hat do advisors want to hear? Everything, apparently. At last week's TD Waterhouse
advisor conference, Thomas Bradley
, the firm's Institutional Services president, gave the 450 attendees a laundry list of available services. With 70 percent of the advisors already active clients, would they be interested in hearing what, presumably, they already knew?
Absolutely. In fact, even existing customers learned a thing or two about available services. "Communication has always been a problem with Waterhouse," explained one attendee. "I'm hoping that's going to change."
On the other hand, Bradley said he constantly redelivers the message about his firm's services. "I've said the exact same thing in four or five presentations this year," he admitted. "We are always trying to figure out ways to communicate to advisors."
Even TD Waterhouse's own mailings are not fully effective, and even less so for fund firms interested in reaching the widespread clientele. Many funds pay for promotional material to be included in the mailings, but perhaps they should save their money.
"Personally, I think most of that stuff ends up in the garbage," said Bradley. "But if the funds want to pay for it, we'll put it in."
Over the course of the year, TD Waterhouse will have even more to tell advisors about. Bradley said that the firm is working on a managed account network, bringing a research component to separate accounts, an allocation software package, and delivering consolidated reports. As reported earlier on MutualFundWire.com, a 401(k) offering is also slated for later this year.
While Bradley affirmed TD Waterhouse's well-known ambition to capture and serve the advisor market, he also expressed frustration in dealing with the highly diverse group. "Advisors are an interesting lot in that they ask for things and they want to know they're there, but then they don't use them," he said.
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