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Portfolio Segmentation: Deciding How to Divide Your University Corporate Engagement Portfolio

Updated: Jul 2

portfolio segmentation

University Corporate Engagement friends… we are starting to hear more and more discussion related to how to divide an office’s portfolio of companies – to vertical or not to vertical is the question. Here are three thoughts to consider when determining a strategy for portfolio segmentation based on industry vertical (or not) within your office.

1. Conflicts of interests. You have one relationship manager responsible for all automotive manufacturers (as an example)… Can this person realistically separate the priorities for each auto company in their portfolio realizing they may overlap. We should also consider the company point of view… Is a company going to be comfortable with sharing their priorities with their university relationship manager, knowing this key person to their strategy is also working closely with their competitors?

2. Multidisciplinary collaboration. As relationship managers it is critical that we understand all areas of the university - or at least know who to ask. Working with a specific business sector may pigeon-hole a team member into 1-2 colleges and hinder one’s ability to build a multidisciplinary approach for corporate partners. Would it be more effective to be familiar and work across all areas of the university?

3. Having a team integrate within key centers, institutes and colleges. Having members of a team divide and conquer and sit in the regular meetings of key centers, colleges and institutes of the university to understand priorities and report those back to the broader corporate engagement team might be a tactic to consider. This accomplishes two things, first, it builds authentic relationships between the office and these critical areas of the university. It shows you are interested in supporting their priorities. Second, this approach allows the team to work more effectively and make the university and its wide array of priorities smaller.

How does your corporate engagement office handle dividing companies in its portfolio?

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