Proactive Communication is Essential for Engaging with Home-Office Research Teams

January 7, 2021 — Boston

This issue of The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Monthly Product Trends, released in December 2020, analyzes mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) product trends as of November 2020, explores the rising costs of strategic partnerships, and discusses key factors for successfully engaging with professional buyers.

Highlights from this research:

  • Cerulli data shows that key account managers most frequently identify proactively communicating updates to a strategy and understanding the research and selection process of distribution partners as key factors for developing relationships with professional buyers. Home-office research personnel express to Cerulli how important it is for asset manager sales teams to articulate specifically how their strategy is unique in terms of downside risk protection, excess return, or some other parameter.
  • Thanks to strong equity returns in November, mutual fund assets jumped 8.7% to $17.6 trillion. Net flows returned to the positive for the vehicle, adding $15.1 billion in November. ETF assets surged in November, breaking the $5 trillion barrier, and closing the month up 11.3% to $5.2 trillion. While most growth was due to rising equity markets worldwide, net flows of $96.8 billion did contribute 2.1% organic growth.
  • Home offices and custodians continue to experiment with ways to offset the declining flow of revenue-sharing fees from active mutual funds. Small and mid-sized asset managers must be more selective about the opportunities they pursue as costs of engagement continue to rise. Revenue sharing and partnership fees may face more regulatory scrutiny as they become more explicitly tied to advisor access.

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Note to editors

These findings and more are from The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Monthly Product Trends, December 2020 Issue.

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