Asset management websites have replaced wholesalers and legacy relationships as the primary drivers of the companies’ engagement with investment advisers, according to a J.D. Power study of the online experience of advisers.
While that’s good news for many large asset managers, J.D. Power said that smaller managers are struggling to differentiate and showcase their unique value propositions in an increasingly digital-first environment.
“This is especially troubling as the research clearly establishes a strong connection between the quality of the digital experience and adviser intention to invest more with that asset manager,” the research firm said in a release. “Only 13% of asset managers are currently delivering a superior level of service.”
The U.S. Advisor Online Experience Study explores how financial advisers interact with asset management websites as part of their practice of helping clients build and manage optimal portfolios.
Among advisers who rated their overall satisfaction with an asset manager’s website at 801 or higher (on a 1,000-point scale), 91% say they are extremely likely to increase investment with that firm during the next three months. Among advisers who scored their overall satisfaction at 800 or lower, just 40% say they intend to increase investment with those brands.
The gap in website satisfaction between small and large asset managers is widest in the areas of research information and content; availability of client-specific information and material; and researching product offerings and information.
One area in which nearly all asset managers are falling short on their websites is providing information on environmental, social and governance issues. Just 29% of asset managers are currently meeting advisers’ needs when it comes to ESG reporting, the survey found.
[More: McKinsey: Asset managers need to trim overhead just to keep up in this market]
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