It goes without saying that good products are key to success for asset managers. Our advisor survey data, conducted in association with Horsesmouth, shows that the attribute that is most highly correlated with firm advocacy is “great/quality products.” In other words, advisors who view a firm as having high-quality products are significantly more likely to recommend that firm to other advisors.
Although product performance is not a variable that asset management firms’ distribution teams can control, they cantake steps to help advisors gain deeper insights into their products—including products featured in home office and third-party models—and the philosophy behind them. And advisors’ need for product information and insights is likely to continue to grow as investors take a more proactive role in the advisor-client relationship. According to our recent research, 32.4% of advisors report that, compared to three years ago, investors today are asking more questions about the products and solutions that advisors propose.
One of the best ways for advisors to get the inside track on products and markets is by connecting with asset managers’ capital market experts, portfolio managers and product specialists. It is therefore no surprise that advisors have consistently indicated that they would like more interaction with these experts. Historically, it has been challenging for many asset managers to provide meaningful access to investment and capital markets experts to more than a select handful of advisors. However, while the challenges of balancing availability and demand are not likely to go away any time soon, asset managers have been able to provide better coverage of these experts through remote interactions.
Remote meetings not only allow firms to broaden advisor access to experts, but also (according to asset managers) are equally, if not more, impactful when compared to in-person meetings. More than a third of asset managers we surveyed (36.8%) said that meetings with advisors that included the asset manager’s product specialists or portfolio managers were more effective in a remote setting than these meetings were when held in person. And for an additional 42.1% of asset managers, holding these meetings remotely was at least as effective as holding them in person —offering efficiencies without detracting from efficacy.
Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, advisor meetings of all kinds have been moved online. However, even once this is no longer a necessity, remote meetings with investment and product experts will continue to be a great option for asset managers, giving advisors access to key resources in a way that is both efficient and effective.
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