Blog

Cybersecurity Can Be Intimidating…But It Doesn’t Have to Be

Oct 16, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  Data Management

As a follow-up to one of our hottest and most talked about discussions at the 2018 Ultimus Client Summit, Shawn Waldman shares more insightful knowledge and tips regarding cybersecurity. Over the years, cybersecurity has become more and more complex because the threats have also heightened in complexity. Years ago, just installing anti- virus on computers was pretty much sufficient. Then, scanning email for problems was the next iteration. Now, neither of those are adequate even on the most basic level.

Ultimus’ VP and Director of Information Technology, Steve Nienhaus, and Shawn review the top security tips and the concept of the ‘layered approach’ in this Q&A blog post format. Continue reading to learn about the necessary measures you must take in ensuring your business is safe.

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Navigating Marketplace Changes to an Adviser’s Advantage

Oct 2, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  Industry , '40 Act

An Update on Product Trends in the Mutual Fund Industry

Investment advisers with longstanding mutual funds, as well as advisers looking to make their first foray into the ’40 Act Fund world, usually have distinct opportunities when it comes to growing their assets under management (AUM).  In both cases, innovation is always a key component of the manager’s strategy.  The U.S. mutual fund industry is a crowded space, with 54% of the AUM captured by the 10 largest fund families.  Innovative strategies make a new fund stand out and can drive asset capture; however, investment advisers have to temper their penchants for innovation with the reality of operating in a highly regulated industry, known for frequently changing regulatory regimes. 

In light of these factors, we find ourselves in a market often characterized by varying product trends.  To help advisers understand the changes and take advantage of current industry dynamics, we will explore in more detail what trends Ultimus is currently seeing, what we believe is driving them, and where we think they will take investment advisers in the registered fund space.

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5 Steps to Effective Branding and Marketing for Smaller Asset Managers

Sep 19, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  Industry

At the May 2018 Ultimus Client Summit, Paul Leibowitz of Leibowitz Branding & Design presented on the topic of “Developing Your Story for PR and Marketing Momentum.” To assist asset managers with their branding and marketing efforts, Paul summarizes his presentation and provides valuable tips in the following article. In it he discusses the importance of how to stop being your own best kept secret by creating a distinctive brand and brand messaging. All of this can be accomplished through a five-step process, which he reviews in a straightforward, tactical manner.

Further, Paul points out the multiple long-term benefits that are generated by going through this process. Read Paul’s helpful and actionable tips on how an asset manager can develop their marketing and branding below.

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How to Leverage Big Data and Service Providers’ Technology to Administer Your Mutual Fund’s Compliance Program

Sep 4, 2018 2:00:00 PM  |  '40 Act , Industry

“The SEC staff is currently using these [big data] computing environments and is also planning to scale them up to accommodate future applications that will be on a massive scale…We have utilized both machine learning and big data technologies to extract actionable insights from our massive datasets.”

- Scott W. Baugeuess, Acting Director and Chief Economist, SEC Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, SEC, June 21, 2017

Big Data Tools
Big data describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured—that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis. But what is important is what your advisory firm does with the available data, not the potentially huge volume. If the data can be handled by your firm using the right tools, it represents a treasure trove of valuable information. And since the SEC is explicit in its public comments about using big data tools, it behooves your firm to understand how you can also use appropriate tools, to forestall or eliminate regulatory inquiries and deficiencies.

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What Advisers Need to Know About Impact Investing: ESG/SRI

Aug 21, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  '40 Act , Industry

Even though the terminology ‘impact investing’ is relatively new in the last 10 years, the concept is not. There are many in the investment arena who are not familiar with details of what impact investing means or what it entails.

With the objective to gain a better understanding of impact investing, using terms such as ESG and SRI, and the influence it is having in the asset management industry among advisers, Ultimus’ Business Development Director, Mick Grunewald, recently spoke with First Affirmative Financial Network’s CEO, George R. Gay. In addition to his role as CEO of First Affirmative, George served on the US SIF (a nonprofit trade association for the SRI industry) Board of Directors from 1994 to 2008, has produced and hosted The SRI Conference since 1990, and received the industry's 1997 SRI Service Award.

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Q&A: Why Asset Managers Should Consider Inbound Marketing in their Mutual Fund Strategy

Aug 7, 2018 2:00:00 PM  |  Distribution

Ultimus’ Director of Distribution Strategies, Kevin Guerette, sat down for a quick Q & A session with Stacy Havener, Founder and CEO of Havener Capital, a sales and marketing agency representing undiscovered mutual funds from some of the world’s leading asset managers, to discuss the importance of developing a sound inbound marketing strategy.

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Finding and Developing Your Story

Jul 24, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  Industry

For investment advisers focused on managing a portfolio, the idea of developing public relations and marketing materials is not always top of mind, a high priority, or an easy undertaking. During Ultimus’ Client Summit earlier this year, one of our industry presenters, Bill Hortz, Dean of the Institute for Innovation Development, discussed the reasons why a story makes a compelling, memorable, and useful way for firms to create the basis of their public relations and marketing materials. 

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Warning Signs You May Need a New Fund Administration Provider

Jul 10, 2018 10:06:36 AM  |  '40 Act , Regulatory

Sticking with the Status Quo May Cost More Than Converting

As an investment manager, is your mutual fund administrator a transaction processor fulfilling basic functions? Or is your service provider engaged and strategic, providing high quality administrative services coupled with insightful business acumen? The difference could mean putting your organization in the best position for long-term success or putting it at significant risk.

While investment managers don’t always recognize that their service provider has become deficient, or fear converting to a new provider, staying with the status quo can be more risky. To help investment managers get the most out of their fund administrator, below are a few warning signs that indicate your current provider is not cutting it, along with some tips to ensure a smooth conversion if a switch is the best course of action.  

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Robots in Fund Administration, Really.

Jun 26, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  Data Management

An analysis of robotic technology benefits in fund administration for Investment Advisers - which also begs the question - is your service provider employing robots to stay ahead of the technology curve?

The thought of using robots in a data driven business like fund administration can seem strange or out of place on the surface.  Whenever the idea of utilizing robots to improve efficiencies and reduce risk is mentioned, the typical question is ‘What role can robots really play in a business that is driven mainly by the flow of data and information’?  Unlike industries such as the automotive industry where robots play a major role in assembly and quality control, it may seem difficult to draw parallels to robots performing similar functions in fund administration.  Nevertheless, those parallels exist, and robots are starting to play major roles in businesses like fund administration, driven by the flow and analysis of data.  And while the benefits within a service provider, such as increased efficiency, transparency, and reduced risk can be expected, robots also provide benefits for investment advisers through improved data, increased customization, and enhanced and faster delivery methods.

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Examining the Pricing Vendor Due Diligence Process in the Mutual Fund Space

Jun 12, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  '40 Act , Regulatory

Rule 38a-1, under the Investment Company Act of 1940, commonly called the “Compliance Rule,” identifies the investment adviser, principal underwriter, administrator and transfer agent as the “significant” service providers to a mutual fund.  The Rule further states that a due diligence review of the policies and procedures should be completed for these service providers at least annually. Fund compliance officers and fund boards are now quite accustomed to this process.

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