*This post was last updated January 15, 2020
Your private equity website is your firm’s public face. It is often the first interaction you have with a potential partner. Is technology or brand consulting part of your value-add? Does your digital presence reflect your expertise? How will you elevate their brand if your own brand game is weak? If potential partners aren’t inspired by your website then they won’t be motivated to act. Most private equity companies are deep in the weeds of running their business. They don’t know where to start the process of building or updating their firm’s website. Use this list as an inspiration to get you started. When you’re ready, talk to us, we know your space and have even featured a few of our own sites on this list because we’re really proud of them.
And without further ado, here are some of the best private equity website designs from around the web. Caveat: we threw in some asset management and VC firm sites too. These categories are fellow travelers design-wise and help to round out our list.
01. LLR Partners
Why we love: Ok, we admit it, this one is ours. We’ll try to be objective, (clears throat). It’s a mold-breaking, innovative design—from the assertive positioning of the portrait over the headline (think cover of Forbes magazines) to the wickedly clever double duty of the navigation as a positioning statement, this site refuses to be predictable and safe. The client is digitally savvy and uses the full publishing power of this site to drive their message to the marketplace. Good design pays off and the best private equity firms know that.
Why we love: Here is a new addition to our portfolio of private equity websites. We love the result and we loved working with this client. They came to us specifically because they wanted a website that looked different than all the others in their space. They really understand the value of design, and in an industry where it is often treated as an afterthought, they always pushed us to go the extra mile. We added some new code that allows for smooth intra-page transitions, giving the site a “single page app” feel that underscores their expertise in the Financial Technology sector. We crafted some custom animation that echoes the logo motif, and reinforces the new branding that we crafted. We brought the amazing photographer Dominic Episcopo in to do the office lifestyles and portraiture and had a hard time editing down the GQ Magazine level results. Take a look.
03. Graham Partners
Why we love: This post has been up for over a year and we are now definitely in the realm of shameless self promotion, this one is ours too and we are completely proud of it. In this site we really flex our copywriting skills. We worked extra hard to come up with strong positioning statements that explain the value and convey the personality of this amazing group. We even took the extra time to individually animate the text in a way that mimics that voice. This team invested in great photography the results speak for themselves. We interviewed stakeholders and clients and used those learning to make sure the content strategy was on point and speaking directly to high-value prospects. We deployed a grid motif to underscore the solid, analytical culture of this manufacturing sector specialist which we think is actually pretty clever. Take a look.
Why we love: We are suckers for asymmetrical design, anything that busts out of the basic templated approach makes our heart skip a beat. The bold copy is paired with photos of their a-list celebrity partners. Messing up content this good would be a serious design sin and fortunately this site is not going to hell. Subtle animation underscores the pacing of the layout and while we’re usually not a fan of all-caps headline fonts, this kinda works for us
Why we love: Come for the minimal use of line art in the masthead and stay for the company timeline half a page scroll down. We consider ourselves aficionados of company timelines (we are also fascinating at dinners parties) and this one is a real standout. Content is cross indexed along three categories, there are multiple navigation points to access the information, and it’s all tied together with understated animation. Our design brains are impressed by the extra love given to integrating all the things. Our development brains are inspecting the code to see how they did it. Perhaps our next blog post will be “Top Ten Company Timeline Designs” — this one would be on it.
Why we love: If a high-end cigar bar was a website, this would be it. We know that sounds like a deliberate burn, but we really don’t mean it that way. This is a great site. There is a nice use of team member photography that makes them look both authoritative and approachable, no small feat. The use of white space as a counterpoint to the dark photography balances the layout and prevents it from being too brooding. We get a real sense of prestige and competence from this firm’s site and can only assume that it helps to attract the kind of partnerships that they are looking for.
2020 update: This post put us in touch with Jesse Ditmar, the photographer of the aformentioned cigar-bar-esque photos. He made these Private Equity folks look like movie stars because he normally photographs actual movie stars. We got a chance to meet him in person and are as impressed with him as we are with his photos. Check him out.
Why we love: Where to start? The smooth page transitions and intra-page, scroll based animations are technically flawless, but more importantly, they allow the content to shine. The messaging and imagery strategy work together seamlessly to tell their story in a way even a layman can understand. A simple, minimal navigation schema gets you where you need to go without dominating or worse, being predictable. We especially love the key performance indicator graphics. Who says that data-driven statements need to be dry?
Why we love: Ok, so technically this is not a private equity site, but it’s an object lesson in why investing in great creative is a winning strategy. I mean, come on — paintings of their partners? This is an Art Director’s dream come true. The client who green lighted this should be given a metal for bravery in the face of convention. But there is a very savvy method to this madness: they want the best partners—they are showcasing their rock-star partners with custom portraiture—who doesn’t want a custom portrait of themselves for posterity on the web and possibly on their mantlepiece as well? Using a great illustration strategy (paired perfectly with the right fonts and nice layouts) must be paying dividends for this firm as it prospects for the best deals in the market.
Why we love: We are approaching the end of our list and the love is not as strong. In spite of this we are taken with the use of what we are seeing as a distinct web design trend: real-objects-instead-of-stock-photography. This is a risky strategy because if you don’t have a budget for custom built maquettes of your metaphors then you are relegated to what you can cobble together from things around the office. But throw in some looping video effects of clouds and birds and you might just pull it off. Kudos to them for waging a brave war against stock photography. Soldier on!
Why we love: Not much to look at until you scroll, and as we know everybody scrolls. When you do, this site comes to life. This compact, one page site manages to feel large and expansive through its use of innovative, scroll based animations. It almost overwhelms the messaging, but that is only because its so bold and assertive. Maybe that is the real message. We think that the risk taken is worth the reward.
Well folks, that’s it for now, we’ll add to this list as we find more of the best website design for private equity firms. There is no reason your private equity website needs to look like every other in your sector. For more ideas on what it takes to stand out take a look at: