setting up action plans for firms and their portfolio companies. He also provides input to executives by conducting interviews about them with their peers and subordinates and sharing their comments in an effort called a 360 executive development plan.
Giglio summarizes a firm’s or a portfolio company’s main message through an exercise called storyboarding. The objective is to get everyone from executives down to hourly employees able to articulate the same message, or “being in one voice,” he said.
These and other dynamics at firms loom large on LP radar screens, he said. When talking recently to an executive at a major university pension fund, an LP told Giglio he expects the math in a presentation to be right, but the pension fund is more focused than ever on how teams work together, Giglio said.
“The LP said if they’re not smooth with us, then if they’re working with team members at an industrial company, they may not be relating to them either,” he said.
Giglio aims to keep lessons ingrained in executives and employees once their bosses leave the room or step on a plane, so the “new puppy” continues to use the newspaper and not the floor.
“I have training exercises to put the puppy back on the paper, relationally,” he said. “We create a dashboard together. We demonstrably shift the image of the private equity firm, so they’re more of a partner with their LPs and portfolio companies.”
Overall, GPs need to avoid the “master of the universe” mistake of talking as an authority on an issue to their various constituents, rather than seeking out input through through a true dialogue, Giglio said.
Photo of Steve Giglio courtesy of Giglio Company Inc
Correction: This story has been updated to correctly list the email and website address for Giglio Company Inc.