Asset Managers’ Sales Increasingly Influenced by B/D Buyers

Research from Cerulli Associates said a large chunk of new sales by asset managers last year was influenced by a broker/dealer professional buyer.

The data represent a changing distribution model among asset managers that includes advisers in a more consultative role, Cerulli said in a press release. The firm also said many wholesalers are in of need training to build these skills.

According to Cerulli, retail intermediary-sold asset managers, on average, estimate that 40% of their new sales in 2007 were influenced by the professional buyer at the broker/dealer.

“These asset management analysts cannot be influenced by traditional relationship-building techniques,’ said Bing Waldert, associate director and coauthor of the report, Cerulli Quantitative Update: Intermediary Markets 2008. “Asset managers that deliver high quality information in a timely fashion will stand out.’

Cerulli suggests that asset managers must ensure that appropriate coaching resources are in place to help junior professionals work with their more experienced peers. The release showed the many different training priorities of wholesalers. What ranked on the low end on the list? Adviser interviewing skills. However, younger wholesalers listed it as a more desired training skill than their older peers, suggesting that new wholesalers are increasingly more interested in a consultative relationship with advisers, Cerulli noted.

Overall, wholesalers ranked competitive product analysis and advanced planning techniques as the most desired training, according to Cerulli. Presentation skills (one-on-one or group) ranked the lowest.

“It’s interesting to note the relatively low rank of adviser interviewing skills,’ commented Katharine Wolf, analyst and co-author of the report. “Fact-finding regarding an adviser’s need at the start of and throughout a relationship remain the foundation on which a more consultative relationship is built.”

Information about purchasing the report is available at