UK financial advisors say more contact and communication from asset management firms are their biggest unmet needs, according to a new Financial Times (FT) Insights survey recently presented at a Gramercy Institute event in London. The survey collected responses from 226 UK financial advisors who represented national, regional and advisor networks.
When asked specifically about the type of contact and communication advisors are looking for from asset management firms, the comments included:
“More communication and updates. Quicker response to global markets and downturns. More information direct from the fund managers on economic outlook.”
“Greater live communication strategies.”
“More access to fund managers.”
Given that the same study also reported that most advisory firms work with an average of 11 to 17 asset management firms, it’s all the more important for these companies to do whatever they can to build trust and credibility with advisors – or risk losing business to a competing firm.
Here are three tips on how asset management firms can deepen their relationship with their distribution networks:
1. Leverage distribution to humanize your brand
According to one respondent, “Current views/comments from managers that have not been so heavily diluted by marketing and compliance departments … they have no residual use.” While this perception may not be true in every case, this sentiment exists because there is too much noise, including a lot of content that is not always relevant to that specific audience.
The trick to maximizing the value of your content (blessed by the marketing and compliance teams) is to ensure that the right audience receives the right content at the right time – and your fund managers play a critical role in achieving this. They’re the ones who know what is relevant to what audience, so get them on board to amplify your content via the right channels. Leverage your sales teams and fund managers to personalize your core content in a way that is meaningful and personal to the audience you ultimately want to reach.
2. Strengthen your fund managers’ online presence
With evolving demographics and changes in investor expectations, it is increasingly more important for fund managers to have their fingers on the pulse of what investors need. New digital channels like social media offer a way for fund managers to directly interact with their clients and even the end consumer. This helps the enterprise in two ways.
First, fund managers (and, by association their asset management companies) can establish trust and credibility by sharing relevant expert views and research right when their clients are looking for them. Second, it also helps fund managers understand the evolving needs in the marketplace and create more personalized investment products. Helping your fund managers create a professional online presence and training them on how to engage with their clients is no longer a nice-to-have, but mandatory.
3. Share content thoughtfully and in bite-sized form
Google, Twitter, Instagram, email and text have all changed the way people expect information to be presented to them. Long-form content is essential to forming views and opinions, but requires time to absorb and process. Videos, blog posts, infographics and other bite-sized content – when shared with the right audience – can have a long-term impact on people’s minds.
In today’s digital world, the lines between an asset management firm, its fund managers and distribution teams, and the end investor have blurred. Managers are craving more open communication from firms, as the FT survey illustrates, and investors are craving more personalized, relevant advice and products. Thanks to technology, the potential to strengthen relationships across all these stakeholders is vast.
To receive the full fingings from the FT Insights study, please email Daniel Rothman, FT Times Director of Insight, at email@example.com.