PER guide to a career in investor relations

The growing intricacies of private markets and the complexity of fundraising processes have seen a demand for specialised investor relations professionals. Investor relations is no longer confined to a silo within a fund manager's operations; rather, it provides a holistic perspective on fund structure and operational intricacies. Professionals in this role engage in dynamic interactions with various teams, highlighting the interdisciplinary nature of the field. As the landscape continues to evolve, the role of investor relations is becoming increasingly pivotal.

What is investor relations?

In private markets, investor relations (IR) involves the continuous and effective communication from the general partner (GP) to fund investors, or limited partners (LPs). The primary goal is to keep investors well-informed about the performance and lifecycle of the fund and significant events that may impact the fund’s structure. This communication is conducted in a transparent, reliable, and consistent manner.

Given the dynamic nature of the market environment, IR is crucial. It serves as a catalyst for key strategic decision-making, facilitates viable communication, and integrates finance and marketing activities among internal and external stakeholders of an institution. The role also emphasises the importance of relationship-building and sales, making it well-suited for individuals with natural networking abilities.

Roles in IR have become increasingly prominent in private markets, with expanding opportunities as firms face heightened competition for investment. Professionals in this field are tasked with managing relationships with LPs and attracting potential new investors. This involves preparing and responding to due diligence questionnaires (DDQs), providing portfolio reports, and constructing a compelling narrative around the firm's investment strategies.

A career in IR is both stimulating and rewarding, attracting ambitious analysts and associates from backgrounds such as investment banking, lead advisory and asset management.

What to expect from a role in investor relations?

In-house vs placement agent

In-house IR refers to the internal IR team within a private markets firm. The core responsibilities of the IR team encompass the management of relationships with existing institutional investors and the attraction of additional capital from prospective investors.

A placement agent, on the other hand, is an outsourced service operating independently of a private equity fund but serving as an advisor alongside them. The principal role of a placement agent is to raise capital on behalf of or in collaboration with the GP. Once the fundraising objective is achieved, the placement agent's involvement typically concludes, and they do not engage in daily project management activities such as investor reporting or client servicing.

The extent of a placement agent's involvement can vary among different managers. Some may have minimal participation, such as reviewing presentations, while others may assume a more comprehensive role, overseeing the entire fundraising process. This comprehensive involvement includes developing fundraising plans, propelling the process forward, presenting to potential investors, and creating essential materials like data rooms and presentations.

The dynamics of working in a placement agency involve close collaboration with both LPs and GPs, often spanning different strategies. While higher compensation is a potential benefit, it comes with the trade-off of longer hours and demanding work environments. A placement role provides a broad, high-level overview of various funds and strategies, while an in-house position allows for specialisation, enabling professionals to focus on one fund manager. Ultimately, a placement agent role is seen as an excellent training ground for professionals seeking exposure to diverse facets of the fundraising landscape.

The role itself

Marketing materials and documentation


Investor landscape and relationship building


Fund information and communication


AGMs and reporting


Knowledge and work experience required

Typically, a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, business management, economics, or a related field is a common requirement for roles in IR. While possessing a master's degree, such as an MBA, is not mandatory, it is often viewed as an advantageous qualification.

There are relatively few entry-level positions in IR. Companies typically seek candidates with two to seven years of professional experience, where individuals have gained expertise in various areas such as investor relations, banking, financial investment, accounting, legal, or related fields.

A notable trend is the increasing transition of individuals from the big 4 and investment banking backgrounds into IR roles. Despite not necessarily having an IR-specific background, they bring valuable technical training and a wealth of experience from their corporate careers.

What skills will you need?

The main technical skills and experience you will need include:

  • Understanding of deal/transaction structures
  • Good financial acumen, capable of simplifying complex data for investors
  • Proficient in compiling client materials and written communication
  • Project management skills, adhering to deadlines
  • Detail-oriented with strong analytical skills
  • Ability to analyse large datasets, draw conclusions and present in client-friendly materials
  • Knowledge of private markets (beneficial but not required)

In addition, demonstrating the desired personality traits and soft skills are crucial:

  • Demonstrates a strong work ethic, is collaborative, and has integrity
  • Proven ability to work well under pressure and handle multiple projects
  • Strong communicator with excellent verbal and written English skills
  • Like-minded and respected for understanding technical concepts
  • Highly organised at all times

What to expect from the interview process

The interview process typically involves 4-6 rounds, comprising meetings with various team members spanning different levels of seniority and HR. Candidates can expect a case study, often involving an Excel-based test to evaluate numeracy skills and the ability to manipulate data, along with a written exercise. This exercise may include summarising investor teasers and proofreading material to assess attention to detail, as well as assembling a PowerPoint presentation. Some processes may incorporate an SHL test encompassing numerical, verbal, and reasoning assessments.

Throughout the process, key evaluation criteria include technical skills, communication and written proficiency, personality fit, and commercial awareness. Candidates are expected to articulate motivations for becoming part of a team with a holistic understanding of the fund at all levels.


Now is an excellent time to consider a career in IR or fundraising. Despite facing challenges posed by market conditions, fundraising continues to stand resilient, requiring a strong skill set and technical acumen. The demand for proficient professionals in this field remains high. Investor relations, far from being isolated within a fund manager's structure, provides a comprehensive understanding of both fund structure and operational dynamics. 

A career in this field promises fulfilment in a strategic and dynamic environment. For individuals with an interest in strategic yet client-centric roles, IR presents a perfect opportunity for professional growth and satisfaction.


As a member of the IR & Fundraising team, Júlia specialises in placing analyst to mid-level candidates into in-house investor relations teams and placement agents across different strategies, from private equity through to real assets.

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