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.

Competition, Meet Collaboration: The Evolution of Wholesaling

Competition has always defined the ‘sales culture’, both within and outside the asset management industry. For the most part, salespeople in our industry are hired, promoted, trained and paid according to competitive principles. Internal wholesalers seeking promotion to external roles must compete against their peers for the few slots available.  Once out in the field, they must compete for advisors’ business to earn commissions, which still make up the lion’s share of wholesaler compensation at most asset management firms. While a strong competitive spirit will doubtless remain critical to success in asset management sales, another attribute is beginning to gain importance: collaboration.

In every industry, successful B2B sales organizations pay close attention to customer trends and adapt to changes in how their customers do business. Within the advisory space, middle-market broker-dealer services are under threat from many directions. The DOL fiduciary rule is likely to accelerate this trend, with fiduciary... [read more]

Product Roundtable 2016 : The CPM Role Has Become Table Stakes for Asset Managers

Product executives gathered to discuss trends and strategies, quickly centering on the critical importance of portfolio proxy role, also known as the the client portfolio manager (CPM). The CPM takes on strategic importance as the external-facing firm strategy expert with clients, at advisor conferences, and other events. Participants shared how their firms structure and compensate CPMs.

DST kasina held its annual Product Roundtable last week. This year’s event focused on a number of timely topics that were organized on these three themes:

1. The structure and roles in the modern product team

2. Developments and trends in multi-asset class funds and solutions

3. Disruptive forces in product strategy

The Portfolio Proxy Role

Much of the initial Roundtable discussion centered on modern product team, and specifically on the importance of the portfolio manager proxy.  Also known as the client portfolio manager (CPM), institutional portfolio manager, or investment director, this role serves as the primary client-facing investment... [read more]

Do You Know What Great Personalization Looks Like? (Your Firm’s Success May Depend On It.)

The asset management industry is undergoing massive changes that are increasing the bargaining power of the customer. Our personalization framework shows you how to build a customization program that creates the personalized experiences intermediaries and investors expect.


DST kasina and other industry experts have been predicting the increasing market demand for outcome/solution-oriented investing, turnkey solutions, and differentiation by more service-focused offerings against a backdrop of looming regulatory oversight such as the new DOL rules.  Well, those predictions are coming true and the industry, both on the institutional as well as retail side, is going through massive transitions.  Some of the net results, about which we have published numerous research papers, are:

* Increasing influence of home offices

* Emergence of specialized sales functions (e.g., Portfolio Analysts) and approaches (e.g., consultative, solution selling)

* Heightened need for branding

* Growth tipping towards individual investors – many articles on the growth of Robo Advisors and the retail market dynamics... [read more]

Is Your Advisor Segmentation As Actionable As It Could Be?

There is no question that the world of asset management is changing.  The DOL Fiduciary Rule has been front and center lately.  We know the rule will certainly have an impact on the industry, but the rule is just one of many impacts transforming the industry.  The advisor space is gradually becoming more fragmented and more complex.  Compensation is under the microscope, portfolio allocation strategies are changing and receptivity to product types and asset classes are shifting. 

Last week, as I read through commentary about the fiduciary rule, it dawned on me that sales teams need to find new ways to position themselves in an advisor landscape that’s refocusing its approach at a faster pace than we’ve ever seen.   How can we better assess the advisor space to position sales teams to accomplish their goals even when there is, and will be, so much disruption in the market? 

Market segmentation is... [read more]

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]


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