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. The two most observed methods were using automation and producing factsheets manually. 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!
Every January, I call up my friend, Andrew Corn, to get his predictions on marketing trends for the year ahead. He always has interesting things to say. He has an impressive background in many areas of financial services and marketing. His career has spanned across consulting, marketing, advertising, Chief Investment Officer – Equities, index designer, multi-factor model creation and agency head. He is an expert at uncovering and enhancing asset gathering campaigns and designing and implementing marketing funnel optimization for both consumer and B2B audiences.
According to Mr. Corn, there are a couple of major trends going on in the industry right now, and they’re really a continuation from the past couple of years. Specifically, the move from active to passive investing and fee compression are persistent issues that have now become acute. According to Corn, 2019 is going to be the tipping point for asset management marketing.
“This move from active to passive is happening so much faster than anyone was able to predict. The upside is that many companies have been able to launch products and gather quite a bit of assets into them. The downside is fee compression. In fact, there is a race to zero, where Fidelity has actually introduced products with no management fee. Now, there are other ways for them to make money, but this fee compression is certainly creating enormous pressure on firms to differentiate,” he said.
If 2019 is the tipping point for asset management marketing, what should teams be doing to help their firms survive in this very competitive market? Read on to hear insights and advice from Andrew Corn in our latest interview.
As we enter a new year, the shift from active to passive investing continues to drive significant change for investment management sales and marketing. Very recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sandra Powers Murphy and Donna DiMaria to discuss what marketers can do to grow AUM in this very challenging environment.
I first became acquainted with both women through the 3rd Party Marketers (3PM) Association, where Powers serves as President and DiMaria as Chairwoman. In addition to 3PM, Powers and DiMaria both act as CEO and CCO of their own third-party marketing firms, Ark Global and Tessera Capital Partners, respectively. Their firms provide outsourced strategic sales and marketing services to institutional asset managers who lack adequate internal resources.
According to DiMaria, operational efficiency in sales and marketing has become imperative, and asset managers are taking note. “Firms are looking to be more efficient, doing more with fewer resources both in terms of bodies and budget. And that is leading to consolidation, outsourcing, and automation. The status quo isn’t working anymore so, in a way, the market is recreating itself,” she said.
When looking at content automation and sales enablement solutions, firms are often confronted with a tough decision: To build or buy? Over the past 20 years, I’ve participated in many of these discussions and seen it go both ways. Sometimes the decision is successful and other times it ends up a costly mistake. On one hand, it isn’t always less expensive nor less risky to build software as opposed to buying commercial solutions. For example, when application development projects are initiated with the intent of justifying and maintaining the technology team. Then, unfortunately, they never get off the ground because they can’t be supported technically or economically. What then happens, after all the internal effort and expense, is a new commercial solution is procured to replace it.
On the other hand, sometimes the technological or business needs are so pertinent to operations that they cannot be outsourced. In these circumstances, there’s a good case for insourcing as opposed to outsourcing if the board of directors approves. Also, the IT organization must be truly committed to the budget and vision. At the end of the day, the success or failure of development efforts should be measured against the same criteria. When weighing the decision to build or buy, I recommend using these six criteria: