Everyone in venture capital and private equity is familiar with private placement memorandums (PPMs)—perhaps all too familiar. Let’s face it: PPMs can be long, dry, and formulaic. They don’t have to be.
At ABS Capital Partners, we aim to write PPMs that do more than just incorporate the necessary terms and conditions of a private investment offering. Since a PPM is often potential investors’ introduction to our firm, we want it to tell a smart, compelling story that reflects the unique way we do business.
Over the past 20-plus years, we have developed seven successful PPMs, and each one has done a good job of capturing our story. Following a few simple guidelines has helped us keep our PPM writing fresh and readable. We try to:
- Put the reader first: Busy investors need to be able to find and digest essential information quickly, so we stick to the clearest, most logical structure.
- Rewrite everything: Updating and expanding an older PPM can make a document feel cluttered.
- Avoid jargon: Using trendy terms can obscure—not clarify—the message
For our most recent PPM, we chose to work with the Content Bureau (here’s a case study describing that project). Having an outsider’s perspective on our message helped us communicate it more clearly, and outsourcing the PPM freed our communications staff to focus on higher value-add activities.
Whether you have the option of working with professional PPM writers or not, take time before getting started on your next PPM to develop a writing strategy that will support your organization’s story.