kasina Names Top 10 Financial Intermediary Websites, Identifies Best Practices, Emerging Trends

Podcasts, Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, and Blogs all offer opportunity for improved communication

NEW YORK, January 19 – Podcasts, Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, and Weblogs are among the new and emerging communications tools that forward-looking asset managers are considering to support their advisors, according to a report released today by kasina, a leading consultant to the asset management industry.

In the report, “Top 10 Intermediary Web Sites: Supporting the Advisor Sales Cycle,” kasina names its Top 10 Financial Intermediary Web sites, draws a correlation between industry best practices and the Advisor Sales Cycle, and analyzes a number of emerging trends that may impact the way asset managers build and maintain successful advisor relationships. Now in its seventh year, the study notes that an increasing number of asset management firms are beginning to differentiate themselves based on the specialized nature of the capabilities of their Web sites and how these capabilities relate to advisor needs at various stages of their relationships with clients.

“The industry is finally moving towards a more advisor-centric model,” said Sean Carroll, Consultant at kasina. “In the past, asset managers added functionality to their Web sites because they could. Today, the leading firms are using Intelligent Distribution techniques to better understand what their advisors want and will use, and then customizing their sites accordingly. For the top firms, the capabilities that are added have been carefully evaluated with the target audience in mind, and all serve a very specific purpose.”

The kasina study notes that advisor Web sites should have two broad goals: strengthening the firm�s relationship with the advisor, and providing the advisor with the tools needed to succeed with clients. The paper defines a four-stage Advisor Sales Cycle (Prospecting, Education, Implementation, and Servicing), provides specific examples of best practices in each stage, and names the top three firms in each category.

Among the recommended practices identified by kasina are:

Lead generation guidance (Prospecting)
Professional development support, including information on both new product and new regulatory matters (Education)
Streamlined access to transactional capabilities and confirmation data (Implementation)
Client account monitoring tools to capitalize on opportunities centered around life stage events such as saving for college or retirement (Servicing)

The Top 10 Web Sites for Financial Intermediaries in 2005 are (in alphabetical order):

  • AIM Investments

  • American Funds

  • Fidelity

  • Franklin Templeton Investments

  • MainStay Investments

  • MFS Investment Management

  • OppenheimerFunds

  • Putnam Investments

  • Van Kampen Investments

  • Wells Fargo Advantage Funds

The Top 3 Web Sites for Financial Intermediaries from Small- to Medium-Sized Companies are (in alphabetical order):

  • Calvert

  • AXA Enterprise

  • Thornburg Investment Management

More information regarding the full kasina report “Top 10 Intermediary Web Sites: Supporting the Advisor Sales Cycle,” can be found here.

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.