September 25, 2012

What’s Jeff Gundlach Thinking; Keep Clients Engaged; Advising Divorcing Women: October Investment Advisor—Slideshow

Jeff Gundlach has made quite a name for himself. After some trouble at TCW, the “it” manager in the mutual fund industry took his firm, DoubleLine Capital, to $43 billion in assets under management. He shares his rock-star strategy with Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan in the October issue of Investment Advisor.

Referrals have long been a major source of new business for advisors. Julie Littlechild, president of Advisor Impact and two-time honoree in Investment Advisor’s IA 25, shares the results of her annual Economics of Loyalty research to show how advisors can efficiently gain more referrals and improve their relationships with clients.

In the October issue, we also bring you the follow-up to Olivia Mellan’s September Graying of Divorce feature. Older women are more likely to initiate divorce than they ever have been: why? And, now that they’re on their own, what do they need from you? Mellan looks at some of the factors that have changed the way women see marriage and divorce, and explains what advisors need to do to protect their relationship with clients who are ending their own.

What's Gundlach Thinking?What's Gundlach Thinking?

Sure, Jeff Gundlach is given to loud suits, fast cars and quoting Shakespeare. He also has assets under management and a performance record that are the envy of the money management industry. Call him eccentric if you like, but you’d have to follow it with another accompanying superlative (Hint: It rhymes with “zenius”).

The CEO and CIO of DoubleLine Capital is the “it” manager of the mutual fund space, a title he’s enjoyed since being named 2006 Fixed Income Manager of the Year by Morningstar. He sat down with Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan to talk about what he’s doing right.

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Asked and Answered: How to Engage ClientsAsked and Answered: How to Engage Clients

There is an assumption that if advisors focus on client satisfaction, they’ll grow their business, but research from Advisor Impact finds that’s not necessarily so. There is a tenuous relationship between satisfaction and referrals, but a very strong relationship between engagement and referrals, according to Julie Littlechild of Advisor Impact. She shares the results of her annual Economics of Loyalty research to challenge some long-held assumptions about the drivers of client engagement and satisfaction. That means that seemingly innocuous assumptions might stop us from focusing on those activities that will truly drive growth.

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Madame Ex: Advising Female ClientsMadame Ex

We all know the cliché of the older divorcing couple: The husband, in the throes of a midlife crisis, dumps his aging wife for a younger cutie who will shore up his self-esteem and rouse the envy of his peers.

In a follow-up to Olivia Mellan’s September feature, “The Baby Boomer Bust-Up,” Mellan and co-author Sherry Christie explore the motivations behind women leaving their marriages more frequently than men and shares some tips for advisors to keep these women as clients as they’re dissolving their relationships with their husbands.

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Action Plan: Schwab Advisor ServicesAction Plan

Three Washington-area advisors sit down with Group Editor-in-Chief Jamie Green to talk about what they learned about themselves and their firms from participating in Schwab Advisor Services’ “Insights to Action” program. By many of the usual success measures used by RIA firms—growth in clients, in revenue and in assets under management—their three firms were already successful. But Dee Ann Remo, Michael Mussio and Barry Glassman and their colleagues suspected that they could do better, and that there might be different, unique ways to measure success for their firms. That is what participating in the ITAP program—present tense intended—taught them about themselves and their firms.

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Striving for Sustainability Striving for Sustainability

Growth is the lifeblood of the independent advisory industry. In addition to greater rewards to firm owners in the form of increasing returns and higher share value, the potential benefits of growth extend to employees as well as clients. Growth creates career opportunities and greater earning potential for staff. Growth can help broaden a firm’s resources and deepen its technical expertise, resulting in improved quality of client service delivery.

Because sustainable growth is so important, “The 2012 FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: Growth by Design” features a detailed examination of how firms grow and how they should grow. Here, in the first of four planned articles over the course of the next 12 months, study authors Eliza De Pardo and Dan Inveen provide an overview of study findings.

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