Everybody loves a good story. Your kids know that, your mother knew that. And even us finance guys intuitively know it.
LF has held for a long time that there is not such a big difference between good storytelling and high finance. If you hold your audience’s attention, you can move them into the direction that you, the narrator, intend to. If you don’t, they put your (pitch) book down and dump it into the bin.
Equity investors will get more excited about an investment opportunity if you can tell them a good ‘equity story’.
Debt bankers will sleep better and be more inclined to lend you money, if you can spell out a well-grounded, fact-based and plausible ‘debt story’ about the repayment capability of the prospective borrower.
At LF, we are good at telling compelling finance stories. In that, we are not really doing anything more than what our mothers taught us – listening well when the facts are being presented, doing our homework, and then presenting the resulting story as it makes sense to us, and hopefully to third parties.
Good storytelling needs to be inspired. We thus seek inspiration from others that also have respect for the written and spoken word, and the power of persuasion that it holds. We like to think of ourselves as following in the footsteps of inspiring leaders and corporate disrupters, like Winston Churchill and Jeff Bezos, both of whom also appreciate the power of the spoken and written word.
Many studies have concluded that the human brain is much more susceptible to reason when it is being presented with a good story. All of us who have toiled over endless number of power point slides know that ‘a picture tells more than a thousand words’. And many pictures make a good movie. Recently, even the ‘dismal science’, i.e. economics on which most of our work is based, has come to recognize that there is a theory to be told about ‘Narrative Economics’; for those interested to read more on that topic, please see the recent NBER working paper by Economics Noble Laureate Robert Shiller, who declared in 2017 that ‘narratives drive the world that we live in’.