Kasina Predicts Key Trends For Asset Managers in 2005

Focus for New Year will be on improving marketing efficiency,
better understanding customer needs as competition for assets grows

NEW YORK, January 5, 2005 – With competition continuing to increase, the asset management industry will focus on finding new ways of reaching the same pools of assets more efficiently, and on keeping and expanding their key accounts by providing higher, smarter levels of service in 2005, predicts kasina, a leading consultant to the financial services industry.

kasina identifies three key trends it believes will help shape competition in the asset management industry in the new year:

  • The increasing importance of the internal wholesaling desk. In 2005, the internal sales desk will emerge as a key strategic element for asset managers seeking to expand their marketing reach, according to kasina. In a recent report entitled �Innovating the Internal Sales Desk,� the firm notes that for reasons of cost and efficiency, the investment management industry is no longer well served by the historical distribution model in which external wholesalers are supported by an internal sales desk. More and more firms will seek to reinvent the internal desk as a tool for reaching new clients while reducing travel, entertainment, and other expenses.

  • A more strategic approach to managing and growing key accounts. Asset managers will start to limit the number of �focus firms� they support, in order to concentrate firm resources more strategically. The determination of which firms merit the higher level of attention will be based not just on assets under management, but on additional factors, including share of wallet and product/service fit.

  • Further increasing the customer/advisor-centric approach to marketing and sales. kasina believes that 2005 will see asset managers implementing new, more sophisticated approaches to understanding and predicting customer behavior. These include the creation of �personas� � virtual customer profiles that can be used to define the content, design, and functionality of marketing programs and materials � and �Customer Scenarios� that build on the establishment of the personas to realistically model customer behavior.

�With many financial services products becoming commodities, the ability to
deliver superior service is increasingly viewed as a competitive advantage for both brokers and asset managers,� stated Miyao. �It�s no longer enough simply to put material online, however. Newer search technologies, combined with a better understanding of advisor and client behavior, can help increase efficiency, grow assets, and manage costs.�

About kasina

kasina is a management consulting firm that is focused on helping financial services companies create intelligent relationships with their investors and intermediaries. By combining knowledge of distribution trends, technological innovations, and marketing strategies, kasina aids leading asset management firms with front-office efforts and publishes a regular schedule of cutting-edge industry research. kasina�s client list includes 18 of the 20 largest asset managers in the United States and leading firms in Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. An overview of services offered by kasina is available at www.kasina.com.