Asset Management and the Communication Battlefield

January 2020

As equity markets have taken a battering in 2018, asset managers are being forced to revisit their communication strategies with stakeholders including clients and regulators. How is your asset management firm responding to these twin challenges and how are you using content to differentiate yourself from your competitors?

Law Board

Consider for a moment your first point of contact with a new potential client. It is likely to come from one of two sources:

  • Their financial advisor

  • Your Fund Fact Sheet or Minimum Disclosure Document (MDD)

The average financial advisor in South Africa has over 900 unit trusts or funds to consider for their clients - this is a significant investment universe for any advisor. If we park historical performance to one side and you put yourself in the advisors shoes, what are the two red flags that are likely to go off when they begin to review your fund?

The answers are regulatory compliance and a clear, transparent investment strategy.

If your MDDs are poorly formatted or are unable to clearly demonstrate compliance as well as your investment strategy, you will quickly find your fund being sidelined in favour of others who instill greater confidence and professionalism.

Similarly a new investor or even a journalist may want to review your fund to understand your investment strategy. The first place they are likely to look is in your online archive of MDDs or fact sheets.

When looking at the South African investment landscape, it’s well-known that of those 900+ funds operating locally, almost 70% of them offer a very similar general equity mandate. There is very little to differentiate around strategy – this makes it important to ensure that your supporting documentation and content is benchmarked against the most professional offerings in the industry.

By using engaging content and client communication tools, you can make yourself stand out against your peers.

Google Trends to power your communication strategy

Before we sign off from this post: As entrepreneurs, we at Advicement are always interested in providing you with useful tools to empower your asset management business.

One of the tools that doesn’t receive a lot of attention is the Google Trends keyword tool which allows you to type in keywords related to your business and measure spikes in searches, related keywords and where in a particular region people are searching for information about your business.

These free insights can be used to improve your marketing and communications strategy.

Implementing our solution

At Advicement, we have created a smart, automated solution that is designed to boost efficiencies for each client. For example, once our client-approved templates are set up, the turnaround time for the document generation is typically one business day (allowing for frequent production).

Benefits and advantages

Having recognized the opportunity within MDDs to strengthen client relationships, our solution is also designed to create more engaging and accessible documents – for example, we include bespoke calculations and charts, which are packaged within a form that reflects the asset manager’s own branding and in-house style. This highly tailored document design and presentation has already proven to be exceedingly beneficial for both asset managers and their investors.

In addition to saving on time and costs, this outsourced solution also eliminates errors and inconsistencies – with the third party provider providing a key fact-checking element. This is a critical part of the thorough preparation of documents and also ensures that asset managers remain within legal and regulatory frameworks.