Research Studies

Open 2019 Research Calendar

Competitive, regulatory, and demographic forces are causing seismic shifts in the investment management industry, forcing asset managers to quickly assess impacts and respond.

Our research studies provide deep-dive strategic assessments on critical industry issues, offering long-term analysis and shorter-term tactical suggestions for staying ahead.

Distribution Research provides executives with strategies and recommendations for optimizing coverage models, sales team structures, and compensation programs aligned with your firm’s goals. Benchmarks and best practices arm distribution executives with the right tactics for their specific firm. Our knowledge of the institutional and intermediary markets, developed over years of experience, helps us to provide you insights and recommendations you can act on.

Marketing Research helps executives identify data-driven, differentiated opportunities to support the sales cycle with digital marketing strategies. We also help firms focus on a business imperative: measuring return on investment in marketing budgets.

Product Research gives executives data, market overview, and insights into a range of investment product categories offered through mutual funds, annuities, exchange traded funds, collective investment trusts, managed accounts, and institutional separate accounts.

Whether on a subscription basis or through individual reports, clients get access to our analysis of salient issues, trends, and benchmarking data. All of our research reports also include analyst presentations from our consulting team, one of the ways we seek to address your business needs with each study.

Latest Studies

AI-Powered Marketing for Asset Managers
Our latest study explores leveraging AI solutions for obtaining insights, gaining efficiency, increasing relevance, and creating opportunity using data that most firms already have.

Five Ways to Win Over Advisors with Discretion - What Advisors Do Online 2018
Our latest report surveyed 550 financial advisors and closely examined what advisors with discretion expect from their digital experiences with asset managers and how firms can meet their five essential needs.

Designing Modern Sales Organizations
Our latest report presents a detailed examination of five changing paradigms in asset management sales organizations.

Prioritizing Strategic Relationships with Account-Based Marketing
Our latest report presents account-based marketing as a strategic framework for marketing and distribution teams to develop tiers of accounts, based on rigorous analysis of profitability, demand, alignment, and relationship.

Serving Professional Buyers Online
Our latest report helps asset managers understand how to cater to this unique audience digitally. It looks at how they can make it easy for the home office to perform research and due diligence by providing in-depth information online and ways to do so efficiently and effectively.

Navigating the Storm: Modern Instruments for a New Age in Asset Management
Our "Navigating the Storm: Modern Instruments for a New Age in Asset Management" white paper explores three disruptors transforming the asset and wealth industry, and what we believe firms need to do weather the storm.

Using Business Intelligence to Optimize Sales Strategies
Our latest report series, Using Business Intelligence to Optimize Sales Strategies, examines the necessary attributes of a successful BI program, what BI leaders are doing to pull ahead of the competition, and how lagging firms can catch up to remain competitive.

Digital Engagement Leadership: What It Takes and Why It's Worth It
This year’s Digital Engagement Leadership: What It Takes and Why It’s Worth report analyzed the responses of 406 financial advisors, to examine their digital behaviors and preferences for current and emerging technologies and assessed how asset management firms measure up in delivering on their expectations, ranking the top five.

Destination Inbox: Increasing Email Relevance and ROI
Our latest report looks at the future of email and the email expectations of advisors in 2020. Focusing on three key trends, it outlines some of the ways asset managers can create more relevant and effective email marketing.

Effective Product Marketing Strategies
This report series explores how asset managers can develop products that align with their brand, tell their story more effectively, and grow market share – and shows which leading firms are doing so.

Uncovering Hidden Opportunities with Data-Driven Marketing Campaigns
Our newest report outlines the ways marketing and sales can use data from multiple touchpoints to jointly segment advisors and develop outbound marketing campaigns to acquire new business and retain assets.

Solving the Marketing Attribution Mystery
Our new report series helps asset managers understand the benefits of marketing attribution and leverage it to quantify and optimize marketing’s impact.

Prevailing in a Changing Distribution Landscape
This report series analyzes the long-term industry changes and their implications to asset managers, and provides an assessment framework along with recommendations modernize firm's distribution organizations.

Capitalizing on Disruption: Transforming Asset Managers for 2020
DST's new free white paper takes a look at the major trends impacting the asset management industry and provides recommendations for asset managers to change their distribution, product, and marketing organizations in order to thrive.

Proceed or Wait: How Should Asset Managers Prepare for the DOL Fiduciary Rule Post-Election?
This new brief looks at the possible ways the new administration may approach the rule and its implementation, the views of industry experts, and how leading firms are preparing.

Prioritizing Distributor Relationships
What determines what is and is not a healthy distributor relationship? Our latest research provides asset managers a framework to assess their relationships with their distribution partners and take action to improve those in strategic alignment with their goals.

The Multi-Vehicle Sales Team
Our latest, two-part research series presents a framework for asset managers to hire, compensate, train, and sustain a cohesive salesforce that is able to coordinate and effectively sell multi-vehicle products.

Advisor Practice Analysis for Mutual Fund Use
This report analyzes the transactions and asset positions of 150,000 advisors and uses our Multi-Factor Segmentation Framework to provide more accurate insights for sales and marketing.

Digital Engagement Leaders 2016
Our first annual Digital Engagement Leaders 2016 research is a series of reports evaluating the asset managers leading the industry in advisor engagement across the digital ecosystem.

What Advisors Do Online 2016
The 2016 WADO is a series of reports looking at how firms can leverage segmentation and omni-channel marketing to increase advisor engagement.

Preparing Distribution Organizations for Digital Advice
Our latest robo advisor research provides practical steps distribution teams can take to capture opportunities in the digital advisory landscape.

Best Practices for Implementing Predictive Analytics in Sales
This research looks at sales lifts from use of predictive analytics and recommends steps for asset managers to gain buy-in and adoption of predictive tools.

Advisor Segmentation: A Unified Approach
Our new report challenges asset managers to take a more comprehensive approach to segmentation using more robust internal and third-party data.

Implications of the Final DOL Fiduciary Rule for Asset Managers
This DST whitepaper examines how the “fiduciary rule” will affect the way asset managers do business and suggests ways they can prepare themselves for the new requirement.

Using Engagement Metrics to Demonstrate Marketing Impact
Our report takes introduces the Advisor Engagement Score to measure marketing effectiveness aligned to asset managers' business goals.

Increasing Advisor Engagement with Online Personalization
Our report examines the ways asset managers can make better use website online personalization to engage and nurture advisors along the customer journey.

The Top Robo-Advisors: What They’re Like — And How They Could be Better
DST looks more closely at the four largest robo-advisors in terms, and considers opportunities for the enhancement of robo-portfolios.

Optimizing Portfolio Assistance Services for Advisors
This report looks at how asset managers can use their portfolio assistance services more strategically to gain competitive advantage.

National Sales Conferences: A Catalyst for Improvement
Our latest distribution research proposes a new framework to structure national sales conferences to make them more impactful.

Digital Strategies for Building Brand Preference with Institutional Investors
Our latest institutional investor websites research focuses on ways asset managers can differentiate their firm during the buyer's search process.

Advancing the Advisor Decision Journey with the Advisor Website
DST's 16th annual ranking of the top mutual fund advisor sites includes recommendations to help asset managers use their site to better serve advisors.

What Advisors Do Online 2015
Our annual WADO report explores the digital engagement preferences of advisors online based on their segment, as discussed in previous DST research.

Debunking 4 Myths of Selling to RIAs
This report identifies common misconceptions about the RIA market and provides recommendations for asset managers targeting this competitive channel.

Using Enterprise Social Collaboration for Business Growth and Innovation
The leading firms that have enabled enterprise social collaboration among their employees are reaping business benefits. This report examines why.

Optimizing Opportunities for Canadian Asset Manager Websites
We apply our methodology for evaluating advisor sites to Canadian firms and ranks the top 4, highlighting their best features and strategies.

Managing Modern Digital Teams
The digital marketing strategies of asset managers and insurers are more crucial than ever to advisor customer journey.

Growing Sales and Loyalty with the Advisor Customer Journey
To earn and keep their business, asset managers, ETF providers and insurers must focus on the entire arc of experiences advisors have with the company’s brand, that is: the advisor customer journey.

Enhancing Profitability with Advanced Business Analytics
Examining the strategic necessity of advanced business analytics for asset managers' long-term competitiveness, growth, and profitability.

Aligning Sales and Marketing to Win Customers
Our latest report finds disconnects between sales & marketing teams at asset management firms, and lays out 45 recommendations to fix them.

Aligning Wholesaler Compensation with Firm Goals
This report will help asset managers understand the rationale, the challenges, and the path to building new wholesaler comp structures that meet firm goals.

Creating Brand Preference with Content Marketing
This study provides practical guidance for firms to move from the early and middle stages of content marketing maturity, to building brand preference through strategic use of story-telling.

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