The Unique Voice of Boutique Asset Managers During the Israeli-Hamas Conflict

How boutique asset managers can communicate during volatile times.

It’s a moment fraught with tension; global eyes are on the Middle East, markets are in flux, and your clients are looking for answers. While industry giants dominate headlines, are you prepared to break your silence and offer the nuanced perspective only a boutique asset manager can provide?

You might wonder, “Why should we comment when the big players have it covered?” Your clients crave your unique perspective. Your voice can provide a different view that larger asset managers often overlook, a view that reflects the niche strategies and philosophies that attracted your investors to your firm in the first place.

Beyond this, silence carries its own message. Failing to comment can be interpreted as a lack of awareness or concern about unfolding events. This silence can be deafening to clients and prospects who visit your website or social media for insights. During your absence, your competition may seize this opportunity to engage with them—in a conversation you should lead.

For those asset managers who generally avoid the noise of breaking news events, communicating during critical geopolitical events may seem counterintuitive. While you may focus on long-term investment strategies that aren’t easily swayed by current events, your clients are likely consuming a barrage of news that could cause them anxiety about their investments. Communicating with your investors can mitigate their concerns.

Even if only a few clients have voiced concerns about the conflict and its impact on their portfolios, many more are likely worrying in silence. Offering your commentary eases these hidden worries and cements your role as a trusted advisor through volatile market conditions.

The Key Questions Your Investors Are Asking

When communicating your stance on complex issues, the level of detail you choose to include can vary. Whether you opt for an exhaustive analysis or a simplified briefing, the most important aspect is answering the questions that matter to your investors. Your answers should reflect your firm’s unique perspective, inform your clients on how market events could impact their investments, and reassure them of your strategic approach during volatile times.

  • What happened? Begin by outlining the situation briefly—Hamas initiated an attack on Israel, and Israel responded. While you shouldn’t delve into political commentary, providing a neutral overview helps to set the stage for the subsequent economic discussion. In times like these, it’s also essential to acknowledge the human element. Our prayers go out to all those affected by the conflict.
  • How do markets typically react in these situations? Highlight historical market reactions to geopolitical crises. For instance, markets often dip initially but tend to recover within a few months. Use data to alleviate any knee-jerk fears your clients may have.
  • What macroeconomic factors are influencing the market? During geopolitical unrest, it’s common to see heightened volatility in key macroeconomic areas. In the current context of the Israel-Hamas conflict, investor focus seems to be sharply centered on interest rates and the energy sector. If you believe other factors are playing a role, discuss them. Addressing these broader macroeconomic issues may be unnecessary if you’re a bottom-up stock picker. Instead, remind them of your approach.
  • How are you adjusting your portfolios? This is your moment to shine. Discuss the design of your unique portfolio strategy for navigating uncertainties. Specify any tactical shifts you’re making to protect the portfolio. Alternatively, explain why you believe the current situation offers an opportunity to buy or sell investments. Let your clients know if you’re maintaining your disciplined approach and making no changes. Your consistent stance can also reassure them. This approach gives clients valuable insight into your decision-making process.
  • What does this situation mean for me? Translate all these factors into what they mean for your clients’ investments. Are there potential upsides, or should they brace for short-term volatility? Your expert guidance is what they seek. And for those working with individual investors, discuss the value of the financial plan you’ve crafted with your clients. They can keep their focus on long-term goals and remain comfortable, even when the immediate economic landscape looks rocky.

The answers to your investors‘ questions form the foundation of an effective and engaging communication strategy during geopolitical unrest.

Choose Your Format and Channels Wisely

Selecting the right medium enhances your message. Choose the format that best suits your content and audience, whether a simple email, an in-depth article, an engaging video, or a convenient podcast.

Once your content is ready, amplify it. Incorporate it into your communications infrastructure. Deploy targeted email campaigns, share snippets on LinkedIn and Twitter, and consider sending them to key journalists. Each channel has a specific role in extending your reach and influence. Offer an opportunity to speak with you.

You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

Perhaps you’re too busy managing money or concerned about the resources required to produce such timely content. This is where outsourcing to content creators can be an invaluable strategy. For example, we can help you deliver professional, timely, and insightful messages that resonate with your audience.

In a world saturated by the opinions of industry giants, the focused and nuanced voice of a boutique asset manager can offer fresh perspectives that resonate on a different frequency. Don’t cede the stage to larger players or competitors. Your clients are listening—even if you’re not speaking. And in times of crisis, your voice can be the reassurance they need.

Your voice can be the steadying force your investors need. Elevate your firm’s presence by scheduling your complimentary strategy session today.

Dan Sondhelm is the CEO of Sondhelm Partners, a firm dedicated to helping boutique asset managers attract investors, strengthen credibility, and build influential brands.