The Euromoney awards for prolixity
Euromoney is accustomed to all kinds of underhand tactics in awards season: from banks "dominating" league tables in positions of second or even anywhere in the top 10, to widespread use in pitch meetings themselves of the classic phrase "I don’t want to criticize a competitor, but...".
This year’s submissions in Asia were no different but we share some of our favourite new strategies with some trepidation given that this might be read as an indication that they be copied next year.
Rest assured, they did not work the first time. One investment bank found a novel solution to the four-page limit on pitch books. In a classic example of sticking to the letter of the law rather than the spirit, it noticed that Euromoney had never specified what size those pages had to be and turned in an A3 pitch book crammed with charts and case studies.
Another bank resorted to a new twist on the classic "supplementary material" method of circumventing the four-page limit, waiting until the end of the pitch meeting itself to casually present us with a 50-page, bound and laminated "case study" book.
A third firm had gone to the trouble of soliciting messages from happy clients testifying to the merits of the bank’s work on their deals, an effort only slightly spoiled by the prominent presence of the subject heading ‘RE: [a Euromoney competitor] awards pitch’ at the top of the printed-out emails.
But this year’s winner for sheer audacity and innovation in the field of polished pitching was a securities firm in one of Asia’s frontier markets that simply ignored all the rules and turned in a 40-page pitch book consisting of economic data on that market’s growth, lists of deals done during the past decade, lengthy biographies of the firm’s members and – best of all – a page detailing the firm’s list of clients.
Euromoney was struck by the impressive list, which contained the name of almost every leading company in that market, until closer inspection revealed the disclaimer "list of potential clients".