Distribution Must Carve Out a Larger Role for the Web: kasina study

New York, (April 21, 2008) – The mounting importance of the Web requires a larger, more comprehensive role for e-Business, according to a new study by kasina, a leading asset management consultancy. Though distribution executives acknowledge the importance of the Web in the near future, most don’t have a clear idea of the exact role it will play. The study, “Elevating the Role of e-Business,” shows ways e-Business can build upon future opportunities to expand its role within distribution.

When kasina interviewed senior distribution executives from 19 firms representing $4.3 trillion in assets under management, 43% indicated that e-Business was “somewhat unimportant” or “very unimportant” to overall distribution efforts.

Though the Web is currently viewed as a lower-level service function, the executives surveyed also foresee an expansion of the Web’s role, with 57% indicating that they expect the Web to become “very important” in the next three years. However, few have fully envisioned how the Web will fill that role. “Firm CEOs must lead the charge by both defining and communicating the importance of e-Business throughout the organization,” said Steven Miyao, kasina CEO.

However, kasina’s research shows that a growing number of advisors are becoming Websavvy, with 15% believing they could manage their asset manager relationships through their Web sites. Not only will current Web-savvy advisors demand more from the Web- Generation Y has begun to enter the work force as well. In fact, Gen Y already represents 10% of financial advisors, a figure projected to reach more than 20% by 2012.

“As the advisor base grows younger, heads of e-Business must prepare for the Web’s expanded role by making more strategic, higher-level decisions,” stated Sean Carroll, a manager at kasina.

Unlike previous generations, Gen Y grew up with the Web and will consequently expect far more out of their online services. To better meet the needs of a new generation of Web-centric advisors, e-Business must assume a greater role within distribution, working in tandem with other distribution functions, such as Sales, to make strategic decisions.

According to kasina, firms can prepare the Web for a more integrated role in companywide operations by:

  • Investing Today For Tomorrow – In the past, most firms have waited for a critical mass of competitors to make Web innovations available before quickly scrambling to follow suit. However, Web innovations in the future, such as data tagging and improved organization, cannot be completed overnight.
  • Making Room for the Web – Heads of e-Business must move away from tactical responsibilities and act more like internal CEOs. This includes engaging peers throughout distribution, communicating a mission and vision, and becoming a visible leader within the organization.

To sustain sales margins of the past, firms must anticipate the next wave of Gen Y advisors and incorporate e-Business into every aspect of their distribution efforts.

Get more information on the full report, “Elevating the Role of e-Business.”

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. www.kasina.com.