Online Retail Strategies

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Top 20 Sites Named / Top 3 by Category / Top 10 Sites – Small Fund Firms /
Asset Manager Online Retail Statistics

NEW YORK CITY, November 6, 2001 – kasina, LLC
announced today the results of its latest study, “Online Retail Strategies”
(formerly known as the “Top 20 Web sites -Mutual Funds” report). The report is
part of kasina’s annual marquee study entitled “Asset Management e-Business:
Strategies for Success,” which includes a core report and three independent modules
covering online strategies for the retail, intermediary, and institutional markets.

The core report, released on November 1st,
examines the multi-channel nature of the asset management industry and reviews key
multi-channel e-business initiatives. The report identifies the best practices of asset
management Web sites, and highlights the trends and best practices related to syndication
efforts, e-mail strategies, and more. The report also provides e-business managers with
guidance for improving e-business strategy and tactics across the different channels of
distribution. Recommendations are made for developing a process to develop and optimize
strategy, and specific recommendations and strategies are offered for an assortment of
cross-channel issues that e-business managers confront.

“Online Retail Strategies” is based
on an extensive review of the universe of asset management Web sites and interviews with
key industry participants. kasina reviewed a total of 478 Web sites, 57 more sites than
last year. Major sections of the report include a discussion of the current state of the
industry, a description of each of the top Web sites with key features highlighted, and
suggested improvement strategies. The study will be available on November 15th, and
interested parties may purchase the report now at The core report and
institutional module are already available, and the intermediary module will be released
on November 30th.

This year marks the fifth year that the
founders of kasina have conducted their evaluation of the top retail Web sites in the
asset management industry. Over that period, a few technology leaders hold the distinct
honor of being named to kasina’s “Top 20” list each of those years. The
companies are American Century, Fidelity, Schwab, Scudder, Stein Roe, Strong, T. Rowe
Price, and Vanguard. Each of these companies recognized early on the potential of the
Internet as a distribution and communication channel, and has worked hard over the years
to maintain their initial competitive edge.

Looking at the overall industry, retail sites
continue to improve but several important servicing features are still not prevalent. For
example, although the percentage has steadily increased every year, only 53% of retail
sites currently offer investors the capability of viewing their account balances online.
This percentage marks a vast improvement since the 12% observed five years ago, but it is
still a low percentage for a basic feature. While 66% of firms encourage direct
investments, only 5% of retail sites allow investors to fully originate an account online.
Similarly, while 84% of retail sites now provide online prospectuses, an increase of 25
percentage points since 1997, only 23% of retail sites allow investors to view statements online.

Steven Miyao, CEO of kasina, comments on the
state of the industry, “In general, the Top 20 sites and the Top 10 small fund sites
are doing a much better job servicing clients than the overall industry. While this gap
continues to be large, we are seeing the margin decreasing as the industry strives to
follow the lead of the top sites. One area where we continue to see slow growth overall is
the adoption of innovative and value-added Web technologies.”

Despite changing trends, asset managers
continue to view their retail site initiatives as a key priority. Mr. Miyao notes,
“Although much of the focus in the asset management industry has shifted to the
intermediary and institutional channels, asset managers must continue to build and
maintain retail sites for the general public and retail investors. It is especially
important for those firms still employing a direct-sold model. As such, we have seen a
growth in the number of retail sites and many firms have redesigned their retail site in
order to incorporate enhancements concerning both usability and content.”

A list of the top sites is listed below. For
more information or to purchase kasina’s “Asset Management e-Business: Strategies for
Success” report, or its “Online Retail Strategies” module, visit The “Online Institutional Strategies” module is currently
available, and the “Online Intermediary Strategies” module will be released on November 30th.

Top 20 Web sites – Mutual Funds (alphabetically):

Top 10 Web sites – Smal Fund Firms

Top 3 Sites in Each of kasina’s 5 Evaluation Categories


  1. The Montgomery Funds –

  2. The Vanguard Group –

  3. Zurich Scudder Investments –


  1. Fidelity Investments –

  2. The Vanguard Group –

  3. T. Rowe Price –

Online Services:

  1. Fidelity Investments –

  2. The Vanguard Group –

  3. INVESCO Funds Group –


  1. INVESCO Funds Group –

  2. Strong Investments –

  3. The Vanguard Group –

Web Technology:

  1. Fidelity Investments –

  2. American Century Investments –

  3. INVESCO Funds Group –