U.S. Product Development 2021

Aligning Product Development and Client Objectives

Future-Proof Product Initiatives

  • Review the investment vehicle decision-making process for various client segments as they consume investment strategies
  • Explore future use of the mutual fund vehicle, including share class use, pricing, and asset class exposure
  • Discover product development trends within collective investment trusts and private funds


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Report US Products and Strategies 2020 Detail

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Ryan Hanratty

Ryan Hanratty

Account Manager


Examine the complex U.S. product landscape for institutional and retail client segments, with special focus on financial advisor product use. Understand how advisors are using active and passive, which investment vehicles they prefer, and how they allocate client assets across asset classes/strategies.

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A Note from the Authors

The Top Product Priorities for Asset Managers

Matt Apkarian, CFA

Matt Apkarian, CFA

Associate Director

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Matt Apkarian, CFA

Matt Apkarian, CFA

Associate Director

Matt is a member of Cerulli’s Product Development practice, which focuses on trends related to asset managers’ product development and management functions. This broadly includes assessing the opportunity for product development, evaluating emerging product trends, and understanding distribution and product positioning for investment products across retirement, retail, and institutional channels.

Prior to joining Cerulli, Matt held roles in several business units at Fidelity Investments, including Workplace Investing, Personal Investing, and Fund Operations. Most recently, he worked as an Investment Data Analyst for Strategic Advisers, LLC.

Full biography here.

Going into 2022, asset manager product teams are focused on several initiatives, including building out new vehicles, incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles into their firm’s investment processes, and developing and delivering asset allocation models. According to our research:

  • Four out of five (81%) of asset managers polled by Cerulli view incorporating ESG/socially responsible investing (SRI) into the investment process as a high priority, while the other 19% view it as a moderate priority.
  • Building out new vehicles is a high priority for 41% of asset managers, with another 44% indicating it is a moderate priority.
  • Delivering asset allocation models is a high priority for 30% of asset managers with another 44% indicating it is a moderate priority.

There will be continued adoption and innovation of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). ETFs are viewed as a large opportunity by 86% of managers that currently use the vehicle, while 33% of managers that do not use the vehicle have plans to build ETF offerings over the next 12 months. ETFs are increasingly being viewed as a large opportunity, particularly as active strategies emerge and accelerate adoption at faster rates than passive ETF strategies. Diving deeper, transparent ETF structures appear to be the early winner as managers consider whether to use semi-transparent structures as the best avenues to win assets.

Our report, U.S. Product Development 2021: Aligning Product Development and Client Objectives, highlights areas for opportunity and growth for product development teams at asset manager firms. Learn how and where to invest your development efforts with our detailed analysis.

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