1. Introducing the report
Wealth management firms account for a substantial proportion of investment assets in the UK, with the Wealth Management Association’s most recent AUM estimate exceeding £800bn. In recent years, the industry has seen a great deal of M&A activity and business remodelling, resulting in the increased centralisation of investment processes and the introduction of managed portfolio services aimed specifically at financial advisers. It is crucially important that sales and marketing teams at asset management companies take stock of the evolving wealth management landscape and adapt to operate effectively within it. They need to be able to identify key contacts at these firms, and offer them the right kind of contact and support.
Research in Finance’s new Wealth Manager Review report aims to help asset management companies understand the wealth management market better. The combination of top-down quantitative research to measure trends and preferences, and bottom-up qualitative and secondary research on individual leading firms, will provide a comprehensive view of this market.
The report will seek to answer key questions like:
• What investment propositions do these firms offer?
• How popular are the different products and propositions, and how is this changing over time?
• Who is making the fund selection decisions within firms?
• What are the most effective means of communication, and how does this vary by job function?
• Who are the best business development managers/sales contacts and what are they doing right?
Ultimately, this report should enable asset management firms to improve their sales and marketing efforts overall, and to segment their clients and targets more effectively.
Research in Finance is uniquely positioned to produce such a report. We have conducted numerous projects with DFMs/wealth managers across methodologies, and continually maintain and build upon our proprietary panel of these individuals.
2. Insight provided
The Wealth Manager Review is an annual written report with a supporting PowerPoint summary document, so that key learnings may be more easily presented and disseminated internally. In addition, Research in Finance will host a breakfast briefing upon launch at our office in the City.
Topic coverage of the report broadly splits out between the following:
• Business models and practices;
• Individual firm profiles;
• Investment sector and product preferences;
• Support and communication.
2.1. Business models and practices
• The relative popularity of different investment services offered by wealth managers e.g. the proportion of assets in managed portfolios vs. bespoke;
• The split between private client assets and assets managed on behalf of advisers, plus direction of travel;
• Popularity of in-house products e.g. multi-asset/fund of fund products;
• Who makes fund selection decisions within firms – always the central research team or do others influence?
• The influence head office has over regional offices, and the extent to which the latter have autonomy in fund selection;
• Wealth managers’ fund panels – the scope of these and asset manager concentration;
• Whether wealth managers are looking to diversify or consolidate their panels.
2.2. Individual firm profiles
• Assets under management and how this is split between investment services and products;
• Outline of business trends including M&A activity vs. organic growth;
• How the business is structured, including how investment decisions are made;
• Investment services and propositions offered;
• Types of investment considered e.g. all funds or some direct equities;
• How many funds are on the panel;
• House investment style/views e.g. growth vs value and open vs. closed-ended funds.
2.3. Investment sector and product preferences
• Split of assets between different product types (OEICs, investment trusts, ETFs, SICAVS etc.) and likely direction of travel;
• Events most likely to impact on asset/class sector preferences in the next 12 months, and how they will impact;
• Sizing the appeal of passive investing;
• Analysis of sector coverage in discretionary publications using Research in Finance’s proprietary tracker of advertising and editorial coverage.
2.4. Support and communication
• Preferred methods of communication from asset management firms;
• Detailed examples of best practice;
• The best business development managers/sales contacts by region;
• Pet peeves and most common asset manager communication blunders;
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