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Asset managers plan to invest in product, distribution and technology in 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014
Opalesque Industry Update - According to the latest research from global analytics firm Cerulli Associates, asset managers and other financial services firms plan to invest in product, distribution, and technology in 2014.

"Most companies are operating on overdrive as they seek to expand and grow their businesses, while maintaining an eye on the bottom line," states Cindy Erickson Zarker, director at Cerulli.

The January 2014 issue of The Cerulli Edge - U.S. Asset Management Edition examines asset allocation and the addition of alternative products, institutional distribution, and how sales, sales support, and client service are working together to win mandates, and how coordinated marketing and product development efforts are maximizing impact and efficiency.

Cerulli's recent survey uncovered firms' focus on profitability as the primary change to their strategies in the next 12 months.

"Growth of assets in low-cost, passively managed strategies, combined with ongoing pressure from investors and fund boards to justify fees in actively managed strategies, require firms to secure new revenue sources," Zarker explains.

"On the other hand, managing costs is as fundamental to profit generation as producing revenue," Zarker continues. "There are meaningful areas where firms can derive cost savings to boost profits.”

But financial services firms also understand the need to spend money to make money. Supporting their 2014 firmwide efforts to innovate new products and services, expand distribution, and build brand awareness requires managers to invest in their businesses.

"Nearly 30% of survey respondents rated investment in technology as a desired outcome of planned organizational changes at their firms," Zarker adds.

Cerulli encourages firms to align distribution, product, and marketing activities to enable managers to maximize their limited resources.


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