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Fund Manager Websites Fall Short

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A report by Swiss research company MyPrivateBanking Research found that leading fund managers’ websites, both desktop and mobile versions, are not well optimized for users.  

“Many of the evaluated websites are not able to satisfy even basic requirements with regard to an innovative and interactive digital experience,” Rosalia Engchuan, analyst at MyPrivateBanking Research, said in a statement. “The evaluated desktop websites ranged from average to alarmingly weak. The analyzed mobile websites perform, on average, even worse.”

The firm analyzed desktop and mobile versions of the websites for 15 global fund managers based on the user experience, navigation and structure they offered individual clients; content; and interactivity, integration and social media.

The overall winner for both desktop and mobile sites was TIAA-CREF, with a score of 84 out of 100. Fidelity and Franklin Templeton tied at 77.

TIAA-CREF had a superior desktop site at 71, while Franklin Templeton and PIMCO came out on top for mobile sites with just 16 points.

The majority of fund managers’ desktop websites offered no interactive tools to help clients process complex fund information. The average score for desktop sites was just 67%.

Even worse, 20% of managers don’t even have a mobile site. Those that do received a usability score of just 40%.

“The slow adoption of mobile media leaves the fund management industry far behind other industries,” Engchuan said. “Fund managers need to keep in mind that they are competing not only with their peers, but also with a whole range of new fintech players that are aggressively entering the market, such as robo-advisors.”

Among the recommendations to fund managers is to present fund data in an interactive and attractive way (a website’s graphic design was considered, but only as far as readability of fonts and colors, rather than overall aesthetics). “User experience is key to capturing the minds of existing and prospective clients,” the authors noted in the summary. That means data should be presented in an intuitive and visual way.

Interactive tools can include calculators, demos, games and questionnaires.

The summary stressed that a mobile website should not just be the desktop site in miniature. “So-called responsive design ensures that the same content is displayed across a range of screen sizes, from desktop to tablet to phone.”

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