In October 2016 the SEC adopted new rules, a new form and other amendments designed to promote effective liquidity risk management throughout the open-end investment company industry. The goal is to reduce the risk that funds will be unable to meet their redemption obligations and mitigate dilution of the interests of fund shareholders. The amendments also seek to enhance disclosure regarding fund liquidity and redemption practices.Read More >
An Overview of Liquidity Risk Management Programs
Ultimus' Top Blog Posts of 2018
In 2018 Ultimus published a variety of educational and insightful blog posts to help investment advisers manage various aspects of their firm. Written by subject matters experts at Ultimus, in addition to occasional business partner and industry experts, our blogs cover topics such as ’40 Act products, regulatory issues, distribution challenges, fund structure and data management. Here are the five most popular ones from 2018!Read More >
At the Heart of Ultimus
Connecting to our communities and serving with a purpose
In 2018, just like prior years, Ultimus employees participated in many volunteer service events because giving back to the community is integral to the Ultimus Way. As part of our service culture, we feel it is important to reinvest time and resources to projects, organizations, and causes in our communities by supporting outreach opportunities.Read More >
5 Top Tips for Assessing Sales Reporting and Data Management Solutions
As an asset manager, you probably have spent countless hours researching and testing the tools needed to find the ideal sales reporting and data management solution for your business. Whether it be a formal product offering or home-grown process, the act of finding the right solution does not need to be as daunting as it may first appear. Although such solutions can be inherently complex, establishing a framework for evaluating their various aspects can simplify the process and ultimately provide assurance that decision makers select the proper solution for the right reasons.Read More >
Fund Servicing Conversions: Benefits May Outweigh the Perceived Burden
Conquering or Overcoming FOCO
Let’s be honest: When someone starts talking to an investment adviser about transitioning their back-office servicing relationship from one service provider to another, the first reaction of that firm’s decision maker is somewhere among stomach ache, dizziness and downright fear. Am I right? Whether one admits it out loud or not, I know the answer to that question is yes because it would be my answer too -- if I didn’t know better.
Unfortunately, too many investment advisers tolerate service levels which become less than desirable or acceptable, not because of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out – ask your kid or other resident millennial what that is!) but rather, a quick retreat to a stance of FOCO or Fear Of Converting Out.Read More >
How Adviser’s Websites Can Attract More Investors
In a digitally wired world, having a website that is attractive, dynamic and compelling is essential. After all, it is the hub of a firm’s online presence where as much as 80 percent of the marketing and sales cycle takes place. In an industry that controls trillions of dollars in investor assets, there is no place for a sub-par website. Unfortunately, boutique asset managers are often at a competitive disadvantage compared to bigger firms with massive resources. Many say, “Let’s get it done quickly so it’s functional by launch.” It’s often like a glorified online brochure, with little ability to support an effective sales process.
Fortunately, it doesn’t require massive resources to create a high-quality website that will attract advisers and investors and move them through the sales funnel. Ultimus’ Marketing Director, Lora Lindquist, sat down and spoke with Dan Sondhelm, CEO of Sondhelm Partners, for his insight on key website features that can enhance visitors’ experience to support attracting and retaining investors. They also discuss the most cost-effective ways firms can increase the value of their websites as resources for their clients and lead generators for their firms.Read More >
Cybersecurity Can Be Intimidating…But It Doesn’t Have to Be
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.Read More >
Navigating Marketplace Changes to an Adviser’s Advantage
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.Read More >
5 Steps to Effective Branding and Marketing for Smaller Asset Managers
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.Read More >
How to Leverage Big Data and Service Providers’ Technology to Administer Your Mutual Fund’s Compliance Program
“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.