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.

Final DOL Fiduciary Rule Addresses Several Asset Manager Concerns

After years in the making, the final DOL fiduciary rule was published on April 8, 2016, with the stated goal of protecting the best interests of retirement savers, but with some important changes from the proposed rule to reduce the compliance burden and ensure continued access to advice.

As discussed in our latest, free white paper, Implications of the Final DOL Fiduciary Rule for Asset Managers, asset managers have a number of opportunities to work closely with key distribution partners on retirement education and product development. In addition, firms can expand awareness with investors through educational content and tools. 

The final rule featured some important changes to the best interest contract exemption (BICE) that address asset managers’ concerns about recommending proprietary products, working with existing clients, and using variable compensation:

Entering the contract: Under the final rule, new clients can now sign the best interest contract at the same time as other... [read more]

2016 DCIO Roundtable Wrap Up: Sales Strategies in a Post-DOL World

The DOL Fiduciary Rule is going to fundamentally change the way asset managers engage and work with advisors who manage and/or advise retirement assets. This isn’t a unique view and is one shared by many across the industry and at our annual DCIO Sales Roundtable event.  

We organized the event to focus on some of the usual discussion points as it relates to DCIO sales:  structuring DCIO teams, targeting a more specialized financial advisor, product offering differentiation. A general notion is the Fiduciary Rule will have a much more far-reaching impact on broker/dealers and advisors than it will on asset management. While that may be true to some extent, asset managers must ensure they are providing broker/dealers and advisors with products and services which best enable them to act as Fiduciaries for their clients.

The future winners and losers in the DCIO space will be determined by those which are... [read more]

What’s on Your Digital Marketing Radar?

It’s hard to believe that we are already one-quarter into 2016. During this time of year, I try to think about what our digital marketing clients will spend on for the remaining three-quarters. Now that I’ve had some time to speak with many of them while getting a pulse on the interests and behaviors of their clients (via DST kasina’s marketing research) at the same time, some interesting trends have emerged. I’d like to discuss three of them:

Opportunity in the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Enactment of the new set of fiduciary rules that advisors will be held accountable to will certainly change the way that advisors think and behave, but this is a positive thing (especially where the ruling was softened from what was expected) – both for their businesses and for asset managers serving them. Make no mistake: digital marketers will need to review communications for compliance, including the digital... [read more]

How to Talk Data to Non-Data People?

Last week I was honored to attend and present at Enterprise Data World (EDW). I spoke on the topic of “How to Talk Data to Non-Data People,” and based on the number that attended, a lot of people are ready to learn how to talk data.  Over and over again I heard stories about how data either isn’t readily available or isn’t trusted because the quality is poor.  Getting data, and more specifically getting quality data, is a major struggle for asset managers.  The business argues that IT takes too long; IT says that the business doesn’t understand, and the Chief Data Officers push both to figure it out where the problem lies.  There is a lot of finger pointing, but all agree that data is a key asset to their company and its success.  I find myself in the middle trying to remind all sides that we are... [read more]

Do Your Metrics Truly Demonstrate Marketing Impact?

Challenging issues make for challenging reports—that was certainly true of our newest one, Using Engagement Metrics to Demonstrate Marketing Impact.

No asset management marketing executives we spoke to were thrilled with their ability to track and demonstrate marketing’s value to the firm. But the same is true outside our industry as well. In fact, the former head global digital analytics for Mattel recently offered this reassurance, “You’re not as far behind as you think. You couldn’t possibly be that far behind—this is a whole new field. In most organizations marketing analytics is only around five years old!”

Tech issues continue to be a headache for asset managers, with 75% citing incomplete integration among customer data systems as a top obstacle. Attribution is another challenge, with three in four marketing heads struggling to attribute sales outcomes to a marketing event.

Again, our industry isn’t special in this regard. But the solutions will need... [read more]


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