Baldwin Berges and Matt interviewed Ole Rollag of Murano.

Ole mentioned a couple things in particular that caught our attention:

One is the importance of good old phone followup. Ole mentioned that Murano’s people spend a lot of time on the phone with allocators; he used a great phrase, saying that allocators are essentially “drinking from a firehose.” Simply sending them a couple emails and hoping they’ll notice you is a recipe for failure. It doesn’t matter how great your slide deck is — if they don’t know you, you’re just a drop in the ocean. Call them up and become real, even if you are thinking a call is a little too much, or are afraid you might do it wrong. Stay top of mind.

Another is that many managers don’t know who they’re competing against. A great Ole-ism: “If I had a dime for every time a manager said they are unique and they don’t compete with anyone, I’d be a very rich man.”

Ole knows quite well what goes on in the heads of allocators — he talks to a lot of them, just in the normal course of his business. An interesting point that he makes, and we here at Doppler have seen the same thing, is that fund managers tend to stress performance, but performance is only third or fourth on the list of what a good allocator is looking for. That point alone (it’s around minutes 15-17 of the podcast) makes the podcast a great listen.

There’s lots of other great stuff here too. Thanks Ole, it was a pleasure!

About Baldwin Berges

Baldwin has been active in the investment industry for more than 20 years. His specialty is all about positioning investment opportunities so they are easy to understand and developing strategies and systems to convert more opportunities into business during long sales cycles.

About Matt Krause

Matt began his professional life managing inventory levels for wholesale import companies and forecasting labor costs for national retail chains. Since 2006, he has been teaching professionals how to present themselves and their companies better. His clients work for companies like Citibank, Allianz, 3M, P&G, and Deloitte.

Full transcript:

Matt:
Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Lessons Learned podcast. Our hosts are Matt Krause, that’s me, and Baldwin Berges.

Baldwin:
Hello there.

Matt:
And, our guest today is Ole Rollag of Murano. Ole, can you introduce yourself a little bit, and tell us what you do, and who you do it for?

Ole:
Sure. Well, thank you very much for inviting me to be on the podcast. Like Matt said, my name’s Ole Rollag. I am the founder and managing principal of a company called Murano which is basically placed to go right up against that third party marketing model.

What Murano is, is essentially a matchmaking service. We don’t sell funds, you don’t say the name of the funds, we don’t get paid off the back when they sell. All we’re doing is listening to the allocators and finding out what they’re looking for and if we have a fund manager that fits within that profile, and there’s no deal breakers, we’ll have that manager get in touch with the allocator so they can start a relationship.

Baldwin:
I remember when I first met you, this has got to be about 10 years ago now, I think it was in 2007 or 2008, right? At the time, I was also setting up an investment boutique focused on exotic markets in Africa and the Middle East. And someone told us, or told me at least, you’ve got to talk to Ole Rollag. I was really having a hard time trying to get attention to that business in the beginning and all that, and so we met.

I remember we met in the city of London, and I remember we had this fascinating conversation about where you had this other way from the traditional third party marketing solution. Because as a fund manager myself, I was kind of nervous about paying away retainers to the wrong people because I’ve made that mistake before, basically getting on to their roster where they’re then struggling to divide time to the managers and don’t actually have the confidence of the final investor and most of the time it went nowhere. It was really exciting to hear you say, like, no, no, look, there’s another way.

A good place to start is maybe, what’s wrong with this third party marketing model, and because since 10 years, you have worked with thousands of managers, you’ve listened to them, and you’ve also seen all the mistakes that the managers have made. We can have a pretty long conversation, but what stands out most for you?

Ole:

It’s funny, because you know, when you think about it, I was one of those managers as well. And I think when we met, I was just kind of wrapping up this idea of a long volatility fund.

You remember in 2008 it was a really tough time. As a matter of fact, I don’t know anybody who actually kept their jobs within that period. I think everybody had to switch or move on, and I made a very good decision and a very poor decision, because an event driven long volatility fund in 2007 would have been the fund to invest in, but the timing of the business was wrong. So, Ole Rollag as a fund manager wasn’t going to happen in the near term.

Then, I don’t know if you remember, but it looked Armageddon. It looked like things were really just going to go to zero. One of the things that I really struggled with as an asset manager is of course, you know, I’m a genius right? (Laughter) People should invest in me because I’m really good at it. Most managers have this sort of [inaudible] where, if somebody has money, they should definitely allocate to you.

You’re very cognizant that when you’re starting a new business, the formula for success is AUM times management fee plus performance fee equals success. There’s no point being in the asset management business if you’re running a sub-scale fund. It’s just not worth the risk. So, we were doing management consulting and I sort of kept myself employed throughout the crisis, and then kind of came up with this idea of Murano because, you know of the many, many things that are very complicated in this industry, we find that getting that first meeting is probably the most costly and the most difficult. So, trying to find out ways for people to kind of work through that is sort of a major factor. And that’s why people go to conferences, and all that sort of stuff.

Baldwin:
And that’s an interesting point you just raised there, because from what I’ve seen in the industry is, there doesn’t seem to be this awareness of the cost per meeting, so asset managers from my experience don’t really think too much about, is it really worth me doing that trip to let’s say, Hong Kong, because actually I haven’t analyzed what the cost of client acquisition is. They’re kind of in the dark about that, aren’t they?

Ole:
Totally, and it’s extremely frustrating.

Baldwin:
Exactly. There’s no rationale behind it, right?

Ole:
Yeah, and then what I think the biggest or one of the big problems is that sales is relegated into a corner where it’s very much underappreciated in this industry. You think about any other business, any other listed company, what do we care about? We care about earnings growth. We care about sales. And business is sales. And that’s what is going to make you a success or a failure. And yet, we’re so isolated in this industry and then we have these sort of notions of, call them what you will, but this sort of inability to understand what the business is of asset management.

Baldwin:
So you put these parties together, you make a match, and then, have you over time now gotten also involved in coaching these guys on how to make the right impression to actually get the business, or has that become part of your proposition? Because you must have seen all sorts of things going wrong once that match was made.

Ole:
Yeah, yeah. Maybe it would be helpful just to give some scope of what the scale of the business is, and all this other sort of stuff. So right now, we’re just under 30 employees with offices in London and New York. The majority of these employees are calling allocators all day long. They make about 50 calls each. They get hold of about 10 allocators and if they can find one allocator that fits within the requirements of what one of managers are doing, then we write it up and asked the manager to contact this allocator.

We have just under, or just about 90 clients that range anywhere from tiny little funds all the way up to very, very large asset managers. Our largest client is just over a trillion dollars in AUM, and the way the service works, is it’s a pure informational service. Like I said before, we don’t represent anyone or shout any names out, or anything like that. So, there’s a big challenge, is that you can find the right investors, but if the clients are not using the service correctly, then they’re going to cancel the service. The service can be canceled within a quarter, so with three months’ time, and so we have to make sure that not only are we finding the right investors, but that we’re also, that our managers know how to contact these investors.

The biggest problem that we find, is that a lot of people hide behind e-mail. And if you want to start a relationship, you have to call. It’s funny, because these days we’re looking at algorithms, and the majority of our work is done on a computer and all this other sort of stuff. People have this natural tendency, or this need, to actually hear somebody else’s voice on the phone, and that’s my big intention.

Baldwin:
So you actually probably have then, evidence that allocators want to be called by the right people.

Ole:
Oh, yeah. When you think about it, how many e-mails do you receive a day? How many e-mails do you think an allocator receives a day.

Baldwin:
Oh, it’s ridiculous the amount. It must be amazing, yeah.

Ole:
It’s easily 200. I know one guy who has just three years in the business and he receives actually 2500 e-mails a day.

Matt:
Say that again, 2000 what?

Ole:
2500 e-mails a day.

Matt:
Wow.

Ole:
The read rate on e-mails we know is 5%. One thing that I always ask allocators is hey, how do you decide which e-mail to read, or which call to pick up? The basic response is, if I don’t who you are, I don’t read your mail.

Baldwin:
Of course, yeah. So the fund manager then has a limiting belief in his head, saying that the allocator actually does not want to be called, and that’s where this whole thing gets stuck, right?

Ole:
It’s rubbish. They have to be called. Also, you notice in your own personal lives, you get this e-mail from a conference organizer or somebody, and then it will say, come to this conference, and then they’ll respond to their own e-mail, saying hey, Ole, did you receive this? And it’s like, yeah (laughter), you know, this isn’t sincere. Because e-mails are free, they’re abused. It always goes back to the relationship. If I know who you are, you at least introduce me to your product, then we can chat.

The other problem that we’re seeing past the call is that oftentimes e-mails are too long, so you get the TL;DR, too long, didn’t read sort of thing. Managers need to know what their value proposition is. What’s incredible, is that people don’t know how they compete or why people allocate to them. Which to me, is crazy, right?

Baldwin:
Yeah, yeah. I know it’s striking actually to hear it, because it’s all metrics about performance. It’s all about basically, that they’re so good at segmenting information when it comes to the financial part, but when it comes to the commercial part, they actually haven’t even thought about it a second, about what makes them so unique.

Ole:
Yeah, and yet you’re dedicating millions of dollars to this business, and you don’t know how to segment or target yourself. Which is really funny, because it’s across different sort of things, so if you look at CTA managers, commodity trading advisors, [company name] and so on and so forth, they know the pecking order. They follow the rankings and they follow what’s going on, and they know, well you buy me because so and so doesn’t do this, or that, or the other thing. When you’re looking at most long-only managers or a lot of other managers, they do not know who they compete against.

If I had a dime for every time a manager said they’re unique and they don’t compete with anyone, I’d be a very rich man. (Laughter)

Baldwin:
So Ole, what can managers do to better understand … is it about better understanding … so with your services that you speak to allocators all the time, and so you make a map of what they’re looking for, what they want, what their preferences are? But, do you also help managers help find out what makes them so unique, or is that something that they just have to do by themselves, is that an exercise …

Ole:
Unfortunately, it’s a combination of the two. If you’re looking at big mistakes which there are many, I’ve learned … let me tell you a story. At one time, what we did was, we would help managers with their presentations. You know, get it to look pretty, make sure the messaging was efficient and clear, and all that sort of stuff. The one thing I learned, and I don’t know, Matt, if you’ve had that same experience or Baldwin but you know, you can only go so far with what the message is. Ultimately, the manager is going to have to do a lot of work because that is their job. But they don’t know how to a lot of times, and it’s not uncommon to be so close to your business that you don’t really, you can’t really see anything else except what’s five inches from you.

It’s a little bit funny, we’ve all had relationships and everything, and then whenever you go over a problem or something like that, you talk to a friend or significant other, and it’s like oh, well you should do this. Like, gee, I don’t know, and all this other stuff, and you kind of hesitate. But then you think about that a couple of weeks later or a month later, and you’re like, yeah they’re actually right. Why didn’t I just accept it.

It’s like that with a lot of managers. You can give them the tools, but also from what I said, they’re going to have to make the changes and you come and do all that tough work. It’s a little bit like, with consulting is never do something that cannot be sustainable and replicated in house. Because if you do something for people, they will never know how to recreate it.

Baldwin:
Yeah, that’s the fish, or learning to fish kind of analogy, right?

Ole:
Yeah.

Baldwin:
You have to be able to internalize it. You’ve spoken to so many allocators. I know you actually produce content about your interviews with them, I think you’re still doing that. What comes to mind as this recurring desire by fund allocators that they wish fund managers would behave better at or become better at? Is there something recurring?

Ole:
Yeah, but I think the biggest recurring … I would say there are two kinds of allocators. There’s the simplistic one who buys performance and then there’s the professional allocator, and I have to be very careful how I say this, but … the problem with allocating to third party funds is that there is no book that I’ve seen that tells you how to allocate to a third party fund manager. You can’t go to school, or there’s not an association, and so really it’s a craft.

When you’re coming into the profession of third party fund allocation, most of the people say, well, what’s performing, what’s not performing, and that’s the allocator who is down a very, very difficult road because what happens is that you’ll buy a high performing manager, all of the sudden they go into draw down, you’re unhappy that you lost money, you redeem from the fund and they go off to find the next best thing to replicate your mistake.

What really happens, you start to understand that performance is the product of a good process and a good edge. So a good allocator doesn’t look at performance right away. As a matter of fact it’s usually, what’s funny is this is actually sort of like across the board, performance is probably a third or fourth factor in the whole look and feel of the fund. It’s up to the allocator to understand under what conditions this manager will perform. Are the conditions right, or are they not right?

Also, understand what that edge is, what makes that manager different from everyone else. Just because of a manager’s underperforming an index, or peer group, or he’s outperforming the peer group, or his asset classes are not at the right time, there’s a whole bunch of different factors that you can’t discount as an investor.

I kind of go back to my grandfather. My grandfather was a veterinarian and when I was a kid, I didn’t really care about it. I thought, oh yeah, a veterinarian, cats and dogs, big deal. He doesn’t work on humans, he isn’t a brain surgeon. But actually, you think about it, a veterinarian is a tough job because animals don’t tell you where they hurt. And fund managers don’t tell you why they’re special. They don’t know, most of them don’t. It’s really a skill that an allocator has to get and it’s a thankless skill that they have to have.

Baldwin:
And is that across hierarchy, so even the principals struggle with this? You maybe attribute, maybe it’s lack of experience by the salespeople, or is it just across the company in general, when you see this?

Ole:
It’s usually, newer managers typically will suffer from this a lot. Smaller managers will. If you’re talking to like, a Blackrock, or a large asset manager, they know it exactly. They’ve got it down. There’s a reason why some of those guys are big. But it does seem to be across the board, and with allocators just as with fund managers, some are wiser than others, but that’s what makes this industry a little bit complex, is because you have different experience, different skill sets, and a lot of people haven’t made all those mistakes just yet.

Matt:
Could we back up to something you mentioned earlier? You mentioned the volume of e-mails they get, and a lot of the allocators won’t even talk to somebody who they don’t know personally. We run into a lot of clients who, they think that oh, we’ll take our prettied up slide deck and we’ll e-mail it off to a bunch of people that we don’t know, and our lives are going to change. Can you talk a little bit more as to why you see that as the wrong way to go about things, and what’s happening on the other end of this erroneous belief?

Ole:
Yeah, and essentially these, a lot of allocators are drinking from a fire hose when it comes to information. They just have too much of it, and also, it kind of falls flat. The bulk e-mailing thing doesn’t work, I know for a fact that doesn’t work. People just don’t rush out, and I think what people miss out on is this very intuitive nature of that actually, we are service providers. If I’m going to give somebody my money, I’ve got to trust them. It’s about a relationship. Can I trust you? And you’d be amazed how many fact sheets disappear when the performance is bad. And above all, if I have a manager that will not take my call if things are not going well, then they’re not going to do business with them.

It’s amazing just to go through this whole thing. Most businesses will map out their sales process. If you think about this, the only reason why you send an e-mail, or the only reason why you call is for them to read your e-mail, and the only reason why you want to read your e-mail is prompt them to open up the presentation of the fact sheet. The only reason why you have them read the fact sheet is so that you can get a meeting. The only reason why you want a meeting, is so you can follow up and get another one.

It’s not get an allocation, it is, what do I need to get out of these next steps, what do I need to get out of this call and all this other sort of stuff. Then the sales sort of tend to break down in so many areas, because, I can’t tell you how many times where we’re working with a fund manager, and they get a meeting, and they don’t follow up. And they say, well, if they’re interested they’ll give me a call.

Baldwin:
That one there, yeah, I think you’re right. That is the cardinal mistake that is always made, and it’s the easiest one to remedy.

Ole:
Why bother having me if you don’t follow up?

Baldwin:
I’m thinking there’s a lot of limiting beliefs in the heads of fund managers. I’ve had them too, as a fund manager. Obviously that’s why I think that’s why this one resonates so much with me, right? The limiting belief is that if I follow up too much I’m going to look desperate, which is, that one happens often. Also, the fact that you know, if you’re going to follow up you may actually blow it, because you’re going to follow up in a poor way and you actually may blow it.

But what they don’t understand, is like you said, 2500 e-mails every day, they probably have to make at least two or three meetings with people every day, you’re going to move into the background. It’s about staying top of mind. You’re doing them a service by doing that via e-mail is not going to help because there’s too many e-mails. You know, you’re doing them a service by staying top of mind because they’re only human, right?

Ole:
Yeah, no, absolutely and then it’s funny because a lot of people think sales is somebody showing up in a plaid suit and a suitcase selling vacuum cleaners or whatever, but at this level of the game, you’re not selling anything. You’re guiding people with what to do and helping manage their time.

One of the cardinal sins a lot of people suffer from is they will work so hard to get this meeting, and then they’ll go and rehash the presentation again. The allocator is there, he’s already gone through the presentation, he doesn’t want to go through it again if he’s doing his job. And also, if I have the manager in the meeting, I want to talk to the manager. I want to find out what makes him tick. I can read that presentation whenever I want to.

Baldwin:
But I think you’re bound to have read it, because you want to have that first impression. You want to see if you’re see if you’re dealing with somebody that you intuitively can already select as someone who’s material you’d be willing to read, right?

Ole:
Yeah, and you know, there’s a lot sort of … one of the biggest tricks because you kind fall into this fact sheet purgatory to where you know, oh well, we’ll put you on the distribution list and then people get the newsletters and that’s kind of it, is to structure the meetings in a way to where after this meeting we can do one of two things if you’d like to follow up. We can do x, y, or z, or we can do all three of them, and then sort of manage it that way. That way you follow up, you provide people with more information doing all that sort of stuff.

When you think about it, most of us need to be managed in some way. So the salesperson is basically managing you, handling you to make sure that you get enough information you need to have to know whether you’re going to do business or not.

Baldwin:
I’d like to ask you a question that’s always on my mind. I’m really curious of what you about it. Usually when you speak to an allocator or the designated person to listen to you as a fund manager, they’re a gate keeper. They are eventually going to have to convince other people around them. If it’s a private banker, it’s their clients. If it’s an institution, it’s the people at the investment committee. Generally there are always more stakeholders.

What in your opinion can fund managers do to really help the gate keeper do his job by making it easy for them to convince stakeholders if they’re convinced? Do you have any insights on that?

Ole:
The first thing that I would say from the very top is, there’s a reason why these gate keepers are there. I’m just going to back up for just a minute. If you think about it, if I hire an equities analyst and Baldwin, you come in with an equity fund and say hey, Ole, look at this, I’m going have to pass this straight down to my equities analyst and have him take a look at it. If it rises back up to the top, then that’s my job.

These gate keepers, you need to obviously have a tremendous amount of respect for these people, and also we need to help them do their job. If there is a report that needs to be written or whatever, oftentimes it doesn’t hurt to write those reports for them, to help them do their work.

The one thing that’s really funny, if you go outside of fund management and let’s say that you were a big consulting firm or whatever, and you’re describing the process. The work that you’ll take in order to get a proposal sent and all this other stuff, will be about a week sometimes, sometimes maybe even more. In asset management, we don’t do that. It’s like, here’s our presentation. You’ll get all the answers there. Here’s the DDQ.

You know you’re going to win the business if you’re the one who actually does a lot of the hard work for somebody, because they know that when they need you, you’ll be there, and you have your stuff and your house in order. It’s just amazing how sort of willy nilly we are in asset management about these sort of things. To put that into perspective, if you’re a 100 million dollar fund and you’re looking for, or let’s just say 500 million dollar fund, and you’re looking for a 50 million allocation, and you get 1% management fee, that contract’s worth half a million dollars of revenue for you. It’s worth your time. It’s worth your time to work hard.

Baldwin:
It’s almost worth establishing a team to devote its time entirely to that opportunity. It’s seen as a new division sometimes. (Laughs)

Ole:
One of our clients was based in Dallas, Texas. There’s a number of funds there, but typically if you ever want to allocate you have to travel down to Texas. They’re not right around the corner. They went through every single thing to figure out okay, well what is the best way, what is to happen here. So the investor would arrive into Dallas at whatever hotel. On the bed would be a number of files with a handwritten note saying, “Dear Baldwin, welcome to Dallas. We’re looking forward to seeing you at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, but just in case you’re eager, we thought you could use these due diligence files for your review and preparation.” Or, getting an idea of what your favorite food is. If you like pizza, or steak, or whatever, making sure that we have those things on hand. Mapping out that whole bit is what services should be like.

Baldwin:
Did I get this right? This is a fund manager who refuses to travel but wants the investor to come to Dallas, is that it?

Ole:
No, no. If an allocator is going to allocate them, they’ll have to come Dallas to do the due diligence on the manager.

Baldwin:
Oh, okay.

Ole:
So they would really map it out …

Baldwin:
That’s going to happen anyway, and what they do is they make that a special experience for the allocator, something that … what they’re doing is they’re absolutely convincing him that there’s a service level provision and …

Ole:
No, just think about it. Whenever you walk into an office there’s always a bit of standard where, you know, take your coats, would you like some water or coffee and all this other stuff. There’s a reason why we have these sort of things in place, is because we want our guests who are coming to our offices to feel comfortable. You need to think about that experience. These guys would go to the extreme of actually mapping out the whole day, or the whole two days or whatever time it took.

Baldwin:
That’s fascinating, because if by chance you have an allocator who is willing to abide by your plan then you’re playing in your home field twice, right? That’s the great thing.

Ole:
Yeah, well you just want to make sure that have people that are comfortable and happy and can trust you.

Baldwin:
That’s actually very easy to implement. Yeah, that’s a great takeaway.

Ole:
But it’s funny, because it’s even good with smells. What does the office smell like when somebody comes in. Does it smell good? Does it smell stale?

Baldwin:
And they will want to walk through the office, that’s for sure, if they’re doing their job. You have to make … that was a pet peeve of mine, when we got allocator visits.

Ole:
You don’t want to have a meeting just after somebody had a big curry. No matter how much we love curry.

Baldwin:
It smells like McDonald’s takeout. You don’t want that.

Ole:
There is so much detail to this and I’ve kind of learned throughout my experience that this is a real skill. Fund distribution is not an easy game. There’s so many parts.

Baldwin:
Something I fondly remember when I was also in London and we hung out a lot, when I’d come to your office, sometimes we did the box of presentations trick, right? You’d dump all these presentations on the floor and they’re all gray and blue, they all look the same, right? That was hilarious when we spoke to people. What should a good pitch book look like? Should you have a short first version and then a long DDQ type version? What have you learned over all these years about what a good pitch book looks like?

Ole:
I really think it is personal to everyone, but I think for me it’s under 20 pages. It tells me who these people are, which is extremely important, you know, who am I dealing with? And also don’t tell me about Apple or Google or whatever, that’s not what makes you different. Tell me what makes you different.

For example, one of these things that I always insist on whenever I see something is that you’d be amazed, I went through one time a pitch book that was 60 pages long and by the end of it, I didn’t know if it was an equity or a fixed income fund. I swear to God. I looked hard. You have the cover page. Second page, what am I looking at? What are the terms, i.e., can I invest in this? Is it the right legal structure? Is it the right liquidity? Is it the right size?

All these sort of things, and don’t lie to me. If you’re a small fund, tell me you’re a small fund. Give me the AUM. Don’t hide it from me. Then also things like phone numbers, giving contact. It’s not only in presentations, but also in e-mails. Do you know how many times you have to look for a phone number everywhere because somebody just doesn’t put it in their signature?

Baldwin:
Yeah, all the time. In this industry, all the time.

Matt:
Tell us about some more of the disqualifying factors, not having a phone number, and then Baldwin mentioned that a stack of anonymous slide decks was in blue and gray. What else do you see that, pet peeves that you have?

Ole:
Pet peeves. Um, ooh, there’s so many. The, ooh, I don’t want to tell you that information sort of thing.

Baldwin:
Oh, right, yeah, yeah. That’s a big one.

Ole:
It’s like, well then I can’t invest. So that one’s quite big. Also, people who aren’t being truthful about procedures. We know for example, that everything goes … any fund that’s out there, they’re going to have a drawn down, and it’s going to be a nightmare position. Tell me about what happens with a nightmare position. Tell me what you learned when you did that trade. Is there anybody there to take you out of it if you are emotionally attached to it? That sort of stuff, where people are very ambiguous about it. That’s very frustrating. If you look at the volume of funds, there’s about 14,000 hedge funds in this world. According to the ICI handbook, there are over 100,000 retail or mutual funds out there, 100,000 of them. There’s more equity funds than there are equities.

Baldwin:
I’ve never thought about this, you’re so right.

Ole:
You might be different, but you’re not that special. Be transparent. If it really is something that’s different and unique, then you should be paid for it. That really gets me irritated. Having information that’s not very clear is frustrating. Sometimes allocators mention, or managers will have opinions about macro when they’re actually more of a sector focus fund to where they’re really bottom up, but they’ll give you a top down overview. All these sort of things kind of waste time, and I think what’s really funny when you’re looking at pitch books, I don’t know about you guys, don’t tell me if I’m just sort of short term memory, but the first three or four slides are really the most important and the value of the slides starts to decrease the more I go through the presentation. I’ll tend to look at the first couple of slides in great detail, and then I’ll be yep, yep, yep, oh wait, okay, yep. Are you guys like that at all?

Matt:
I think that by the time you hit slide number five, the viewer’s attention is dropping precipitously, no matter how good the deck is.

Ole:
Yeah, I definitely agree with that. So what that means, I guess, is that you have to get everything that’s relevant within those four or five slides.

Baldwin:
What I like to look at when I put together presentations, I think of them as a storyboard for a play or for a story, because there’s got to be a reason why you want to flip the page. There’s always got to be a little bit of a storybook thing, but that’s just me, but yeah I think you’re right.

One of the things that I always find interesting, I’d like to also know what your opinion on it is. Maybe I’m a bit of an extremist in that sense, but I believe that anything that’s on a slide you should be able to internalize in a matter of three seconds, so that means there’s a lot more visuals and less text, and so that means that you can have somebody page through 50 slides without any effort at all, right? Is that something that would work in the investment world, you think? Or is that too weird.

Ole:
Yeah, but I would actually add to that, is don’t make people work for it. A lot of people will have these slides like this graph, and it’s supposed to be self explanatory. But just because you think you’re smart, doesn’t mean that you can guess everything and want to actually take the time and the brain power to get it. So, don’t make me guess. Just tell me what I’m looking at, or what your interpretation of this is. On the title, equity markets are going to go down, okay, and this is why.

Baldwin:
And this is the evidence, yeah right.

Ole:
Don’t make anyone work too hard.

Baldwin:
You know what, this has been amazing, Ole. Thanks for that. Matt, do you have anything else for Ole? Burning questions that you’re trying to extract from the genius?

Matt:
How do you feel, shall we wrap it up?

Baldwin:
Yeah, well, Ole, thanks a lot. Every time I speak to you, there’s more there. That’s been 10 years going and more. So, thanks again for making time. Keep up the good stuff, and I hope to see you very soon, my friend.

Matt:
Thank you very much for being with us.

Ole:
You’re welcome. It’s always a pleasure.