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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.

It’s Time to Stop Paying Lip Service to the Consultative Sale

Consultative selling is a catchphrase that we’re hearing more and more frequently these days. But what exactly is it?

In a nutshell, consultative selling is an approach where the salesperson focuses on understanding the advisor’s business and portfolio objectives in order to help the advisor identify the right solutions, rather than focusing on pushing products that their firm is trying to promote.  This concept has been around for some years in the asset management industry, but in practice, many firms have continued to adopt a primarily product-driven approach while paying lip service to the idea of the consultative sale. 

Change, however, is in the air.  Advisors’ business models are shifting, with the focus moving away from transactional business and towards goals-based wealth management, where advisors work with their clients to identify and plan for both short- and long-term objectives.  This approach is vehicle-agnostic, with advisors... [read more]

The U.S. Presidential Election: Were Asset Managers Prepared?

Recognizing the expectations of customers for timely content on events impacting financial markets, asset managers were generally quick to react to the unexpected results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election of Donald Trump. Tracy Needham  (co-author of this blog piece) and I tracked websites, blogs, LinkedIn and Twitter handles of 33 of the top asset managers  to see which firms were first to publish and disseminate related commentary during the second week of November.

Planning Is Everything

We quickly got the sense that firms had planned out responses in advance. After all, the election was only going one of two ways – so thought leaders (and social media managers) were able to prepare content for each potential result. In fact, 70% of firms had published reactionary content on their websites or blogs by Noon on November 9th. For that same time frame, the response on social media... [read more]

How to Sell Your New ETFs Alongside Your Established Mutual Funds

Asset managers are increasingly grappling with the question of how to adapt their salesforce to sell ETFs. A larger piece of the intermediary market is incorporating ETFs into their clients’ portfolios, with 60% of advisors now using these products. On average, advisors allocate 16% of portfolio assets to ETFs, up 3% from just a year ago. In order to meet this growing demand, many asset managers are building or buying their own ETF franchises. However, the ETF business — whether passive, enhanced, or active in implementation — is a scale game, and mutual fund managers have not yet been able to wrestle significant market share from incumbent ETF sponsors. 

A Single Point of Contact

Traditional mutual fund companies are certainly experts in the arena of intermediary sales. But now — due to acquisition, team lift-out or organic growth — many find themselves in new terrain, saddled with... [read more]

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