What Qualities Matter in Fund Distributor Relationships
I just read an interesting study and wanted to share it with you. It was the Greenwich Associates 2017 Asian Intermediary Distribution Study. Basically, the study results shed light on what qualities are important in fund distributors. In conducting the study, Greenwich Associates interviewed 150 individuals working at various retail and private banks, insurance companies, asset management firms, securities brokerages and independent financial advisory firms throughout Asia. The survey respondents were asked to rate the asset managers they currently had on their platforms against different service quality parameters pertaining to investments, relationship management practices, and client service.
Service Quality Parameters
Within the investment area, the survey respondents were asked to rate the asset managers on: clarity of investment philosophy, clarity and consistency of the investment process, investment professional capability, and ability to achieve superior future performance. The relationship management category was scored on the basis of: an understanding of the institution’s goals, professional knowledge and competence, keeping promises and commitments, being proactive in providing information, and the quality and usefulness of meetings. Client service was rated on these criteria: ease of ongoing operations, timeliness of written reporting, transparency of information disclosure, portfolio risk management, and the quality of IT integration.
Local Market Knowledge Matters
How well a distributor performed against all of these criteria compared to their competitors determined whether or not they made it onto the Greenwich Quality Leaders list. What also was revealed in the study input, however, was how important a distributor’s broad presence and local area knowledge was in building strong relationships with their key financial industry constituents. This is especially true in Asia where there are many variables from market to market in terms of client needs, local languages, cultural nuances, and idiosyncrasies relating to investment/portfolio reporting. Having a full grasp of a local market and communicating this understanding to bankers, insurers, asset managers, securities brokers and financial advisors is what separates the leading distributors from their competitors. This deep market knowledge also gives professionals in these various sectors the confidence to refer a distributor to a colleague. Once a distributor gains the reputation of being fully-entrenched in any given Asian market, their brand begins to build along with new relationships.
Meeting Advisors and Client Needs
At MIGAM, we recognize the distinctive traits and factors that influence consumers’ investment decisions and the correlation in the types of funds their financial advisors recommend to them. We also realize that financial advisors require much more than high quality funds from us. We need to demonstrate a real commitment to helping them satisfy their clients’ needs, at the same time that we help them conduct business in an easier, more streamlined and efficient way. Whether through our use of new technologies, robust reporting, ongoing communications, and/or regular meetings with them in their local area, MIGAM has made this our primary mission.