Pitchbook: Definition, How They Work, 2 Main Types, and Example

What Is a Pitchbook?

A pitchbook is a sales document created by an investment bank or firm that details the main attributes of the firm, which is then used by the firm's sales force to help sell products and services and generate new clients. Pitchbooks are helpful guides for the sales force to remember important benefits and to provide visual aids when presenting to clients.

Key Takeaways

  • A pitchbook is sort of field guide used by a firm's sales force to make clear key points and to remember important benefits
  • These often also provide handy visual aids when pitching to prospective clients.
  • The main pitchbook contains an overview and main attributes of the selling firm.
  • Product pitchbooks contain details about a specific product or deal.

How a Pitchbook Works

There are two main types of pitchbooks. There is the main pitchbook, which contains all the main attributes of the firm, and one that contains details about a specific deal, such as a company's initial public offering (IPO) or investment product.

The main pitchbook provides a general overview of the firm. For an investment bank, it would show information such as the number of analysts, its prior IPO success and the number of deals it completes per year. For an investment firm, it would feature information such as the financial strength of the company, and the many resources and services available for its clients.

If the pitchbook is being used by a team or individual financial adviser, there could be biographical information as well. All the details displayed in the pitchbook are points that the sales team should focus on when selling the benefits of the firm to potential clients.

For start-up companies, a pitchbook is more commonly known as a pitch deck.

Types of Pitch Books

For an investment bank, a pitchbook focuses on all the benefits of the issue, helping brokers and investment bankers demonstrate how the firm can serve the specific needs of their potential clients. It would have more detailed information about how the potential IPO process could playout for the potential client. It would also show comparable IPOs within the same industry that the investment bank has had success with in the past.

For an investment firm, the pitchbook would be more product-oriented. It could show the track record of an investment portfolio, using charts and comparisons to an appropriate benchmark. If the investment strategy is more advanced, it would display the method of selecting stocks and other informational data that would help the potential client understand the strategy.

Example of a Pitchbook

In 2011, the company Autonomy was the acquisition target of several larger competitors. Hewlett Packard and Oracle were interested, but HP eventually became the victor and acquired the software infrastructure company. Oracle decided to post an IPO pitchbook, which was developed by the firm Qatalyst Partners, on its website.

In the pitchbook, Qatalyst shows examples of how Oracle would benefit from acquiring Autonomy, showing it would increase its competitive advantage in areas where Oracle had no footing. It also showed the key financial metrics of the company and how it had both positive revenue and margin growth. The book also featured the partners and customers that Oracle would immediately acquire once it purchased the company. It also went into detail about Autonomy's management team and directors.

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