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5 Best Asset Managers for Tech-Minded Advisors

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According to a new report from consulting firm DST kasina, there’s a large gap between what financial advisors want from their digital engagements with asset managers and what they’re actually getting.

While three out of four advisors say they’re more likely to visit an asset manager website that offers personalized content and product recommendations, less than 23% of firms offer that, according to the report “Digital Engagement Leaders 2016: It’s Not Just About the Website Anymore.”

In addition, 79% percent of advisors want detailed performance data from asset managers’ websites, including the “whys” of their performance, but less than 20% offer that in their product profile, according to the report.

Altogether 73% of advisors said the digital experiences provided by asset managers influence their view of a firm’s overall capabilities, up from 59% in 2015 —  but only 16.3% of managers met their expectations.

DST kasina ranked 31 small, mid- and large-cap firms, with assets ranging from $92 million to $2.6 trillion, reviewing each one’s website, blog, subscription email, and LinkedIn and Twitter pages on desktop and mobile devices according to these five key variables:

  • The delivery of personalized, relevant recommendations
  • Invite interactions with the firm
  • Emphasis on what’s unique about the firm and its products and why advisors should work with the firm
  • Ease of doing business with the firm
  • Consistent, high quality user experiences

Based on those rankings, DST kasina listed the top five asset management firms:


4. Oppenheimer Funds

3. American Funds

2. BlackRock

1. Putnam Investments

Mark McKenna, Putnam head of global marketing, said in a statement: “Utilizing the full breadth of digital capabilities — threading all components together in a complementary manner — is becoming a marketplace imperative in our industry.”

DST kasina ranked Putnam No. 1 because its CEO is socially active and its website is visually unique; it includes a FundVisualizer Integration, which lets advisors easily compare a particular fund to its peers, and benchmark and performance data showing the best, worst and average annualized five-year performance.

Highlights of DST kasina’s other top rankings include BlackRock’s personalized website and emails for advisors; American Funds’ insights, which, in the sample provided, included commentary about actively managed funds versus market indexes; Oppenheimer’s engaging Twitter content and PIMCO’s personalized fund information and option for how often advisors can receive email alerts.

DST kasina concluded its report with recommended best practices for asset managers to engage digitally with financial advisors, but advisors can use many of those same practices to engage with their own clients:

  • Develop a vision and key metrics to guide and assess progress.
  • Segment customers by value, behavior and product usage-based factors.
  • Personalize content.
  • Have a technology strategy that can support personalization and omni-channel experiences.

“Advisors should use data to segment their clients and provide personalized content to investors,” said Rubesh Jacobs, head of marketing practice at DST kasina, adding that “omni-channel marketing will drive investor engagement.”

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