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.

Managing Platform Consolidation: 3 Key Strategies for National Accounts Teams

Getting funds onto distributor platforms – and particularly the coveted models and recommended lists at the largest broker-dealers – is unquestionably a top priority for asset managers and a key responsibility of any firm’s National Accounts team.  While this process has always presented its fair share of challenges, the recent DOL fiduciary ruling has just kicked the degree of difficulty up a notch or two.  Many broker-dealers, anxious to help their advisors comply with fiduciary requirements, have dropped and/or are considering dropping share classes carrying 12b-1 fees from their product line-up; UBS, Ameriprise and Waddell & Reed are some of the more prominent examples.  And some firms are already taking things even further.  Merrill Lynch recently announced that it would be conducting a comprehensive review of its fund offerings in late 2016, engaging Morningstar as a third-party consultant, and several other firms like Signator and National Planning Holdings have... [read more]

[PODCAST] Fronz and Friends Ep3: Building a Robust ESG Investment Capability

Welcome everyone to another episode of the DST kasina sponsored podcast series “Fronz and Friends.”  In this episode, we welcome Bob Jenkins, Global Head of Research at Thomson Reuters Wealth Management/Lipper, to our New York offices to discuss trends and key considerations for ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investment strategies.

During our time together, Bob and I covered:

1. Key nuances and complexities related to ESG investing

2. Building an ESG investment profile

3. Positioning, selling and supporting you ESG capabilities


If you would like to be a guest, have someone you like to hear or have any questions/comments about the show please contact me at or 646-257-4476.  

... [read more]

Why It’s Time to Look At Digital Advisor Engagement Holistically

Over the past 15 years of publishing our annual advisor website report, we’ve seen asset managers come a long way toward delivering high-quality content and tools via a more relevant, user-friendly experience. Through reports and articles, we’ve also noted the strides firms have made to foster greater advisor engagement through social media.

But it was a bit like the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials in the 1970’s and 80’s—”You got your peanut butter on my chocolate!” “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!” You got some criteria for social media integration with the website reviews and got some criteria for website integration with the social media reviews, but they were still two distinct “products.”  

Now, we’re finally putting the two great tastes together by evolving these separate reviews–and adding a third new one—into the first ever ranking of Digital Engagement Leaders for both... [read more]

6 Tips for Adding Personality to Your Content

At a time when products, process and performance can so easily be copied, business relationships are influenced by relevance and responsiveness. Standing out from the crowd of competitors requires a distinctive personality. What makes your firm recognizable and relevant to advisors with whom you want to do business?

Don Schultz, the godfather of integrated marketing communications, says that virtually anything you do as a company—products, services, processes—can be copied. What you CAN differentiate is how you communicate.  Look at your firm’s people, philosophy, and history for inspiration. And add a human touch to the form of your content marketing, whether it’s GoPro video, Instagram photos, blog posts or podcasts.

6 tips for adding personality to your content & providing an insider’s view of your firm:

1. Interviews with firm leaders and portfolio managers: Who are their role models and influences? How did they make... [read more]

Is Your Firm Well-Positioned to Sell Multiple Product Vehicles?

Most large mutual fund shops are no longer just mutual fund manufacturers. After building out ETF product lines through 2015 and into 2016, many traditional mutual fund shops are now turning their attention to similar investments in the distribution effort to support growth in their newly created (or acquired) ETFs.  However, few have raised assets to a significant degree.  How can traditional mutual fund shops more effectively distribute both ETFs and mutual funds?


What is the most important thing an advisor would expect from a wholesaler offering both mutual funds and ETFs? According to DST kasina’s Advisor Insights, portfolio asset allocation expertise is the #1 required skill and expectation for wholesalers when discussing both active mutual funds and ETFs. The ability to engage in a more consultative sales process and adeptly explain when and how an ETF is more suitable over a mutual fund (and vice versa) is essential. Enhanced... [read more]


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