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Asian fund managers have been active in developing and distributing a large number of investment products, while fund distributors have become very selective in which products they actively promote with clients. “An average distributor promotes 16 funds actively to clients, while having 27 managers with several products each on its platform,” says Greenwich Associates Managing Director Markus Ohlig. Being distinctive in product and service quality has become ever more critical.
Alliance Bernstein and AllianzGI are jointly the 2017 Greenwich Quality Leader℠ in Overall Asian Intermediary Distribution. This year, Greenwich Associates interviewed 150 gatekeepers at large institutions across Asia, including retail and private banks, insurers, asset managers, securities brokers, and independent financial advisors. Study participants were asked to name the asset managers they have on their platforms and rate them in a series of service quality parameters related to investments, relationship management and servicing. Asset managers with ratings topping those of competitors by a statistically significant margin are named Greenwich Quality Leaders.
“While both these firms have competitive investment performance, they have earned special accolades from clients for the distinctiveness of their relationship management and client servicing efforts,” says Greenwich Associates consultant Parijat Banerjee.
Greenwich Associates assessment of quality takes into account the following factors, each of which is rated individually by the gatekeepers participating in the Firm’s annual research:
Broad Presence and Local Knowledge Key in Forging Strong Distribution Relationships
Success in strong distribution relationships is contingent on nuanced knowledge of client needs, which vary across the different Asian markets. “Understanding of differing product needs, the local language, relationship management and service, idiosyncrasies in reporting procedures are but a few among several key parameters which can help managers build and maintain strong distribution relationships in an overcrowded market and across periods of lean investment performance,” says Parijat Banerjee. Having broad reach and brand recognition across the region also helps managers in maintaining existing relationships and opening up new ones.Methodology
Between June and August 2017, Greenwich Associates conducted 150 interviews with some of the largest fund distributors in Asia. Senior gatekeepers were asked to provide detailed information on their business priorities, quantitative and qualitative evaluations of their investment managers, and qualitative assessments of those managers soliciting their business. Countries and regions where interviews were conducted include Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, and China.