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Private Equity Business Development Directors

The Job

Business development directors (BDDs) have a challenging job. They must convince private investors (ranging from university endowments and pension funds to hedge funds, Wall Street investment banks, and high-net-worth individuals) to invest in their firm’s latest private equity fund—with the knowledge that they will have to wait three to five years (the typical lifespan of a major PE investment) to see a return on their investment. To be successful in their careers, BDDs must be experts in the inner working of PE funds, have enthusiasm and excellent communication skills in order to generate investor interest, and have the capacity to build long-term relationships that will be lucrative to both the firm and the investor.

Job duties for business development directors vary by the size of their employer. A BDD at a small PE firm is responsible for all business development duties while working closely with the firm’s senior management and investor relations and marketing specialists. At a large firm, there may be a small business development staff with distinct job duties (e.g., associates who spend a considerable time in-house preparing outreach materials, directors who are frequently on the road wooing potential investors, etc.). Major duties of business development professionals include:

  • working closely with investor relations and marketing professionals to create marketing materials and detailed and persuasive print, online, and oral presentations about new funds
  • identifying potential investors through market research and networking
  • preparing and maintaining a database of due diligence information and investment summaries for investor presentations
  • identifying and leveraging key industry and technical resources to deploy on new opportunities
  • using customer relationship management software to help manage interactions with potential investors
  • meeting with potential investors at their offices, social events, and investor conferences
  • closing sales and finalizing financial agreements with customers