Unlocking Real Value Blog

AK In The Press: Managers Challenged To Stand Apart From Rivals

Last week I gave a presentation at the IMI Consultants Congress entitled “Top 10 List – Winning  A Finals Presentation.” (See last week’s blog for a recap of the presentation and a link to the full list, which can also be found on the Resources page of my website.)

The following article – Managers Challenged to Stand Apart from Rivals – highlights two of the discussion points my fellow presenter and I spoke about and was printed in today’s FundFire.

Differentiation – One of the audience members mentioned that it was difficult for managers to know who their true peer groups are for comparison sake, and that she felt it was important for the consultant to give the manager this information. In reality, however, it’s almost impossible to do, this since managers are all different, and the goal is not to only put “identical” managers up against each other. Consultants will select managers who they feel would all be equally capable of fulfilling the mandate. Rather than try to compete against the other managers, and highlight differences, it is better to stress why you are different and what your own competitive advantages are.

Often times, if you are perceived as competing against someone as opposed to advocating for yourself, you will lose credibility with the prospect. Manager search and selection is an art more than a science. It is not perfect. So concentrate on what you do well, and you will be successful.

The other topic mentioned in the article is who should attend the presentation. I took somewhat of a contrary view, in that while portfolio managers have always be considered important presenters, in today’s volatile world I feel that it is as important to have continuity – that the person the prospect meets at the finals presentation doesn’t go away but services the account on an on-going basis and is available to the client.

We had a lively discussion, and I think the bottom line conclusion was that each situation must be evaluated on its own merits. I will concede that it is more important that a manager who is a stock picker bring a portfolio manager to the presentation, but a top quality client servicing person should also be there to provide consistency and highlight client service.

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