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.

Your Digital Organization: Looking for Skills For All the Right Places

Many digital teams have distributed maintenance functions like online customer service, writing, design and coding to other parts of the organization. At the same time, technology developments have increased the need for new skills in digital marketing teams that enhance B2B relationship management and client engagement:


-      Business analytics -      Story-telling -      Social engagement -      User experience design -      Visual communication Profiling Best Opportunities and Modeling Outcomes with Business Analytics

Advanced analytics of client data is foundational to developing effective business strategies for prospect identification, business development and client retention. The majority of firms are in the very early stages of adopting advanced analytical tools such as predictive modeling and behavior-based segmentation. Without advanced business analytics to identify the right customers and deliver the right messages at the right time, client acquisition and retention initiatives become a crap shoot, with wholesalers focusing on advisors who keep... [read more]

5 Engagement Tips for Internal Sales Managers

At many asset management firms, the internal sales team acts as a de facto talent development pool, with top internals progressing not only to field wholesaling roles but also to roles in National Accounts, product development, and many other areas of the firm. Internal sales managers need to manage their teams to sell and service effectively, of course, but are often also tasked with hiring promising recruits and helping them grow their careers so they’ll want to stay with the firm.  

Given this, effective engagement strategies are key. At kasina’s Internal & Hybrid Wholesaling Roundtable, held yesterday in New York, much of the discussion revolved around engagement – in other words, how to attract, develop, motivate and retain top talent. Here are 5 key engagement tips from the roundtable conversations:

At our roundtable events, we discuss current trends and challenges.

Start Early

Many teens and even college-age students... [read more]

The Impending Rate Hikes & Their Effect on Target Date Funds

Impending Rate Hikes

No one knows exactly when the Federal Reserve will begin to raise the Federal Funds rate. It’s crystal clear, nonetheless, that several rate increases of 25 basis points or higher will be necessary to bring the yield curve to historical norms and it’s more than likely to begin over the next 12 months. Financial advisors have begun preparing for that scenario by seeking alternative income assets, and most importantly, lowering the duration risk of their fixed income allocations. However, as we look at many actively managed multi-asset mutual funds, exposure to duration risk is still relatively high. Nowhere is that more evident than with target date (TD) funds, where the average target date fund has a 40-60% allocation to bonds, with a duration ranging from 4-6 years.

Concern for Short Target Date Funds

We realize that the vast majority of target date retail clients generally have a long investment horizon,... [read more]

How Asset Managers Are Effectively Engaging RIAs

On Tuesday we hosted our annual RIA Roundtable.  The morning’s discussion was kicked off with a presentation on the challenges and opportunities for building a deep presence with these advisors.  As the number of RIAs and their assets continue to grow, more and more asset managers are recognizing this channel as an important opportunity for expanding their business footprint.  However, the RIA channel is about as heterogeneous as it gets, meaning asset managers must be focused and precise in targeting advisory firms receptive to their products and services.  Not all RIAs will be a good fit for an asset manager.  There are three critical areas where asset managers must focus their effort to ensure they are a relevant player in this channel.

Advisor Segmentation

It was clear during the roundtable that many firms are focusing their effort with advisors with $200M or more in assets.  There were a few firms with a... [read more]

Three Lessons from Fund Family Mergers & Acquisitions

With the “free for all” auction of Russell Investments by the London Stock Exchange coming up,  I thought that I would share a few observations from recent consulting engagements where we have advised asset management and insurance companies on potential mergers and acquisitions:

Funds are Much More Than Their Performance

Often, a potential acquirer will get enamored with a target’s product line-up featuring a variety of strong performing, well rated funds. They will salivate over the prospect of making those products available to their sales force and dream about the new sales records that they will set. Unfortunately, these firms often neglect other critical product attributes – particularly capacity.  It is critical to understand the upside (and limitations) fully before making an acquisition. A strong performing, but capacity-constrained product will not be nearly as profitable as one with significant room for growth.  Our product consulting team always conducts in-depth analyses and... [read more]


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