Research, Analytics, and Consulting Blog

To provide our clients with high quality tailored consulting and research, we need to know the financial services industry and our clients. To build lasting and profitable relationships, we dedicate ourselves to staying not just current on, but ahead of industry trends. These blog postings are intended to share our industry insights.

What Advisors Expect From Sales and Marketing

Mike Cogburn, July 17, 2018

For asset managers, digitizing the relationship with advisors is important, but it is NOT the end-all and be-all. It won’t turn asset management firms over on their heads. At least not yet. Digital is a READ MORE...

Six More Sales Skills for a Changing World

Saadiah Freeman, July 9, 2018

As the advisory landscape changes, asset management distribution is also evolving to match advisors’ shifting priorities. A key consideration for modern asset management sales leaders is READ MORE...

Why Product Teams Are Well-Positioned to Help Senior Management Make Strategic Decisions

Mike Andrews, CFA, June 26, 2018

At our recent Product Roundtable event, a number of key trends were discussed – all of which are making the daily lives of Product Management, Development, and Strategy teams increasingly complicated. Furthermore, if the conversations are READ MORE...

Different Distribution Strategies, One Central Element: Data

Jason Dauwen, June 11, 2018

At our recent Distribution Strategy roundtable, Distribution leaders had differing opinions on where their focus would be in the next 3-5 years: some plan READ MORE...

Firms Need to Sharpen the Focus on Influential Pro Buyers

Tracy Needham, May 29, 2018

Asset managers dedicate an enormous amount of resources to reach advisors. But as advisors increase their reliance on models, their share of assets over which they have discretion has fallen to READ MORE...

Is Your Firm Smarketing?

Mike Cogburn, May 14, 2018

Big changes are coming into focus for asset management marketers who attended our annual CMO roundtable event – specifically around how they operate. READ MORE...

Are These Two Trends Sidelining Your Distribution Efforts?

Matthew Fronczke, May 3, 2018

Distribution in the asset and wealth management industry is severely challenged obviously, but there are two trends which clearly exhibit just how challenging the environment is in the first half of 2018: the declining READ MORE...

Trends that are Rewriting the Future for Asset Managers

Julia Binder, April 25, 2018

My first time at SXSW in Austin, Texas last month provided a number of stimulating and thought-provoking takeaways for asset managers. Most of the sessions READ MORE...

Taking on the Winds of Change

Saadiah Freeman, April 2, 2018

Disruptive industry change can be difficult for leaders to accept. Judging from the discussion at DST’s recent Internal, Hybrid, and Digital Sales roundtable however, most Internal Sales Managers aren’t READ MORE...

Getting Creative in the Challenging, Quickly Growing RIA Space

Jason Dauwen, March 26, 2018

One thing was clear from RIA executives: the plans set in or before 2017 will continue into 2018 with deeper and more precise focus on reframing distribution models by focusing on the upfront value, looking at READ MORE...

Where Does Digital Engagement Lift Sales for Asset Managers?

Tracy Needham, March 12, 2018

For several years, DST Research, Analytics, and Consulting has surveyed financial advisors (in association with Horsesmouth) to understand the effects that digital experiences provided by asset managers have on READ MORE...

Is Sales Force Segmentation the Next Frontier?

Saadiah Freeman, March 5, 2018

Allocating financial advisor relationships to specific salespeople is nothing new. Traditional principles of territory design dictate that the most senior salesperson in the territory (typically the external wholesaler) faces off against READ MORE...

Can Sales Teams Have Impact on Redemptions? A Growing Number of Firms say Yes.

Lee Kowarski, February 28, 2018

Despite remaining skepticism amongst many sales managers, many asset management firms that have placed an increased emphasis on asset retention have found salespeople are able to reduce redemption rates. READ MORE...

ETFs: An Industry in Flux

Mike Andrews, CFA, February 21, 2018

Several weeks ago, I spent a few days in Florida at the annual Inside ETF conference. Besides spending a great deal of time listening to a wide variety of presentations on subjects ranging from READ MORE...

In the Age of Data, Sales Teams Shouldn’t Knock on Every Door

Jason Dauwen, February 14, 2018

In the 1940s, when mutual fund distribution teams were being built to handle a growing mutual fund market, office communication technology didn’t even include READ MORE...

Yes, Strong Advisor Digital Engagement can Boost the Bottom Line

Mike Cogburn, February 12, 2018

With financial advisors taking fewer calls and meetings with wholesalers, digital engagement is becoming the most common, consistent, and efficient way to forge a relationship. In the past, we’ve highlighted READ MORE...

Advisors are Dissatisfied with Widening Digital Gaps. Here's What to Do.

Julia Binder, February 5, 2018

Advancements in marketing technology are accelerating at an unprecedented pace. Combined with access to troves of behavioral and transactional data, these developments enable brands to provide READ MORE...

What If Your Best Opportunities Aren’t Where You’ve Been Looking?

Saadiah Freeman, January 18, 2018

While the biggest firms can afford to put boots on the ground in every region, small and mid-sized firms have to make strategic decisions about which parts of the country they’ll cover with what resources. Historically, many firms have READ MORE...

What Happens when the Bull Market Ends? Eight Predictions for 2018 and Beyond

Steven Miyao, January 9, 2018

The market continues to deliver. Assets under management (AUM) are breaking records, lifting fees. Operating margins rose strongly in the third quarter of 2017, reaching an average 34.2% – the highest in the last eight quarters – for the READ MORE...

Why Your Distribution Strategy Requires Business Intelligence

Saadiah Freeman, January 5, 2018

Most asset managers are now aware that business intelligence is not an optional extra, especially when it comes to distribution strategy. Despite this, business intelligence has primarily been viewed as a support function within READ MORE...

Three Trends to Drive Higher Email ROI with Advisors

Tracy Needham, January 5, 2018

Email is the most frequent type of contact between asset managers and advisors – and the one advisors are most receptive to. But like everyone else’s, advisors’ inboxes are overflowing with messages that READ MORE...

"Outsiders" Take Digital Leadership Roles and Shake Up Their Firms

Mike Cogburn, December 7, 2017

Every executive at every firm needs to understand digital, especially how and where it adds value for its customers. For the first time, it seems most do and are investing in digital capabilities – putting digital teams on READ MORE...

Deploying Cyborgs May be the Way to Save Sales Organizations

Jason Dauwen, November 30, 2017

I believe asset manager sales executives must start deploying cyborgs to survive. Let me be clear. I’m not advocating that robots should replace humans in sales roles. Humans are and will continue to READ MORE...

What It Really Means to Be a Marketing Leader

Julia Binder, November 20, 2017

In this time of consolidation and disruption in the asset management industry, marketing has never been more important to differentiating your brand, bringing in new business, and READ MORE...

How National Accounts can Position Their Firms to Win

Matthew Fronczke, November 9, 2017

National account teams are leading the distribution charge as asset managers battle severe headwinds in the intermediary wealth management market. Leading asset managers recognize their importance and are READ MORE...

Answer Your Customers' Unasked Questions

Mike Cogburn, November 8, 2017

In my last blog post I spoke about the need for making product stories memorable, advocating for asset managers to tell product stories in new ways (and the importance of being relevant to the audience). We have found that READ MORE...

Why Investment Solutions? Why Now?

Saadiah Freeman, November 7, 2017

The investment industry is undergoing a period of transformation. Asset managers are increasingly shifting their focus from manufacturing products to developing solutions. Meanwhile, in the financial advisory space, goals-based wealth management is READ MORE...

The Biggest Asset Managers Play to Win. What are the Rest Doing?

Steven Miyao, October 17, 2017

The largest asset managers are taking the turmoil in the industry seriously, investing heavily in data, national accounts, changing the role of wholesaling and de-channelizing, while the rest of the industry is READ MORE...

Marketers, Stories – Not Fact Sheets – Are the Answer

Mike Cogburn, October 16, 2017

When companies are able to align products to their brand promise, their stories naturally become more memorable. But that is just part of the mission that asset managers are on as they fight to stand out in a crowded investment product market. READ MORE...

Five Ways Asset Management CMOs are Responding to Industry Change

Tracy Needham, October 9, 2017

“I’ve never seen more change than I have the last three years in our industry,” one marketing executive said at last week’s annual CMO roundtable. And given current trends and pressures in the asset management industry READ MORE...

Are Surging ETF Inflows by Retail Investors a Harbinger of a Toppy US Market?

Erach Desai, October 5, 2017

For a recently published article in DST’s Product Strategy Compass on the challenges facing active management, we examined the actual data for retail net flows in recent years. And, we specifically looked at READ MORE...

Data-Driven Insights Will Drive Distribution Strategy

Lee Kowarski, October 4, 2017

Between DST’s Business Intelligence (BI) Roundtable last week and the On Course Advisors' CRM Forum event this week, I have spent a lot of time with the industry’s leading thinkers about data recently. My key takeaways READ MORE...

The Workforce of the Future Starts in Marketing

Julia Binder, September 28, 2017

New roles in marketing are harbingers of significant changes we believe the industry can expect to see in the asset management workforce over the next few years. SEO specialists, UX designers, data artists, and READ MORE...

Advisor Consultants are the New Wholesalers

Matthew Fronczke, September 19, 2017

Asset managers are staring down many challenges with change an inevitable conclusion to the status quo. As the business changes, the role of the wholesaler is changing as well. We are seeing that wholesalers are READ MORE...

Are Remote Internal Sales Teams the Way of the Future?

Saadiah Freeman, August 16, 2017

Remote work is on the rise. In 2017, a Gallup report showed 31% of American workers are working remotely 4-5 days per week, up from 24% in 2012. While the asset management industry, as a whole, has been slow to embrace this trend, most distribution organizations have a sizeable team of READ MORE...

Are Your Salespeople Prepared for the Future?

Jason Dauwen, August 10, 2017

In 2011, the Institute for the Future (IFTF) – an independent, nonprofit strategic research group – published a set of ten skills necessary for workers in 2020. This list is still relevant today and can be applied to workers of any stripe, but they are READ MORE...

Digital Matters. More Than You Think.

Mike Cogburn, July 28, 2017

With “digital transformation” initiatives happening left and right within the industry, clients often ask us what they should be prioritizing. It seems that everyone has a different definition of what digital transformation means, and what they are trying READ MORE...

Does Your Product Pitch Connect with Advisors?

Tracy Needham, July 27, 2017

How can asset managers tell more effective product stories? That’s one of the questions we sought to answer with our upcoming report, Effective Product Marketing Strategies. And in our industry’s ultra-competitive environment, we believe it’s a READ MORE...

Getting Return on Your Investment in Outbound Marketing

Julia Binder, July 12, 2017

At our recent Digital Summit, many marketers said they were prioritizing inbound over outbound marketing, because they perceive it as cheaper and more productive. But our research shows that firms on average are spending READ MORE...

What’s the Matter with Advisor Engagement by Channel?

Saadiah Freeman, July 6, 2017

Many asset managers organize their sales teams by channel. But is this really the most effective strategy? As my colleague Erjon Gjoci found in his analysis of advisor expectations for value-added services, wirehouse advisors and RIAs have READ MORE...

What Sales Managers Can Learn from Computer Programmers

Jason Dauwen, June 29, 2017

If salespeople are putting their products in front of anyone who will listen, they’re probably not selling as efficiently as they could be. Take some advice from this (former?) computer programmer: there’s a READ MORE...

What Does Your User Experience Sound Like?

Mike Cogburn, June 22, 2017

Our everyday digital experience now includes getting scores and summaries of sporting events from virtual personal assistants, ordering pizza through chat bots, and making purchases with our voice. READ MORE...

Wirehouse Advisors and RIAs: The Whole is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts

Erjon Gjoci, June 15, 2017

Wirehouse and RIA channels combined make 33% of advisor population but control more than half of market assets. While traditionally asset management organizations have dealt with and targeted these channels as isolated entities, our data shows READ MORE...

Want to See the Future of Mutual Fund Distribution? Look into this Crystal Ball

Jason Dauwen, May 31, 2017

If I offered up a crystal ball that would show you the future of asset management, would you look into it? What if this crystal ball didn’t tell you just one future, but READ MORE...

Five Things Asset Management CMOs Should Know About Marketing Attribution

Tracy Needham, May 31, 2017

Marketing attribution isn’t about hits, clicks, and visitors. It’s about measuring and demonstrating meaningful impact on the firm’s goals and priorities. And the risks of not having READ MORE...

DOL Fiduciary Rule to Take Effect on June 9, 2017

Julia Binder, May 23, 2017

In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday evening, US Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta confirmed that the agency’s fiduciary rule will begin taking effect on June 9, 2017. Acosta wrote that careful review has found READ MORE...

Our First-Ever Broker-Dealer Business Intelligence Roundtable

Saadiah Freeman, May 23, 2017

Earlier this month, DST hosted our first-ever Broker-Dealer Business Intelligence Roundtable. The event began with a keynote speech from Distribution Solutions President, Steven Miyao, followed by a session in which business READ MORE...





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