Asset Management: Client Strategy and the Sticky Investor

Asset Management: Client Strategy and the Sticky Investor

The asset management industry finds itself at an important juncture. Whether it’s servicing retail or institutional investors, asset managers are increasingly asking themselves whether their organisations could take a more Client Centric approach to the management of their businesses.

They are asking: what’s our proposition? Do our brand values reflect our client strategy? Does our internal culture place the client investor first? Do we help client investors solve their problems with unique products and solutions? At the same time, asset managers need to address a number of external challenges including increased compliance costs, fee compression and a rapidly evolving competitive landscape.

There are a number of steps asset managers can take to adopt a more Client Centric approach to deepening their client relationships. Whether it is capturing forward looking insights into their client investors or adopting a structured key account management program, an asset manager’s objective should be to provide client investors with an excellent client service experience. While each firm will adopt a client care structure appropriate for its business strategy, what matters most is maintaining an approach that will consistently drive the best service experience.
As one of the leading strategy consultancy firms to the financial services industry, here are some of the ways we are working with asset managers to address these important questions.

1. A structured key account management program builds loyalty
A well-designed key account management program is the basis for delivering an excellent client service experience. Asset managers who have taken steps to design the right program are best placed to efficiently manage their internal resources and align the appropriate service delivery levels with a client investor’s importance. We can advise an asset manager on the type of account management program appropriate for its business. We can review how it segments its client base including service levels. We can design the appropriate account management structure, outline suggested work streams and case studies for mapping the client investor experience and align the business to new segments. We can also facilitate the roll out a key account management approach including the tools and frameworks for a sales force / client relationship team (e.g. Key Performance Indicators – KPIs).

2. Using a client insight program to validate and deliver your business objectives
Asset managers often design client reviews which yield poor and backward looking insights. Our approach to designing programmes helps to provide rich, forward looking perspectives into the asset manager’s overall performance which go beyond investment returns. Our programmes often help identify problems across the organization, which might otherwise be overlooked. Such problems can include insufficient resources allocated to managing investor relations, poor quality fund reporting, or inefficient middle and back office operations. Our objective is to help asset managers develop a deeper understanding of their investors, what drives their loyalty and their expectation for service delivery.

3. Why a differentiated brand matters?
The asset management industry is very competitive. Investors have a wide choice of investment opportunities and access to brand name fund managers with strong reputations. An asset manager’s brand should reflect its investment philosophy and corporate values. Gulland Padfield can help an asset manager assess the retail and institutional markets’ perceptions of its brand and market positioning relative to its competitors. We can help define what qualities an asset manager’s brand stands for in the eyes of investors and what sets it apart from its competitors. This could range from defining a firm’s identity through to how it wants to be positioned in the marketplace. We can help design a brand strategy, which reflects an asset manager’s client centric approach to developing products and solutions, excellence in service delivery and operational excellence.

4. How thought capital can help build a pipeline of new client acquisition opportunities
Prospective investors assess many factors when evaluating an asset manager including their investment process, their risk management and the quality of their operational infrastructure. They also incorporate the views expressed by an asset manager on their fund products, the economic and political issues driving the global financial landscape, and suggestions on how investors can meet their investment objectives.
Insightful research publications and opinion papers showcasing an asset manager’s research capabilities and perspectives are the foundations of a powerful thought capital program. It can provide investors with a deep insight into its full capabilities and illustrate how the firm’s investment approach is different from other managers. We can help asset managers benchmark their thought capital program versus its competitors and design a program aligned with their strategic and business development objectives.

To find out how to build a client strategy which compliments your firm’s investment strategy, please contact James Phillips Head of the Asset Management team on –

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