Part 2: Discretionary Fund Managers: 4 tips on how asset managers could improve their relationship with DFMs

In part 1 of our research, we worked with research company, DISCUS, to find out how DFMs select funds and what they think of the asset managers who provide these underlying funds. In part 2, we provide four recommendations as to how marketers could operate differently to improve this important relationship.

1. Know us better 

DFMs typically offer a range of propositions from bespoke portfolios, model portfolios on and off platforms and multi-asset funds. A good starting point when marketing to a DFM is to understand: 

  • Client target market 
  • Distribution – is this primarily through financial advisers, direct to client or both? 
  • What is the investment philosophy? Is it value driven and long-term? What emphasis do they put on strategic asset allocation? 
  • What is the ownership and culture of the organisation – is it aligned with yours? 
  • Do they have any strategic partnerships, particularly if they overlap with any of yours? 

2. Understand our selection process 

Ensure you know how the selection process operates and what support is required. 

Ask for the selection criteria to ensure that the appropriate information is delivered. 

Check if the DFM uses 3rd parties e.g. ratings or research companies? 

Be clear on which funds are being positioned with the DFM i.e. those that fit with their portfolios and investment strategy not just those that are performing well. 

Research meetings are still the primary opportunity to market and sell funds to a DFM – make sure that the support for these is tailored to the DFM business. 

3.  Be relevant and specific 

Don’t continually issue generic information – ensure you understand what is relevant. This may also vary within the DFM business e.g. portfolio/investment managers may have different requirements from their sales and marketing teams. 

Be aware of competitor offerings. What sets your fund apart, are the key messages articulated well and does the sales team have the appropriate content to pitch this to the DFM? 

Share ‘thought leadership’ content and not just fund information. DFMs have to demonstrate to financial advisers that they understand the market and asset managers can support this requirement. 

4. Be responsive 

Client service is essential, so make sure the DFM has the right points of contacts within both sales and marketing. 

Ensure that requests for information are acted on promptly and that they are specific and not a generically issued response. 

If you have any questions or comments on these findings, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

In part 2 of our DFM research, we provide four recommendations as to how marketers could operate differently to improve this important relationship.

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