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Cerulli finds RFPs act as investment manager's resume

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Opalesque Industry Update - Cerulli Associates has launched their latest edition in The Cerulli Edge series, the Institutional Edition, which provides expert analysis and recommendations for managers looking to increase their presence in the U.S. institutional marketplace.This new edition covers key trends impacting the institutional marketplace, including private and public pensions (DB and DC), endowments, foundations, insurance general accounts, and subadvisory.

"We identified an increasing need for coverage of the growing institutional marketplace and continue to expand our institutional focus around the globe," explains Cindy Zarker, Director at Cerulli. "We started our U.S. institutional coverage 4 years ago and have been expanding ever since."

Cerulli's latest research describes how request for proposals (RFPs) have become an investment manager's resume. Cerulli also analyzes RFP trends, including how managers are responding to rising RFP volumes, increasing complexity, and shorter deadlines.

"RFPs have truly become an investment manager's resume," states Zarker. "Yet most institutions are demanding that RFPs and related documents be turned around more quickly than ever, while the volume of documents RFP teams are required to process has increased drastically."

"Retaining strong talent has been a challenge as the pressures of increasing complexity, rising volume, and tighter deadlines effects morale," Zarker continues.

The issue also reports how effective oversight increases RFP wins, and winning mandates boils down to the quality of the presentation content and the delivery, as well as the pitchbook. Cerulli's research shows that RFPs do shape brand perception.

"Asset managers need to really differentiate themselves from their competition and make a memorable impression. An investment manager needs to clearly explain their investment process and show how their strategy and firm can help the client achieve their objectives," remarks Zarker.

Cerulli suggests that managers should proactively manage both RFP volume and the complexity so their teams don't get derailed as they continue to optimize efficiency. Having a sufficient number of capable writers, as well as flexible and well-trained employees, is crucial.

Press release

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