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.

3 Takeaways from Our Business Intelligence Roundtable

Business intelligence (BI) is evolving to better align Distribution and Marketing, but there is significant room for growth as teams are being stretched thin and have additional data needs.  These were the key takeaways for me from a roundtable that we hosted on Tuesday following our Distribution Intelligence Platform User Conference on Monday.  The roundtable included the heads of BI/ analytics teams from industry-leading firms to discuss trends in the use of data in the asset management and insurance industries.  We’ll cover other insights in upcoming blog posts, but three key takeaways for me were:

Distribution & Marketing Analytics are Coming Together:

For most firms, the evaluation of data for Sales was separate from efforts for Marketing, but this is finally changing.  Many of the attendees are in the process of, or have already, consolidated the analytics function to support Distribution and Marketing.  In fact, several of the attendees have merged... [read more]

What Drives Advisor Loyalty Is Not What You Might Think

Conventional wisdom states advisor loyalty is largely driven by asset manager fund performance. Our Advisor Insights data from 2009 – 2015 indicate that other factors/attributes, such as consistency of message and salesforce likability, have a higher impact on firm advocacy[1] than product performance.

Why firm advocacy is important

Advisors who have indicated that they are likely to recommend a firm to a friend or colleague have continued investing with the firm at least at the same rate from 2009 to present, with the majority of advisors increasing the amount of investment with the firm. 

Our analysis of the data shows the average advisor AUM with firm in 2014 and in 2015. The average advisor AUM with firm increased by 23% in 2015 from 2015 for advisors that were firm advocates, while the amount of business decreased by 25% for the same time period for advisors who were not firm advocates.

What drives firm advocacy

We find from our... [read more]

Our New Advisor Value to the Firm (AVF) Calculation to Determine Which Advisors to Invest In

Many of our clients have engaged us to implement Advisor Portfolio Segmentation, Behavioral Segmentation, and Value-based segmentation.   During these engagements, we help them to internalize a crucial key to success: allocate resources to advisors in each segment based on the value you expect from them.  And so the question arises “Well, how do you determine the value of a segment/an advisor?”  The answer is Advisor Value to the Firm (AVF), DST kasina’s enumeration of Customer Lifetime Value.  But there is a lot of anxiety and confusion around calculating and using AVF.  So, here are five guidelines:

1. Use cash flow numbers: if you can pay for it using dollar bills, include it.  If you find yourself using an allocation of a fully loaded person’s time, please stop.  Call me.

2. Get comfortable with a good (not perfect) estimate of your firm’s current business with the customer.

3. Focus on the cash flow... [read more]

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]


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