All posts by Rachel Totten
The following is a guest post by Dan Sondhelm, CEO of Sondhelm Partners. This post originally appeared on the Sondhelm Partners Blog.
The economic pressure that has weighed down asset managers over the last couple of years will continue to mount in 2019, especially as the tide of market-induced asset growth subsides. The established industry trends – rising passive inflows, fee compression, increased regulation, continuing platform rationalization – are inescapable, threatening profit margins of the least prepared asset managers. In response, firms are intensifying their efforts to streamline distribution costs and improve their offerings, but many still fall short of differentiating themselves among financial advisors, which could be the ultimate key to sustainable profits in this shifting landscape.
In 2018, we conducted a Mutual Fund Fact Sheet Production Study, where we analyzed 235 factsheets from 47 asset management firms of all shapes and sizes. A few factors observed included publish date, modification date and how the file was produced (manually or with automation). To find the firm’s production method, we turned to the metadata to show us what applications, software, or tools they were using to create the PDFs. After digging deeper into the metadata, we identified some key reasons why firms have longer production durations or later release dates. We were also able to make some observations about what drives efficiency, and the findings were pretty shocking. Read on to get the scoop!
Due to the competitive nature of the financial services industry, content automation has become a strategic priority for many. With a finish line goal to improve scalability, risk management and brand compliance, the race is on to improve marketing and sales operations. The challenge firms face is knowing how to approach content automation. Is it better to build or buy? What are the differences between the leading vendors, and their approaches?
In 2017, we commissioned some research on how asset managers are automating content production. The research found 3 common models: Fully outsourced, DIY, and hybrid. Here’s a brief description of each and the pros and cons.