Unlocking Real Value Blog

AK In The News: US Managers Win World Cup Of Marketing

Today’s Fundfire (A Financial Times Service) has an article on how U.S. asset managers rank first (and U.K. firms second) in effective marketing – both defending their home turf from foreign competitors and competing abroad – according to a new survey by FS Associates; I was asked to comment on these results.

The results are not surprising, given the maturity of the pension markets in the two countries. To quote from the article: “The marketing domination by U.S. and U.K. firms should be expected, says Andy Klausner, principal and founder of AK Advisory Partners.

“It’s a size issue,” he says. Both the U.S. and U.K. are home to the world’s largest asset managers, and have more developed institutional investor markets, he says. “It’s the bigger players that go overseas,” he says. Available resources are important for strong marketing.”

The article also discussed how managers could grow their businesses abroad. Again, quoting from the article: “But marketing for institutional investors is inherently different than for retail investors, says Klausner. “You’re marketing yourself to that consultant,” as opposed to directly to a client, he says. Institutional managers need to focus on building their brand through relationships with consultants, particularly the large, global consultants.

If a manager can have a strong relationship with a consultant in the U.S., it’s likely that the consultant will also look at the manager for its institutional clients in other countries as well, says Klausner.

“It’s very rare that a manager would be brought into [an institutional] relationship not through a consultant,” says Klausner. But, asset managers can still focus on building brand awareness with institutions. While a consultant may drive a manager selection process, institutional clients may still request the consideration of certain managers they’re familiar with, says Klausner.”

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