October 30, 2014

Cohen: Pay attention to millennials

Millennials are a fast growing group with a lot of money that mutual fund firms are just starting to go after. What are best practices to serve this audience?

That was the premise of a panel at the Cohen Fund Services conference entitled, "Diversity Inclusion, Generational Trends and the Impact on the Future of the Asset Management Industry."

The thinking is this:
  • Parents will transfer their wealth to this group in upcoming years.
  • A large percentage of this demographic already has significant wealth from parents or their own efforts.
  • It's time to start engaging with this group to attract long term investors and employees.
This session focused on current and anticipated changes in the marketplace and workforce. It also looked at the impact on the traditional marketing, sales, hiring and human resource management practices in the asset management and professional services industries.

SunStar's Dan Sondhelm provided the perspective of marketing to millennials.

Jennifer Brase, Ryan Kramer from Northwestern Mutual and Hallie Sly from Cohen spoke about recruiting. 

"The expertise of our panel members brought an unparalleled level of insight to these issues,” said panel moderator Randy Myeroff, CEO of Cohen & Company — Cohen Fund Audit Services’ affiliated firm. “The information provided was no doubt invaluable to everyone in attendance.”

From a product perspective, millennials like investment products that are simple, such as target date funds. They also want to give back through impact or socially responsible investing. Low fees are important.

They want to be engaged online. They want to work with a firm that also communicates through social media or digital channels. 

October 29, 2014

Even famous quarterbacks speak financial jargon

Joe Montana, the legendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is now in a commercial for BNY Mellon Wealth Management speaking financial jargon. Why? He's making the point that if investors need to become their own investment expert, they'd be better off seeking the help of a financial advisor.

Unfortunately, many financial experts also speak financial jargon. So it's possible investors may not understand their financial advisor or mutual fund manager's use of technical language or acronyms.

One client story I recall about the use of jargon is a firm that said CFROI, pronounced as see-froy, in every other sentence.  They'd use it on CNBC, to clients and prospects or anyone who would listen.

You know, CFROI or cash flow return on investment which is a valuation model that assumes the stock market sets prices based on cash flow, not on corporate performance and earnings.

Oh yes, of course.

October 28, 2014

6 events that shaped the mutual fund industry

Ultimus Fund Solutions recently celebrated its 15th anniversary and it's co-founder Bob Dorsey recently celebrated his 30th anniversary in the fund industry. Those milestones gave Bob an opportunity to reflect on how much the fund industry has changed in the new millennium. Bob shared his thoughts on how managers can succeed in a recent Insight piece.  

October 20, 2014

MME: Asset Managers Eye Patenting Index Strategies

SunStar's Dan Sondhelm also shared some thoughts on how a patent can help differentiate your story.

Do you plan on having a patent?

October 15, 2014

Morningstar: Bond fund beneficiaries?

Morningstar reported September 2014 flows this week and, unsurprisingly, Bill Gross’ exit from PIMCO was a factor in investment trends. The taxable-bond Morningstar Category saw outflows of $18.7 billion, its largest single-month loss since June, 2013. However, the PIMCO Total Return Fund alone accounted for $17.9 billion of outflows, making the state of the taxable-bond category look not so bad after all. Which bond funds are benefitting? Meanwhile, active U.S. equity saw its seventh month of outflows while passive U.S. equity experienced its eighth month of inflows, most notably in U.S. and international equity.

For more details and analysis, please see the full report here.