U.S. Institutional Marketing and Sales Organizations 2023

The Growing Importance of Digital Marketing Efforts

Plan, Adapt, Grow

  • Evaluate how the role of technology continues to evolve in the institutional sales process
  • Discover how sales teams are evolving to meet the demands of institutional clients and investment consultants in the current market environment


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Mason Gillespie

Mason Gillespie

Associate Director, Account Management


This report provides a comprehensive analysis of asset managers’ institutional marketing and sales organizational teams. Specifically, this report examines trends in consultant intermediation, relationship management, marketing, consultant relations, client service, and request for proposals (RFP)/database teams. A primary focus of this report is the typical organizational structure of these key groups, including how these organizational alignments may vary based on the size or focus of the manager. Other relevant topics include changes to headcount by functional area, trends related to compensation, and how managers can work with consultant intermediaries to best position their firms for new mandates.

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A Note from the Author

There Is No Silver Bullet When It Comes to Marketing to Institutions

Laura Levesque, CFA

Laura Levesque, CFA


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Laura Levesque, CFA

Laura Levesque, CFA


Laura has over 15 years of institutional investment management industry experience. She is a member of the Institutional practice, where she leads research for two annual reports. Her focuses are institutional investment solutions including OCIO, and sales and services models. Her experience and knowledge of the institutional asset management space provide a directional framework to ongoing consulting projects. She also regularly contributes to The Cerulli Edge series.

Prior to joining Cerulli Associates, Laura held equity research, product, and analytics roles at Columbia Threadneedle and MFS Investment Management. She is a CFA charterholder and member of the CFA Society Boston.

Full biography here.

To gather mindshare and mandate wins in the increasingly competitive institutional market, asset managers need to create multiple impressions to portray themselves as leading experts in all aspects of economics and investments related to their institutional capabilities. As such, a multi-pronged, multi-touch digital marketing strategy will be critical to asset managers.

According to the research, the factors asset owners consider important when thinking about placing a mandate with a particular asset manager include many that require extensive communication and marketing. Specialization in asset classes (99%), demonstration of strong expertise through thought leadership (90%), , and a well-known brand (85%) are most important.

Plan for the long-term trends affecting demand for institutional investment management services with this detailed playbook. Offering insight into the marketing channels, types of content, distribution staffing, and relationship management strategies, this research provides asset managers with the intelligence they need to penetrate the institutional market.

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