UK & EU Investment Manager Considerations for Entering the US Market

Feb 12, 2019 10:00:00 AM  |  '40 Act , Industry , Regulatory

Controlling Key Factors That Appear Insurmountable

UK EUAt the end of 2017, total assets under management in the US were $37.4 trillion USD, which compares to the UK/EU combined $22.2 trillion USD (2018 Boston Consulting Group: Global Asset Management 2018: The Digital Metamorphosis). As 2019 begins, both markets face political headwinds with the partial US government shutdown and Brexit. Longer term, the question remains - is the larger pool of investable assets in the US merely a siren song for small and mid-sized UK/EU-based investment managers, or is tapping the US actually feasible for those firms?

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Ultimus' Top Blog Posts of 2018

Jan 8, 2019 10:00:00 AM  |  '40 Act , Fund Structure , Industry

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!

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At the Heart of Ultimus

Dec 11, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  Industry

Connecting to our communities and serving with a purpose

At the Heart of Ultimus for blogIn 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.

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Fund Servicing Conversions: Benefits May Outweigh the Perceived Burden

Nov 13, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  '40 Act , Industry

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. 

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How Adviser’s Websites Can Attract More Investors

Oct 30, 2018 10:00:00 AM  |  '40 Act , Industry

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.

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Navigating Marketplace Changes to an Adviser’s Advantage

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

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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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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