An article from GemCap UK Director and CEO Stuart Alexander, on the story and meaning behind GemCap’s name.
Recently I had a very enjoyable catch up, actually face-to-face, with Melissa Hill who many readers will recall from her days at Sabre Fund Managers, which she ran for many years. These days she is running a business called Eleos Capital in partnership with Blackheath Capital and they have a Fund called Blackheath Eleos Enhanced ESG Fund, which they launched July 2020 in Dublin. We were chatting about the vagaries of the market and how she is raising assets in the UK and overseas for her new fund, and we got talking about marketing in general and how challenging it is these days in such a competitive marketplace. How do you differentiate yourselves as a business, and equally important, as a fund? Are you competing or complimentary? Are you unique or going down a well-ploughed furrow? How should you get your message across? In what format? Lots of questions, and despite our time together we weren’t able to cover all the ground.
But it got me thinking about one of the factors that people often comment on and something that few pay attention to. The name, be it your company or your fund name. Does it resonate with potential investors? Does it do what it says on the tin? Apologies to Ronseal for that plagiarism, but I wish I had come up with that marketing line. Kerching!
As a business owner, entrepreneur, or boutique manager we all have one thing in common: everything is personal. From your values to your look and feel, your strategy and even more so, the name: you will have come up with it either as part of an eureka moment or over time as you built your business idea. But do people get it? Do they recognise you in the name or how you want to be seen?
For us at GemCap we have a very personal approach to the company name. Gemini Capital was born out of Gemini Investment Management in the UK in 2009. A third-party marketing business that helped fund managers raise assets in the UK and we did that rather well, launching TwentyFour Asset Management in 2009 and helping other businesses since. But what about our name? For those who don’t know me personally it may come as no surprise, but I was born under the star sign of Gemini and until 4 years ago I had an identical twin brother. Sadly, he passed away in 2017 from cancer, but he was instrumental in helping get the company launched. Being a twin, I always had a mate, a partner in crime, a soulmate and someone who I could work with. Gemini is about two sides of any conversation – a partnership – and that is something we pride ourselves on. Whilst we no longer do third-party marketing directly, instead we form strategic partnerships with dozens of TPMs across many time zones, helping our managers raise the assets they require. Our DNA is in marketing and raising assets, so it makes sense to continue that in our everyday lives. We take the same approach to our clients, our suppliers and anybody else we interface with. It takes two people to have a conversation after all.
However, there is one aspect that some will not be familiar with, and that’s our logo. Since 2010 we have had a logo that creates amusement and quizzical looks from people, especially when it is pointed out them what is actually in the logo and what it means. The centre piece is the Gemini star sign. (Something that I have had to explain to some people recently – I’m still scratching my head over that one!) But look behind the sign and you suddenly you see something else: elephants, ice-cream cones, chillies, the @ sign, strawberries, and a whole range of other images that mean nothing in isolation but taken as a whole, they say a lot. Namely, that there is much behind a name or more importantly the numbers that need to be looked at before investors will invest. I have spent far too many years listening to fund managers droning on about the numbers and how good they are – and yet they can’t get the assets they want from investors. For me, it’s simple. Look beyond the numbers. See past the guff and focus on the other aspects of the business. The people, the process, the strategy, the style and all the other aspects that make up a company. The numbers should never lie, but they can block out the vision of the business. So, when it comes to you, look at how you present yourselves and take on board the people and the other “soft” aspects of your business, for they are the real parts of your business. If you have a name that resonates with you then make sure it resonates with others and that they understand that the name means something. But also make sure you set out what is behind the name. Be clear what you stand for, what you do and how you differentiate. You never know – you might just find something you didn’t know was there. Oh, and by the way… TwentyFour Asset Management was named as they started at 24 Cornhill… Simples!