Rebekah sent us the following sentence about investment banking. I’ve included the three sentences before it for context, but I won’t try to rewrite those. I’ve also taken out some figures to keep the passage anonymous.
Here’s the original, with the chosen sentence in bold:
Our organisation is committed to the New Zealand market and we have been managing investment funds in New Zealand since the 19xxs. Currently we have around $xx billion funds under management and manage funds on behalf of xx institutional clients in New Zealand.
We offer global reach, with talented and experienced investment professionals on the ground in major markets, sourcing and managing compelling investment opportunities for clients.
This experience and leadership across all key asset classes makes our clients the key beneficiaries of the leading and best informed investment thinking and decision making in the ever-evolving investment landscape.
The passage contains some ‘solid’ information, but also quite a bit of financial jargon. The technical terms could confuse many readers. The sentence itself is long, and it makes several separate points. Even when writing for a knowledgeable audience, it’s good to be as simple as possible.
First, I’ll look at the logic in the whole passage.
- The first paragraph describes the experience that is mentioned in the sentence we’re looking at
- The second paragraph relates to the leadership that is mentioned in the sentence we’re looking at, although I would argue it doesn’t specifically prove leadership itself
- ‘Our’ sentence suggests that the experience and leadership support good investment thinking and decision making, and that this is good for clients
- The same sentence also mentions the changing nature of investment.
Let’s break this down into chunks. It’s a good principle to generally only make one point with each sentence. This is especially important when the language is complex or technical.
We have experience and leadership across all key asset classes
we have the leading and best informed investment thinking and decision making
investment landscape (is) ever-evolving
our clients reap the rewards.
Next, let’s look at some technical language — ‘asset classes’. This has a technical meaning referring to types of similar investments, such as stocks or bonds. Some readers will understand this, but I suggest writing ‘types of investments’. The more general wording doesn’t affect the meaning here.
Some of the other phrases include jargon. Having leadership across types of investment implies having the best investment performance, so it’s best to make that claim directly if it is true. Avoid ‘best informed’. It’s an extension of ‘well informed’, and a very specific claim for something that’s difficult to measure or prove. How do you measure informedness? The meaning here is that the investment specialists are knowledgeable and keep up with market news, and that this helps them make good investment decisions.
Rewriting only the chosen sentence, I suggest something like:
We have experience and class-leading performance in all types of investment. Our investment specialists are knowledgeable and keep up with market news — especially important in an investment environment that is always changing. They make excellent investment decisions, and our clients benefit.
It might be worth rewriting the whole passage. That would make it easier to organise the logic of the information.