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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.

How 37 Million Millennials Want To Invest Their Money

I recently attended an industry conference where a panel of financial advisors talked about increased interest in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), also referred to as Impact Investing. The interest didn’t come from their clients directly, but from their clients’ heirs. Advisors and asset managers need to pay attention to, and address the needs of, those heirs – the 77 million Millenials who will be inheriting $1 trillion annually over the next 50 years from their parents.

Why the Industry Does Not Currently Care About SRI…

Most advisors and asset managers, however, haven’t been concerned with this issue. The average financial advisor in the United States is older than 50 and so are most of his/her core clients. Research shows that the older generations’ interest in social responsibility is a lot lower than that of the Millennials: only 34% of Baby Boomers and 27% of Golden... [read more]

It’s Time to Take the Leap From Dashboards to Sales Tools

Big brother is watching.  Quarterly, monthly and yes, daily.

Dashboards are certainly a useful way to keep tabs on wholesaler production.  However, your typical wholesaler sees marginal value at best in the dashboards and report cards that are used by sales managers today with the “actions” that come out of them in terms of recommended advisor targets.

It’s not hard to see why.  The difference is wide between creating a status report for management to judge performance of sales staff vs building easy to use, flexible point-of-sale tools for the wholesaler.  The purpose, of course, is to increase the productivity of each wholesaler – all want to increase the amount of revenue generated for each dollar that is spent on compensation and T&E.  This data is tracked across the industry in kasina’s Productivity Insights data and is now available for 2014.

Some key challenges for Business Intelligence teams to overcome when focusing... [read more]

National Accounts: Coverage, Communication, Product Placement

More than 20 Senior National Accounts executives gathered for the annual kasina National Accounts Roundtable in NYC on October 21. The focus was spread out between organizational improvements, compensation refinements (particularly since it’s that time of year), and more effective interaction with broker/dealer platforms. A lot of ground was covered, but several of the highlights from the discussion included:

Coverage

The increasing demands on national accounts to build relationships with both external clients (the many various constituencies at the broker/dealers) and internal clients (investment management, marketing and sales, to name some) mean that coverage models should be periodically reviewed. kasina’s 2014 Productivity Insights research shows that asset managers are covering Tier 1 focus firms with about half a senior account manager and using only about one junior account manager per eight focus firms. While it would certainly help to deepen relationships by adding staff, many executives spoke of more efficiently deploying... [read more]

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]

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