New Fund Managers Must Be Good Managers as Well as Good Investors

Two emerging venture capital fund managers shared their biggest learning during a session I attended today. They said there’s a difference between being a fund manager and being an investor. They spend more time than they anticipated managing their fund versus investing. Managing a fund means doing administrative tasks like working with the fund administrator, doing people related tasks, and managing limited partners. They underestimated the amount of energy and time these tasks require. These tasks also take away from the time they can spend finding great founders to back and supporting the founders they’ve already backed.

Starting your own fund is about more than being an investor. It’s more like being a start-up founder—wearing multiple hats and being spread thin. It’s also a decade-long commitment (assuming your fund is a ten-year fund). For those who haven’t worked at a fund before, it’s even harder as they don’t have a baseline for how a well-run fund operates.

Building a successful fund requires that the founding partners be good fund managers and good investors.