Coe Juracek is on the road or in a plane for much of his working life. As the senior managing director of the investor coverage group at Crow Holdings Capital, he leads the department that handles capital formation, strategic initiative activities, and business development. And that means a lot of travel — meeting clients and prospects all over the world. How does Coe Juracek forge bonds with international clients?
It all starts on the ride to the airport.
“I have routines for travel related to getting ready for the airport, being ready for security and boarding, but there is definitely no ‘regular schedule,’” says Coe Juracek in an interview with IdeaMensch. “As any frequent traveler knows, staying productive can be quite difficult, so I try to use airplane time well. That typically means using plane Wi-Fi to answer and send emails, catch up on reading and the like.”
Coe Juracek: ‘We’re All the Same — But We Are Not the Same’
Juracek says he really enjoys the stimulation of meeting people around the world and interacting with different cultures.
“I mean, we’re all the same, but we are not the same. And learning what that means when I’m sitting in a meeting with a Korean, versus an Emirati, versus somebody in Santiago, Chile. They’re all people, but they do expect different interactions. Trying to learn those things and make connections is super fun,” says Juracek.
If it wasn’t fun, then it would be a hard slog, he added. But because he finds it enjoyable, it’s not much of a chore — even when he’s slept zero hours on a flight to Seoul instead of sleeping six to eight hours like he would’ve preferred.
If the jet lag kicks in, he tries to reorient himself.
“I think well, OK, I’m gonna be tired. So, let’s go drink some soju [a popular Korean drink] and have some fried chicken, and then let’s just dive in and try to learn a few little things,” says Juracek. “And hopefully you have a little bit of time to see a palace or something, if you can squeeze it in.”
Juracek says it’s all about being knowledgeable about the business he’s representing and being plugged in to the team. It’s about keeping your mind on your goals, and how to present them to prospects, he says.
“Because in the end, my team’s job is to be the contact point for the firm to the investor universe,” says Juracek.
‘The Investor Will Often Self-Select’
Juracek readily admits that in a crowded market, it can often be a challenge to make your mark with some prospects.
“There are so many great companies that have great results that could all suit the needs of the international investors you’re talking to. If they’re after a certain flavor of investment [that is being offered by many investment firms], the investor will often self-select,” says Juracek.
The differentiation in the end might come down to something largely intangible.
Juracek recounts, “What we find more than anything is investors say, ‘OK, I let you in the door because you have some numbers that are good enough. Now, why should I want to be with you?’”
He shares that it often comes down to company culture.
“In the end, it’s always that our company culture is different. It is different than other financial investment management firms,” says Coe Juracek. “But it’s very hard to sit down and describe culture to an investor in a meeting. Everybody talks about culture.”
It is an interesting challenge that Juracek says requires him to “very carefully” select his team to be people who, just by their nature, convey his company’s culture.
“And then over time, investors get a sense that it’s not just words. We act this way. It’s actually – truly – that the whole company is filled with people who are not the same, but who have these values and attitudes and interactions,” he says. Seeing this in action, he says, leads investors to think: “I want to be a part of that, because I think it’s a good place to do business.”
Coe Juracek and the X Factor
Coe Juracek is very deliberate about many of his interactions with international investor prospects. He makes sure he’s prepared, he gets to know their traditions, and he goes to great lengths to help them understand his company’s unique culture. But there’s also an X factor that Juracek believes helps him forge bonds with international prospects. And that’s that he quite simply loves to travel.
“Travel opens eyes, right?” Coe Juracek says.
It’s something he wants to instill in his children, too.
Recently, he took his family on a trip to Eastern Europe. It was a homecoming of sorts, since generations ago his ancestors immigrated to America from Eastern Europe.
“For a couple of Texas kids who grew up in Dallas to see these different parts of the world and to take a train around instead of hopping in a car and to walk everywhere and to be in these cities that are older than our country … Part of our heritage is Czech, and it was really fun,” Coe Juracek says of the trip.
Want to forge bonds with your international clients and prospects? For Coe Juracek it really comes down to three things: Be prepared, be open, and be passionate about your role, your company, and meeting people of different cultures.