Read the latest thinking on effective ways to communicate the merits of active management to clients and consultants. See results of our research studies and experiences.
Rethinking Investment Philosophy


John R. Minahan, Ph.D., CFA and Thusith I. Mahanama, M.S.
Active managers face formidable challenges. Both theory and evidence suggest that consistently outperforming a passive alternative is, while not quite impossible, about as difficult as becoming a world class athlete or musician. One is unlikely to succeed without being deliberate about the endeavor. For active investment managers, the central question is: how do you outperform a passive alternative most of the time?…

Communicating Error-Free Investment Results


Prepared with input from Richard Kerr of K&L Gates LLP and Amy Jones, CIPM, of Guardian Performance Solutions LLC
The investment management industry has automated almost every aspect of its operations over the last several decades: portfolio accounting, performance calculation, pre-trade compliance, order management and trading, analytics, CRM and, more recently, portfolio risk modeling. But when it comes to pulling all this data together into a cohesive presentation for prospective clients…

First Impressions Matter: Optimizing Information Organization and Design


Based on research with Prof. Joyce Walsh of Boston University College of Communication.
Effective design and information organization is powerful. It grabs and holds the audience’s attention until they’ve read the entire report. Researchers have demonstrated that subjects perform cognitive tasks better after reading well-designed articles. It follows that the use of informed design in investment presentations and client reports will make them easier for clients to comprehend and act upon…

First Impressions Matter: Importance of Typography


Based on research with Prof. Joyce Walsh of Boston University College of Communication.
Your firm’s marketing presentations and client reports are viewed by hundreds of asset owners, consultants and trustees every year. They are arguably the most public face of your firm, shaping impressions each time they are reviewed. In this series of papers, we deconstruct the three pillars of professional presentation material—color, font and information organization—to help institutional asset managers…

First Impressions Matter: Importance of Color


Based on research with Prof. Joyce Walsh of Boston University College of Communication.
You put on your best outfit for client and marketing meetings. Your offices are well-appointed, reflecting the professional culture of the firm. You know that first impressions can make or break a relationship, and you pay attention to the details in order to make your first impression a positive one. Then you pass the presentation materials around. The colors are dull and outdated. The font is quirky and informal…

Are Your Firm’s GIPS ® Materials Current?


Written for Assette by GIPS-expert Amy Jones, CIPM.
The Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®) are a set of standardized, industry wide ethical principles that provide investment management firms with guidance on how to calculate and report their investment results to prospective clients.
Under the GIPS standards, a “compliant presentation” is a presentation for a composite that contains…

Do your active returns pass the age test?


The five- and 10-year active return series relative to an appropriate benchmark is an investment industry standard. Asset owners and consultants rely on these numbers to evaluate managers’ past performance, as well as to quantify the probability of future outcomes. For asset managers, these numbers can make or break reputations, and their prominence—or lack thereof—in marketing materials is usually a telltale sign of how “good” their record is…

Are you making the most of your winning streaks?


Winning streaks are impressive. But are they reliable indicators of skill or just lucky accidents? And, perhaps more important, can they offer insight into a manager’s performance prospects? In this paper, we turn our attention to Joe DiMaggio, Steven Jay Gould and others to learn what, if anything, investment performance winning streaks can tell us about the future…

How High Do You Bounce? Keeping clients loyal through periods of underperformance


Here in Red Sox Nation, we know a thing or two about sticking with your team during the bad times. Sure, we grumble among ourselves, but just let one of those New York fans pass a snarky comment and we close ranks quicker than a Roman phalanx. “You just wait,” we say. “They’ll bounce back. They always do.” Not only do the Sox bounce back, but their rebounds are often spectacular. Just look at their 2013 World Series win, just one year after their worst performing season in 47 years…

How Investment Managers Use Active Share to Win New Business, Retain Clients and Justify Fees


Active share has become an important tool for investment managers who want to provide statistical evidence of their active contribution to returns over the benchmark. This paper will give a brief review of the concept behind active share, discuss the internal and external benefits it offers active managers, and provide real-life illustrations of how managers can easily integrate active share into their client and sales communications processes…

Survey Results: Client Reporting Pulse Check


Chatham Partners partnered with Assette to gather unfiltered information about the client reporting needs of institutional investors. Chatham surveyed 120 decision makers at public pension funds, corporate pension funds, endowments, foundations, and other investors…

Small Investments, Big Returns: Four Tech Tools for Today's Client Service


Advances in web conferencing, web video conferencing, secure portals and reporting software mean firms can increase client satisfaction and achieve efficiency gains through small, smart investments. Rather than “hunker down” when business slows, these tools can help managers meet new client demands for more frequent face-to-face meetings, access to information, customized reports and detailed presentations…

Client Reporting in a Competitive Environment


Asset management firms understand the importance of image; a prestigious downtown address with artwork, luxurious office furniture, expensive dinners and club memberships to impress your clients and prospects. But what about your presentations and client reports? Are they ever cobbled together at the last minute? Do they occasionally contain errors? Do they lack customization? Are they delivered later than you would like?…

Top 10 Reasons to Automate Presentation Creation and Client Reporting Processes


Errors in client reports and prospect presentations expose your firm to reputation and regulatory risk. Have you considered the risk to your reputation of clients or prospects seeing errors in your reports and presentations? Have you thought about potential regulatory actions, including hefty fines and penalties, that could result from the dissemination of erroneous information?…

Top 10 Reasons to Select Software as a Service Applications (SaaS)


SaaS enable you to focus on growing your business instead of focusing on underlying technology, system integration projects, and on-going application maintenance. Even if you have dedicated IT staff, SaaS allows these personnel to become more strategically aligned with your business needs. Your IT personnel can focus on purchasing technology that supports the business and managing vendor relationships instead of building and maintaining applications…

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