Do Your Performance Updates Differentiate?

I recently had the privilege of speaking to forward-thinking asset managers at the BlackRock iShares Connect Conference in New York and IIR's Liquid Alternative Strategies West Conference in San Francisco. Their top question? "How do I differentiate my firm and offering to financial advisors?"

One of the easiest ways to differentiate yourself is through your regularly published performance updates.  Today, advisors are busier–and more skeptical–than they have ever been. In return for providing their trust and assets, advisors demand more than standard statistics and boilerplate commentary in performance updates. To make an indelible impression, leave advisors with a unique value proposition they will associate with your firm, strategies and managers.

Rethink and recast your updates to make them more dynamic and relevant. Place less emphasis on backward-looking numbers and statistics. Focus on how your managers are responding to changing opportunities and the depth of research they use to do so.

Do your updates:

  • Emphasize the value of research in areas your competition lacks?
  • Articulate managers’ thought processes in action?
  • Reflect managers’ convictions and prudent risk-taking?
  • Develop an evolving story line explaining portfolio positioning?
  • Reinforce themes and positions with clearly sourced factual support?

We’ve developed a checklist so that you can compare your current updates against industry best practices.  See our full checklist here.

—April 2015