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.

What Does the SEC Rejection of One Non-Transparent ETF Proposal Mean?

Yesterday, the SEC announced its decision on pending applications by Blackrock and Precidian Investments to manufacture and launch actively managed ETFs, which do not disclose their portfolio holdings. The SEC commission believes the lack of portfolio transparency, combined with an inadequate (the SEC used the term “deficient”) back-up mechanism, presents a significant risk that the market price of ETF shares may substantially deviate from the NAV of the ETF – particularly during times of market stress. The commission said this could “inflict substantial costs on investors, disrupt orderly trading, and damage market confidence in secondary trading of ETFs.” Moreover, they “believe that it is not in the public interest or consistent with the protection of investors.”  

That sounds rather harsh especially to the firms, which have dedicated large amounts of monetary and human capital to the effort. A simple no would have been just fine, although I’m sure both... [read more]

Moving From Data to Action

kasina’s latest Sales & Marketing Business Intelligence roundtable last month presented a unique opportunity for industry leaders to gather and discuss the future of data-driven decision making.

While the current data landscape in the industry remains fragmented and ripe for innovation, asset managers can also take smaller steps to better use the data they already have.

Oftentimes, data lie dormant in an organization’s data warehouses or tucked away in the endless sea of cells that characterize spreadsheets. From a computing perspective, these tools are necessary to manage the large amounts of data streaming in from today’s machine-readable world. However, these data structures and formats aren’t very friendly to members of the organization outside of the business intelligence and IT teams.

Incentivizing the teams outside of business intelligence will be crucial in moving data plans forward.                                ... [read more]

How Asset Managers Can Enhance the Broad Profiling and Precise Segmentation of Advisors

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis financial advisors began to implement more dynamic portfolio construction approaches.  As a result, the variety of investment approaches and product usages taken by advisors differs meaningfully from advisor to advisor.  Traditional, static segmentation based on demographic and value attributes does not provide enough information to make truly intelligent product, marketing and distribution decisions.   

Last month our CEO, Steven Miyao, introduced kasina’s Multi-Factor Portfolio Construction Research. kasina’s approach to advisor segmentation provides asset managers the ability to uncover advisors’ investment philosophies and tactics using a number of dynamic factors.  Combining these factors provides the required precision to truly understand how an advisor is managing his/her client portfolios. 

Source: kasina’a Multi-Factor Portfolio Construction Research

Adapt the Framework to Your Firm’s Data and Needs

The factors identified in the framework are applicable to asset managers of all sizes.  Including them in the data analytics efforts results in... [read more]

Addressing e-Business Opportunities with Business Partners and Analytics

The more things change, the more they stay the same—at least for e-business managers at asset management and insurance firms. The role of digital in the sales cycle, challenges with content production, and working with compliance have been among perennial topics of discussion at kasina’s signature e-Business Roundtables, now in their 15th year. But what has changed is the key role that digital capabilities of firms play for the majority of advisors. And that is why many of the 29 firms in attendance have been tackling perennial issues energetically, bolstered by sophisticated technology, deep business intelligence and greater synergy with business partners to provide new paths to digital solutions.

Focusing on the client

Using business analytics, attending regular sales meetings and calls, and including sales and product management partners in planning and prioritization, have helped e-business managers to forge more impactful digital engagement initiatives. A few firms specifically have oriented their teams... [read more]

What Advisors Want From Home Office Research

I recently moderated a panel of three very successful wirehouse advisors at the FRA Research & Due Diligence for Wealth Management conference. The topic for the panel was advisor implementation of home office research. It’s an evergreen topic because of the importance that asset managers place on their inclusion in home office models and recommended lists, and the subsequent influence that research has over advisors. It’s also an interesting topic more recently because of how and how much advisors are influenced by that research.

kasina’s Advisor Insights data – gathered in partnership with Horsesmouth – shows that the use of home office research is pervasive across the advisor population. While the wirehouses have a tradition of strong research support for their advisors, the integration of home office research into advisor practices transcends channels. In the primary channels (excluding independent RIA because they do not have home office research, per se), there... [read more]


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