Outreach to Financial Reporters
MMI is conducting an aggressive media relations program to educate financial reporters on managed solutions. At a time of unprecedented market volatility, our information and availability to assist reporters has gained our industry considerable positive coverage and contributed to our industry’s continued growth. Whenever possible, we offer our members as sources for reporters, thereby allowing our member firms to take advantage of the Institutes ongoing media liaison efforts.
A Source of Industry Information
The Institute is developing a comprehensive database on the managed solutions industry and serves as the definitive source of information on both managers and sponsors. Financial reporters regularly turn to MMI for information on the growing popularity of managed solutions and the Institute has been a noted reference in articles by Business Week, Barron’s, Dow Jones News Service, Gannett News Service (USA Today), Wall Street Journal, New York Times and other publications.
Identifying Industry Trends and Best Practices
The Institute periodically conducts carefully focused surveys of its members to gauge industry practices/trends and, in some cases, to enable firms to benchmark themselves with other firms. A survey of compensation practices for sales/marketing staff examined correlation between compensation and asset growth/retention as well as other variables. A similar survey collected data analyzing costs and productivity of administrative support staff. Reports are available for members only and members may propose other research topics or request custom analysis of MMI survey data.
Uniting the Industry
The Institute has begun offering regular Internet Meetings for its members on sales/marketing issues as well as on administration/operations topics. These conference calls over the Internet bring real time audio together with visual presentations, allowing senior executives at our member firms to interact and share their insights and concerns on a broad range of topics confronting their businesses.
The Institute convenes an annual meeting each spring bringing together the industry’s top management to address key issues and hear from news-making speakers. At prior years’ meetings, some of our featured speakers included Federal Reserve Board Governor Edward Gramlich, World Bank Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz, former U.S. Department Commerce Secretary Pete Petersen, Thomson Financial Publishing’s CEO Andrew Mills and CBS News Chief Economics Correspondent Ray Brady. The spring conference is by invitation only and regularly attracts the managed account industry’s most senior executives from money manager firms and sponsor firms alike.
MMI also sponsors the Money Managers’ Roundtable, a group of senior executives from money manager firms who address key issues facing their business. Chaired by Stephen Gresham, Executive Vice President, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Phoenix Investment Partners and Matt Witkos, President, Eaton Vance, the Roundtable is a convenient and informal (and off the record) means for money managers to share information with each other.
Helping New Entrants to our Industry
The Institute is committed to assisting those companies new to managed solutions enter our business and do so successfully by avoiding the problems experienced over the years by our more accomplished members. MMI offers regional conferences bringing very seasoned professionals to discuss the key issues our new entrants must grapple within their business development plans. These meetings have very interactive discussions between our speakers and the audience and offer new entrants unique insight and information.
Eliminate Burdensome Regulations
MMI succeeded in gaining regulatory approval from the SEC to eliminate the obligation to send trade confirmations to investors who do not want to receive them, thereby reducing operating costs and removing a source of investor irritation. The Institute provides liaison with regulatory agencies and, when needed, with the Congress and serves as an expert resource while participating in public policy discussions that may affect investors and our members’ businesses.
Solving Problems for the Industry
The Institute seeks to resolve long simmering operational problems that prevent member firms from operating more efficiently and reporting in AIMR compliant fashion. Additionally, AIMR account records retention requirements are burdensome for money managers and the Institute is examining new technologies in order to resolve this problem.
MMI holds an invitation only member meeting in January that provide an informal opportunity to bring the industry’s leaders together to exchange ideas and share concerns on how to best grow the managed solutions business and operate it more efficiently. To ensure real give and take among the executives in our discussions, these meetings are limited to two participants from each member firm.