Asset Management Companies At a Crossroads: Firms Shift Focus From Product Push to Profitability

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kasina�s Study Reveals that Intelligent Distribution Leads to Profitability & CRM Success

NEW YORK (June 16, 2003) – kasina, a management consulting firm for the financial services industry, has released its �Intelligent Distribution: Targeted Interactions for Increased Profitability� study, the company announced today. The whitepaper identifies effective distribution practices in the asset management industry and notes that the shift from a �product push� approach to one of Intelligent Distribution is a sign that the industry is at a crossroads with regard to product distribution.

kasina�s research shows that while only five percent of firms currently employ an Intelligent Distribution approach, most successful firms are moving in this direction. The company defines Intelligent Distribution as the process of gathering and analyzing customer data, and then converting it into segmentation information based on the profitability of the financial intermediaries and their needs in order to implement business processes that will maximize overall company profitability.

�With an Intelligent Distribution approach, the emphasis is not on the technology, but on the bigger picture: examining the business processes that support a firm�s distribution strategy to determine whether or not these processes assist the firm in achieving profitability,� said Steven Miyao, chief executive of kasina. �Firms must first understand the value of their intermediaries, as well as their needs, before they can determine how best to interact with them or develop targeted messages.�

�Three consecutive years of declining equity markets and limited net flows are forcing asset management firms to carefully evaluate ways to enhance their distribution capabilities,� continued Miyao. �Traditional distribution models have primarily concentrated on expanding market share.� kasina�s research found that problems associated with this approach include:

  • Limited knowledge of intermediary segments and needs
  • Constraints in sales efficiency due to �product push� methodologies
  • Lack of real time sales and marketing tracking for management
  • Low ROI from mass marketing initiatives
  • Underutilization of costly CRM systems and other technology investments

�Traditional distribution methods are giving way to new approaches,� said Miyao. �Firms now must measure intermediary profitability and segment their advisor base properly in order to achieve success. Driving this evolution is a desire to utilize existing resources more effectively by implementing refined business practices supported by technology.�

kasina surveyed asset management firms with more than $1 billion in assets under management globally, as well as relevant vendors. kasina analyzed qualitative and quantitative data in order to identify best practices related to distribution and to assist in the formulation of a new distribution strategy. Additionally, 72 in-depth interviews were conducted with senior executives at asset management firms in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The �Intelligent Distribution� whitepaper identifies best practices in financial intermediary segmentation initiatives, provides a detailed breakdown of current practices, offers input from marketing and sales directors on the effective use of customer information and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and provides a roadmap for successfully implementing an Intelligent Distribution strategy.

The whitepaper can be purchased online now at