March 2, 2015

SmartCEO: How content marketing on social media can boost your brand

Traditional advertising is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Social media platforms have replaced ads and become the best method for reaching your target clientele. Creating a social media account is a no-brainer for a business, but chances are, business owners aren’t using social media to its full extent — as a place to grow your brand and become a trusted leader in the industry. That’s where content marketing comes in. SmartCEO turned to SunStar's Dan Sondhelm and other marketing pros for the details.

Click here for the full story.

February 20, 2015

MME: Tone Your Firm's Message with a Brand Exercise

What is the first impression prospects have when visiting your website or looking over your literature? Do they perceive a clear message about your firm, what you value and how you'll solve their problem? Does it confirm your credibility and motivate them to want to know you better?
If these questions resonate with you because you aren't so happy with the answers, read the article Tone Your Firm's Message With a Brand Exercise by Jeff Young, senior vice president for Huntington Asset Services, published recently in Money Management Executive.
Jeff says fund firm literature are often "one-offs, such as fact sheets, commentaries, websites and brochures that operate on autopilot." Then, newer communications sometimes focus on "points that are important, but seemingly different or even contradictory to previous messages that are still available to the public."
"All of this and more speaks to who you are as an organization - your brand. So how do prospects and advisors understand who you are?" Jeff says.
In the article, Jeff provides a roadmap to refresh a firm's brand.
Jeff - Thank you for using a sound byte from me: "If you don't have a brand, all you have is performance. And, if your performance stumbles, you're left with nothing and you simply get dropped."
Jeff Young and Huntington Asset Services is a SunStar client.

January 8, 2015

One strategy for growth is an illusion

Woman appearing to hold tiny man in her hand at the beach : Stock Photo
Bill Gross added personal money into his fund. It's an illusion
to make it appear larger to sophisticated investors. This woman
isn't really holding a tiny man in her hand at the beach.
Bill Gross has brought in more than $1 billion into his Janus Unconstrained Bond Fund since he left PIMCO. But investors may not be flocking to his fund just because he is a star manager.

According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, more than 60 percent of the assets flowing into the fund in the initial months came from Bill Gross' personal financial advisors office. Why? One possibility is Gross really wants to eat his own cooking and invest in his own fund.

Another may be he knows in order to position his fund competitively with pension funds and other sophisticated investors, his fund would have to reach certain asset levels. He knows it's is easier to grow through his own money, his personal advisor client money, or other internal audiences, than outside investors.

Some firms require $1 billion to be considered. Others require $100 million.

As one client told me, "The first billion was tough. Each additional billion became exponentially easier."

I've heard similar comments from boutiques that the initial $50 million was challenging but once that point was reached, each additional $50 million became easier.

We often suggest to clients they add personal, family money or assets from separate accounts into the fund to make the fund appear larger, if they can. That inflated asset level, although an illusion, can make the difference between getting a sale versus dealing with a size objection.

Did you consider adding internal money to your fund to make it appear larger?

December 17, 2014

How fund managers can gain more value from their service providers

hasiwhitepaperAlmost by definition, smaller or boutique money managers must do more with less. Enterprising boutiques that have a story to tell should periodically evaluate service relationships for “value-added” capabilities that could contribute to your firm’s success. In their latest white paper, Huntington Asset Services Jeff Young provides measurement tools to help your decision makers evaluate service providers.

Download the white paper

* Huntington is a SunStar Strategic client.

December 15, 2014

Morningstar: Passive equity and active bonds dominate

Morningstar’s most recent U.S. Asset Flows Update is once again dominated by two stories: the continued trend towards passively managed equity funds, and fluctuations in the active taxable bond group. As 2014 draws to a close, the U.S. equity group continues to see inflows to the passively managed side, while the actively managed side sees outflows. Morningstar reports that over a trailing one year period passive equity funds have increased by $156.1 billion, while active equities have shrunk $91.9 billion.
During November, the active taxable bond group saw its first positive flow since August. Bill Gross’ exit from PIMCO in September set the category on its ear, but confidence appears to be returning as investors begin to explore other taxable-bond options.

For the full report, please click here.