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A placement agent is an organization that takes on the fundraising process for investment companies. They are typically responsible for farming qualified investors, managing administrative tasks, and raising capital for the fund that hired them. Additionally, placement agents often take on the responsibility of marketing the fund before introducing fund managers to qualified investors.
Placement agents will typically be paid a percentage rate of the total amount they raised for a given fund. The fund will often finance this fee over the span of about 2 years and it ranges between 2-3% of the total amount raised. This is commonly referred to as a “success fee” structure.
Another way the placement agent gets paid is through a retainer fee. In this scenario, the fund pays the placement agent a fixed amount regardless of the amount of money they successfully raised.
To become a placement agent, you must become a registered broker-dealer in the US. All broker-dealers are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC).