Advisers Rely More on Analysts for Mutual Fund Choices

Financial intermediaries now do more than one-third of their mutual fund business in products recommended from their home office, according to a survey by kasina and Horsesmouth.
More specifically, financial intermediaries surveyed in October and November reported doing 33.5% of their mutual fund business in the past year in products on recommend lists, according to a release of the survey results.

Also in the previous year, advisers said they did more than one-fifth (21.6%) of overall production in mutual funds on wrap platforms—a slightly larger percentage (19.3%) than when the same question was asked six months earlier.

In the next 12 months, surveyed advisers anticipated doing 27.8% of their mutual-fund business in model portfolios (up from 24.9% the previous year) and 8.3% in unified managed accounts (UMAs) (up from 5.7%).

The results illustrate how home-office analysts are having a greater influence on the decisions advisers make, according to kasina.

“This trend is being driven by the dual desires to limit risk and to increase profitability,” said Lee Kowarski, principal at kasina, in the release. “Advisers are clearly moving in the direction desired by their home offices—partially because they see the benefits of following the experts’ guidance and partially because distributors are pushing advisers to make changes through management and compensation.”

The trend is particularly evident within the traditional wirehouse and bank/trust channels. For instance, surveyed wirehouse advisers did 24.8% of their overall production in mutual funds on wrap platforms, the highest of any of the major distribution channels. Furthermore, advisers in the wirehouse and bank channels anticipate doing the highest percentage of their business in UMAs over the coming year (11.5% and 10.3%, respectively).

Asset management consulting firm kasina surveyed 3,003 financial intermediaries.