QUESTIONS FROM A PROSPECTIVE SEARCHER...
I very recently moved to London, UK after graduating from INSEAD and started investigating paths to raising my first fund here. I thought I'd share a running list of questions on my mind. Thus far, my interactions with the search community have been incredibly insightful. Happy to meet with local search fund entrepreneurs (successful, unsuccessful, or unsure) at any stage of their process. Any comments, or interest in meeting, please get in touch.
Initial approach and fundraising:
How did you plan your initial approach (advice vs. cash? Individuals vs. institutions?)
In terms of preparation at the first few meetings, what did prospective investors like to see/hear about?
How did your process change once you received your the first institutional backing?
What were your considerations in the selection of investors? Is there anything you would do differently in hindsight?
Did you notice differences between UK, EU and US investors?
What was your approach when constructing your search budget?
Setting-up the search entity
At what point did you seek legal advice?
At what point did you incorporate the search entity? How did you structure the entity in the UK?
Were there any specific legal requirements from institutional investors in various jurisdictions (UK, EU, US)?
Were there any unique legal procedures for individual investors?
How much did initial legal fees amount to? Are there any helpful legal fee payments structures to consider?
Which London law firms are familiar with the search fund model?
Did the UK search entity require the formation of a board?
What IT/business services did you find most helpful?
Did you hire any help? Interns, paid/unpaid?
What were the legal considerations when hiring help?
Due Diligence & financing
Did you hire specific technical, legal or accounting services as part of your due diligence process?
What was your approach in lining up debt financing for the deal?
How did you manage the risk of a financing channel drying up at the last minute?
Did you make use of seller debt? How were the terms structured? How was this generally received?
Upon closing, what was your procedure in closing out the search entity?
What has the toughest part of your search been?
What did you learn the hard way?
Is there anything else you think someone at my stage of the search should be considering?