Asset Managers Need To Improve Their Segmentation Efforts To Match Varied Advisor Preferences, According To The Latest Findings From Fa Vision: kasina

While most asset managers treat all advisors the same, 23.5% of advisors prefer telephone interactions over in-person or online support, 10.2% prefer in-person visits the most, and 14.7% prefer online support.

New York, (July 26, 2010) – When interacting with asset management companies, financial intermediaries’ preferences for support vary greatly, but most firms do not effectively segment their offerings, according to results released today from kasina and Horsesmouth’s FA Vision service. The results are part of the latest FA Vision benchmarking survey: 3,162 responses gathered from April 29th to June 11th, 2010.

“It is critical for firms to segment their service offerings to effectively meet each advisor’s preferences,” says Lee Kowarski, Principal at kasina. “The average financial advisor, for example, states a preference for telephone or online support over in-person visits. However, it would be a mistake for asset management firms to discount the impact of in-person support to all advisors, as nearly 84% of advisors see value in-person visits. The key is matching the right medium to the right advisor in the right situation.”

Among the many factors which can drive a firm’s segmentation efforts, the Q2 2010 FA Vision benchmarking survey found that 23.5% of financial intermediaries prefer telephone interactions over in-person or online support, while 10.2 % prefer in-person visits and 14.7% prefer online support. The remaining advisors did not express a preference for one form of interaction.

“Most asset management firms treat all of the advisors that they do business with in the same fashion,” Kowarski added. “Firms must use the information that they have – from their wholesalers, from research such as FA Vision, and from their CRM system – to effectively segment their sales and marketing efforts.”

To further illustrate the need for segmentation, the Q2 2010 FA Vision benchmarking survey also found that:

  • There are segments of advisors that see little value in each type of support (rating them at 3 or lower out of a possible 10):
    • 4.1% of advisors rate telephone support as not important
    • 16.4% of advisors rate in-person visits as not important
    • 5.2% of advisors rate online support as not important
  • Not all firms’ customer bases are equal:
    • A far higher percentage of the advisors that do business with some firms (e.g. Neuberger Berman at 34.7% and AllianceBernstein at 31.5%) prefer telephone support to in-person or online support than other firms (e.g. PIMCO at 15.4%)
    • Similarly, a greater percentage of advisors that do business with certain firms prefer in-person support than at other firms (e.g. Janus at 16.5% vs. Franklin Templeton at 4.5%)
    • A higher percentage of advisors that do business with the major ETF players (iShares, SPDRs, and Vanguard) prefer online support (19.7%) than of the overall advisor population (14.7%)

About FA Vision

FA Vision is a service from kasina and Horsesmouth that provides asset managers with unmatched access to financial intermediaries’ behaviors, preferences, and opinions. In the semi-annual FA Vision benchmarking survey, intermediaries evaluate 23 mutual fund companies on a variety of criteria, including products, wholesalers (external and internal), and brand attributes. For more information, visit

About kasina

kasina’s commitment to innovating distribution in the financial services industry has made it one of the most influential strategy consulting firms in its sector. kasina works with a wide variety of clients from five continents, including firms representing 90% of the U.S.’s total assets under management. An overview of services offered by kasina is available at

About Horsesmouth

Horsesmouth is dedicated to helping financial advisors build better businesses for themselves and their clients. Through its pioneering online service and advisor community, as well as its acclaimed advisor programs and workshops, Horsesmouth is the trusted partner of over 70,000 advisors across the financial services industry. For more information, visit