Our Industry’s F-Word: Financial Product; Plus, Biden’s “Build Back Better” Plan’s Impact on Asset Managers

Asset Managers Have Gone from Product Sellers to Solutions Providers – But New Market Volatility and Economic Disruption Require Even More Transformation

Larry Roth, CEO, Wealth Solutions Report

For most of the past 15 years, third-party asset managers that rely on wealth management firms for distribution have been moving away from calling themselves “financial product” companies, preferring descriptors such as “investment solutions providers.”

At first blush, this change in positioning isn’t that surprising.  After all, the term “product” conjures up images of mass-produced offerings, transactional relationships, and sales versus service.

But many providers have gone far beyond semantics.  From enhanced intellectual capital offerings – including, but not limited to, advisor education and market insights – to embracing new technologies as well as new asset classes and investment vehicles, the overall asset manager landscape is considerably changed.

Even so, big picture circumstances have continued to shift rapidly as well, sparking the need for further transformation across asset management.

That’s why, for this issue, WSR has chosen to focus on the future of investment solutions for wealth management firms.  Here’s what’s in this latest issue:

The future of Wealth Management – Predictably unpredictable!
  • Investment Solutions Roundtable: Impact of Biden’s Build Back Better Plan on Asset Management?  First and foremost, in our Investment Solutions & Gatekeepers section, we’re thrilled to launch WSR’s inaugural Investment Solutions Roundtable, chaired by wealth management industry veteran Allison Pratt, with senior leadership experience across LPL Financial, Cetera Financial Group and Advisor Group.  For this first monthly roundtable, Eaton Vance, BlackRock and Pence Capital Management share their views about the potential impact of the Biden White House’s “Build Back Better” Plan on the asset management space.
  • How Can Small and Mid-Sized Asset Managers Get Selected for Wealth Management Platforms?  Greg Luken, Founder and CEO of fast-growing yet scrappy Luken Investment Analytics – a third-party asset manager specializing in navigating choppy market conditions – shares guidance on how to stand out with wealth management platform gatekeepers, while driving engagement with financial advisors.
  • Future of Real Estate-Based Retail Alts for Wealth Management Firms and Their Financial Advisors.  Of course, retail alts solutions for wealth management firms and their financial advisors will also continue to be of crucial importance in an environment defined by low yields, rising costs and severe volatility.  In the past, real estate-based alts have been front and center in the pursuit of durable income and capital appreciation. So what does the future of this segment of asset management look like?  Providing perspectives on this topic is Amanda Teeple of Forum Investment Group
  • Benefits of a National Brand for Financial Advisors.  How frequently have we heard from independent firms that pandemic-driven remote work is serving as the catalyst for a potential wave of new breakaway advisors from employee channel firms?  In this month’s Wallet Share section, Joan Khoury of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. points out that overhead for office space is just a small part of the calculus for many employee advisors – And that having the backing of a well-recognized national brand remains of vital importance to advisors across the country.

Finally, can you believe that we have now reached our full six months since the launch of WSR?  

Happy 6 Months Anniversary! I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious!

Since our launch in early April, we have driven double-digit increases in reader traffic and engagement, even throughout the traditionally slowest months of the summer.

By delivering actionable insights from wealth management leaders for wealth management participants, and developing each new issue on the basis of feedback and suggestions from our WSR community members, we’re striving each week to deliver an elevated reader experience for you all.

As always, please let us know what content items you like, which content items you disagree with…and share articles you feel strongly about either way via social media, and with your colleagues and contacts across the industry.

Most importantly, thanks for your continued support and engagement with WSR.  It has been an amazing journey together thus far, and we’re looking forward to much more to come.

Cheers!

Larry Roth, CEO

Wealth Solutions Report 

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