blog


To provide our clients with high quality tailored consulting and research, we need to know the financial services industry and our clients. To build lasting and profitable relationships, we dedicate ourselves to staying not just current on, but ahead of industry trends. This blog is intended to share our industry insights and, at the same time, to capture feedback from our readers.

The Secret Life of Active ETF Advisors

If you work with financial advisors and think that you don’t need to pay attention to developments with active ETFs, you may be ignoring an aspect of their business that’s more significant than you think. As fund managers continue to file for exemptions to pave the way for active ETFs (SEC filings here) and ideas about non-transparent ETFs structures are floated, the reality of fund managers standardly offering active ETFs seems closer. Last week, Ignites hit on the topic with a reader poll that indicated nearly two thirds of respondents expect active ETFs to be a standard consideration within advisor portfolios within the next 5 years. Data from kasina Advisor Insights (advisor surveys collected in partnership with Horsesmouth) shows that over a third of advisors are already using active ETFs, with 14% of advisors allocating over 20% of their total AUM to active ETFs.

What can we know about these advisors that... [read more]

Business Intelligence: Work on Your Business, Not on Your Data

Hindsight is 20/20, or maybe not so much.

For the most part, asset managers are trying to utilize historical data to make decisions about how best to deploy sales resources in the future. But if data arrives well after the fact and takes time and effort to scrub and integrate and still the quality is questionable, how insightful is it?

A short list of things to keep in mind as business intelligence becomes more prominent in the intermediary space:

Making intelligent use of data requires clear objectives and initiatives

Start with the end in mind

Integrating data into a central repository is not an objective, rather a necessary step in a strategic initiative to drive higher asset retention, for example. Clearly define the business strategy and work backwards to identify the necessary steps.

Business drives the bus

Be as specific as possible in your business objectives. For example: reducing redemptions by 15%+ for two key... [read more]

When Developing Solutions Based Products, Know Your Audience

Those of us in the asset management industry have been inundated with discussions, whitepapers, articles and webinars on solutions based products.  So what exactly are solutions? Like liquid alternatives and smart-beta, the definition can be quite ambiguous as it’s generally applied to a wide range of investment strategies. 

The most broadly accepted definition is a product which has managed to meet a specific outcome or goal rather than a benchmark.  These products are also typically managed using multiple asset classes with no strict mandate on their allocations.  Thus when we hear solutions, we are talking about dynamically managed multi-asset class products focused on meeting a specific objective – such as targeted income, volatility constraints, capital preservation and growth to name a few. 

Source: kasina Advisor Insights Research

Everyone is Focused on Solutions

It’s been a busy year to date in the ’40 Act mutual fund space.  As of mid-August, there have been 254... [read more]

#kasinaChat Debut Fosters Sharing and Learning About Advisor Engagement

Twitter chats can be a great way to learn from your clients, provide access to experts at your firm, and exchange ideas with your community. We recently hosted our first Twitter chat, a virtual riff on our Roundtables.

Our Roundtables feature lively discussions with peers and experts on common distribution, digital marketing, e-business, and product issues. Our chat focused on ways that asset managers can engage with advisors online, using findings from kasina’s annual study of What Advisors Do Online. We developed a list of questions focused on online content, social interaction and user experience.

Online Content

We kicked off the session with our Twitter photo card that introduced Mike and me.

^JB and ^MC here, kicking off our #kasinaChat. Welcome!

Next we posted a finding from the study, followed by a question:

Our survey of 491 advisors found more are visiting asset mgr sites. And for these reasons.  

 What have you found to be the most effective... [read more]

The Power of Product Storytelling

Compare the way that the following products are presented online:

1)      Samsung’s cell phones:

Samsung lists features

1)      Apple’s iPhone:

Apple tells a story

With limited exceptions, asset managers tend to follow the Samsung approach to presenting their products: customers see a list of products, sorted by name, Morningstar rating, asset class, or otherwise. It is rare, however, that firms truly tell a story about their product offering in their marketing efforts (either online or off).

As colleague, Mike Cogburn, has written on this blog, asset managers need to make their brand memorable. While it is absolutely critical that firms enable a prospect, client, advisor, or anyone else to be able to quickly get to the information that they are looking for about a specific product, asset management companies should learn from Apple, Cisco, GE, Patagonia, and other story-telling brands and look to build an emotional connection.

Building a Product Story

A few relatively simple... [read more]

archive:

previous months