Smaller asset managers don’t necessarily have less valuable brands, according to a report released Monday by Landor, a global consulting firm.
Based on data from Brand Finance and Towers Watson, the study found that smaller firms that “punch above their weight” are able to leverage their brand better than larger firms that have lost momentum.
As an example, Mich Bergesen, global director of financial services at Landor, referred to Aberdeen Asset Management, which was managing $551.4 billion in assets as of June 30.
“The firm built its identity around simply asset management, and that’s helped them fuel growth,” Landor told ThinkAdvisor on Monday. “They haven’t been in only one asset class or only one strategy, it’s been a very broad-based platform. On the other hand, I think the track record and consistency of leadership really matters. Some of the recent changes, for example, at the top at PIMCO have taken a toll not just on their AUM but on their brand value.”
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“Small” is a relative term in the study, which examined the 50 largest asset managers covered by Towers Watson, with assets between $100 billion and $4 trillion.
There are three factors firms of all sizes need to build their brand around to help them grow.
First is flexibility. Firms need to be able to move quickly to offer their clients what they’re looking for.