Dear MCG… LPAC lament
My team has just invested in a manager for the first time – it’s their fourth fund – and we have been invited to join the limited partner advisory committee (LPAC). However, it’s a very small commitment and the team here is already overstretched. How do I let the manager down gently without damaging the relationship?
Be honest and keep it simple. Explain you are grateful for the opportunity but existing commitments make it impossible for you to accept.
Try and be helpful. Perhaps there’s a junior team member who could take your position, which has the added benefit of widening their experience. And perhaps the LPAC could benefit from a fresh perspective.
Another option could be to recommend an alternative who you have seen to be an effective member of an LPAC in another fund.
You shouldn’t feel obliged to commit additional time following the already time-consuming investment process, and your capital commitment is proof enough of your commitment to the manager’s success.
If you’re very worried about damaging the relationship, consider offering to take part in a panel at the fund’s AGM or providing a written reference. The manager may not realise it at this point, but providing a reference may be a much more effective way to support the fund than simply joining the LPAC, in any case.
It’s reassuring to hear you are keen to protect your relationship with the manager, but the bottom line is, the manager also has a responsibly to protect its relationship with you. With that in mind, any sensible manager will appreciate the time pressures and workload faced by your team and understand your decision.