Category Archives: Disclosure Management
Content automation has become a necessity, rather than a luxury, for most asset managers in today’s highly competitive environment. According to a survey of asset managers by the Fuse Research Network and Synthesis Technology, 95% of respondents use some kind of tool or process for automating content production. Most commonly, they use it for the creation of factsheets and pitchbooks.
The need for content automation is justifiable. Marketers need to get sales and marketing materials in the hands of salespeople, clients, and prospects as fast as possible. Now, investors, advisors, and consultants expect more frequent and timely product updates.
When implemented successfully, content automation solutions empower firms to produce fully compliant, client-ready sales and marketing content faster than their competitors. These tools reduce labor costs and relieve talented marketing professionals from the drudgery of content production. They minimize the potential for human errors that inadvertently deliver inaccurate and non-compliant information to the public. Plus, they eliminate one of the most common compliance headaches many asset managers face: keeping salespeople from stitching together their own non-compliant pitchbooks from a patchwork of outdated sales presentations.
Effective content automation solutions require two components: An in-house or commercial production tool and a reliable source of product data to populate the finished pieces. Unfortunately, data management is content automation’s Achilles heel for many firms.
A few common phrases we hear from investment marketers are, Our data is a bit of a mess and Our data could use a little housekeeping. In our experience, we have learned that marketers have become the de facto experts on fund data management and automation.
Fund marketers themselves are routinely chasing-down their financial data from many disparate sources, both internal and external. Then, they are trying to extract clean data for use in their customer-facing marketing materials. This process is made more challenging when there are tight time frames. Plus, it has to be done with the highest levels of accuracy and consistency in real-time.Read More
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!
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: