The Secret Sauce of Deal Flow: The Non-Executive Directors’ Club

If you’re a PE or VC fund and you’re not rubbing elbows with non-executive directors, you might as well be searching for treasure without a map. OK, they’re not the only route to deal flow but they can be invaluable! In the grand ‘Circle of Life’ of deals – from Series A to Z – there’s a key player you’re probably overlooking. No, it’s not the flashy CEO or the tech wizard behind the scenes. It’s the non-executive director, often inconspicuously steering the ship.

Imagine a deal landscape, a bit like the Serengeti but with less wildlife and more coffee-fueled meetings. Who’s often the first appointment in the run-up to any deal? The non-executive director or chair. These are the folks who don’t just have a seat at the table; they practically own the table.

Now, who has the ear of the board? Not the latest AI gadget or some fancy algorithm, but our very own non-executive director. They’re like the wise old owl in a forest of decision-making, only with better suits.

And when it comes to leveraging personal networks to take a business to market, guess who’s pulling the strings? You guessed it, the non-executive. They might be in the back seat, but let’s be real, they’re often the ones with the road map and the snacks, making sure the journey is smooth.

So why, oh why, are some funds still treating NEDs like the optional side dish at a banquet of opportunities? It’s like showing up to a sword fight with a butter knife. These individuals are not just ornaments on the corporate mantlepiece; they’re the hidden ace up your sleeve.

This is exactly why building a deal flow funnel that taps into the world of NEDs is not just smart; it’s borderline genius. Think of it as having your own secret society, a cabal of the business world’s most clued-in individuals who know where the bodies are buried and, more importantly, where the treasures are hidden.

For PE, VC, and Family Office funds, ignoring the NED space is like refusing to use GPS in a new city. Sure, you might stumble upon some interesting spots, but you’ll mostly be lost and late to the party.

If your investment strategy doesn’t include a hotline to the world of non-executives, you’re playing checkers while everyone else is playing 3D chess. It’s time to get with the programme, join the club, and start schmoozing with the NEDs. After all, in the game of deals, you’re either in the loop, or you’re out of luck.

Did I mention that have over 18,000 non-exec and chair members, advising upwards of 35,000 boardrooms? Let’s chat!

Ian Wright, CEO and Founder


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