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.
Truly great salespeople exhibit a number of character traits and skills that together lead to superior sales success. Good organizational skills, an ability to build strong client relationships, a consistent and dedicated effort toward helping clients, and a thorough understanding of both the products they sell and those of their competitors easily come to mind. Another important ingredient with superior sales reps is their dedication to the job and willingness to really work hard – putting in extra hours is rarely an obstacle in meeting their professional goals.
Yet an often underlooked but equally important character trait with outstanding salespeople is their attitude toward their clients and their work. Really good sales people are just plain positive most of the time. They relentlessly project a positive attitude in their interactions with colleagues and clients, and generally refuse to let negative events interfere with the tasks at hand. That enthusiasm, when... [read more]
Only two out of 24 firms attending our recent National Sales Manager Roundtable train their managers to effectively interview new wholesalers. Most admitted that they didn’t know how interviews were conducted once the door was closed on the interviewer and the potential hire.
Hiring is the most important (and expensive) decision a manager, leader or company makes. The average cost of hiring the wrong person and then having to replace them is three times their annual salary, according to a Harvard Business Case Study on Sales Representatives.
The cost to an organization of consistently failing to attract and retain good talent – including declining morale, productivity, culture and reputation – is inestimable. If you have ever worked with someone for years who you can honestly say is not fit for the job (not capable, professional, trustworthy, lacks motivation or drive, lacks emotional intelligence or worst integrity) you know how devastating a... [read more]
Marketing has long been in the back seat of the car driven by sales at many asset management and insurance firms. Perceived as the producer of nice-to-have ads and collateral, marketing’s creative efforts are the first to hit the chopping block in the budget wars. But with access to instant data via digital efforts on the web, email and social media, marketing has the means to be increasingly scientific in delivering insight on prospects and customers and targeting personalized interactions with them. That is particularly important because, while profits for asset managers remain high on average, a report from McKinsey & Co. shows that costs are rising faster than revenues, with the greatest increases occurring in sales and marketing. That has chief executives and finance officers asking questions. And that is why marketing departments at a number of firms are becoming more interested in analyzing business data to identify... [read more]
In a recent change to proxy voting policies, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) lowered the bar for supporting proxy proposals from closed end fund shareholders. ISS now requires only 50% of shareholder votes cast rather than 50% of the votes outstanding to support shareholder proposals. That makes it significantly easier for a minority of shareholders to challenge closed end fund directors, as most fund owners fail to either attend company annual meetings or vote by proxy.
Ultimately, we think the change in ISS policy can significantly induce a spike in new shareholder challenges to closed-end fund directors, and could invariably inhibit the number of new closed-end fund IPOs. Any mutual fund should certainly be subject to scrutiny by its shareholders on aspects of fund governance, closed end funds included. However, unlike open end funds, closed end funds generally trade at a either a premium or discount to the per share net... [read more]
Attracted by new record highs, investors poured money into equities last year, with US equities bringing in approximately $115 billion in 2013, according to data from Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research. Many analysts and economists, including those from Credit Suisse, predict that equities are likely to continue to outperform other asset classes in 2014.
Research from our Advisor Insights service supports this prediction. In our Q4 2013 survey of over 2,000 financial intermediaries across all channels, we found that equities are the number one asset class in which advisors plan to invest additional client assets in 2014, with over 50% of advisors choosing either US or Global Equities as their #1 category to boost allocations.
Firms that are competitive in equities should expect a significant inflow of assets into their equity portfolios – especially those who are well positioned in global equities, such as DFA, Franklin Templeton, and OppenheimerFunds. 31% of... [read more]
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