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.

Asset Managers See More Focus on Visual Content

One of the themes woven throughout kasina’s recent Digital Summit was asset managers’ growing focus on visual content. In general, firms seem to be moving toward reducing text and increasing graphics to make information faster and easier to digest. Infographics are in particularly high demand because they tell stories in a novel way and are catnip for sharing on social media.

Data Visualization Staff

To support this move, at least three of the attending firms have added “data artists” with specialized skills in creating infographics and interactive content to their e-business or content teams. All went outside the asset management industry for this talent.

Hiring data artists is a smart move. A good content marketing strategy incorporates a diverse range of content. And the skills required by good writers, and even web designers, are quite different from those required for effective data visualization.

Having a data artist on staff means the firm can... [read more]

Asset Managers Need to Provide True Retirement Income

With the exception of annuity products, most retail and mass affluent pre-retirees have minimal access to attractive income producing investment solutions. Most investors are highly reliant on funds for their income choices. Unfortunately, income fund options offered today are largely restrictive in their security selection, resulting in fairly constrictive yields. Moreover, they offer little protection from market volatility and the impact of rising interest rates on bond investments. As we wrote in our last edition of Product Strategy Compass, the opportunities we recommend include:

- Greater use of alternative yield-oriented assets - Integration of derivatives to hedge against downside price volatility - Exploration of target yield solutions Greater use of alternative yield-oriented assets

Most retirement income solutions today do not take advantage of three key alternative income securities:

1.      Emerging market corporate and sovereign bonds – Given the size and diversity of the emerging debt markets, both emerging market corporate and... [read more]

Target Brand Engagement with LinkedIn Showcase Pages

The majority of asset managers continue to ignore LinkedIn, despite the many excellent opportunities the site offers for connecting and engaging with financial advisors. That’s what the research I have been conducting for an upcoming study on social media reveals. Despite the fact that the vast majority of advisors on social media use LinkedIn to build their brand, research new clients and participate in professional groups, just a handful of asset managers have built out company pages and hosted LinkedIn Groups.

So, LinkedIn’s recent announcement that Products and Services pages will go away is good news for asset managers since most of them were not using them anyway. But it should spur firms to take advantage of LinkedIn’s new Showcase pages to profile their expertise in providing solutions to customer needs.

Profile the Firm’s Solutions for Targeted Audiences

As we wrote about recently in e-Business Compass, Showcase Pages provide asset managers with... [read more]

What FAs Look for in External Wholesalers

kasina’s Advisor Insights data indicates that for the past four years, approximately one third of financial advisors are strong supporters of the external wholesalers that they meet with (as evidenced by the fact that they are highly likely to recommend that wholesaler to a colleague). However, less than 30% of these advisors anticipated doing more business with a given wholesaler’s firm. In order to grow their business, asset managers need to create an environment where they don’t have to primarily depend on new advisors for growth. Improving wholesaler interactions is one means to this end.

kasina’s latest Advisor Insights survey asked over 2,000 advisors across all channels about their desired wholesaler characteristics. While there were several characteristics that advisors seek (and look to avoid), two that caught my attention were a desire for “product knowledge” and a frustration with “lack of contact.”

Advisors choose to do business with wholesalers who possess... [read more]

Slow Media

Most people these days are familiar with the Slow Food movement.  From its beginnings as a protest against the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant in Rome back in the mid-1980s, the Slow Food organization now has over 100,000 members and branches in over 150 countries.  Now, according to some marketing pundits, we are about to see a similar trend take off in the content publishing space – Slow Media.

What, you may ask, is Slow Media, and why is it being touted as a trend to watch?  In recent years, the pace of content creation – and content consumption – has grown ever more rapid, with 140-character tweets and 6-second video clips now accepted as the norm for much online communication.  Simply put, just as Slow Food emerged as a reaction to the perceived blandness and homogeneity of the fast food industry, Slow Media represents a reaction to the perceived... [read more]


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