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Rating:Catch the Media Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Catch the Media

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

How can a well-respected institutional asset manager get the attention of the members of the mainstream media? Invite them to lunch! This was exactly the strategy adopted today by Fremont Investment Advisors. At first blush, the strategy seems to work.

Fremont hosted a press breakfast in Manhattan's "21" Club today to introduce its newest fund, the Fremont New Era Growth Fund, to society (the fund opened to new investors on January 1). More than 60 reporters from the financial press, including representatives from each of the major publications, turned out.

Not only did the members of the press enjoy fine food in classy surroundings, they also were able to hear the short version of the investment philosophy and stock picks of the subadvisors to the Fremont Funds.

Fremont was the primary organizer of the event, explained Noel DeDora, managing director at the firm. The firm used W.T. Blase & Associates of New York City to put together the event and invite the media. Not only did it bring the Fremont name in front of the nation's financial media in a friendly setting, it was also an opportunity for Fremont to show off its subadvisors to their benefit.

Speakers included Robert Kern, portfolio manager at Kern Asset Management; Michael Torres, president of Lend Lease Rosen; and Paul McCulley, head of PIMCO's short-term desk.

Blase & Associates is not the only firm to do this kind of organizing for fund firms. In recent months, SunStar has organized a series of press luncheons for its clients. Those meetings have also been held in Manhattan and have been successful in drawing reporters from major media outlets.

What works best?
  • Offer a wide range of views. The best attended meetings organized by SunStar included managers from a number of different firms. For the firms, this meant they could effectively share the costs. For reporters, having more than one money management firm lets them put together an article with a wide range of voices from just one meeting.
    Fremont accomplished this by inviting their subadvisors to the show, which also serves to strengthen their value as distributors and marketers to clients.
  • Talk about more than one asset class. SunStar was able to get better attendance when there was a wide range of asset classes being discussed. The same held at the Fremont meeting.
  • Limit the sales pitch. Limit managers to speaking about their sector and not the great performance of their fund. This may boost their credibility as a source when the reporter writes that next article down the road.
  • Hold the lunch some place nice. Though a reporter rarely turns down a free meal, a lunch at someplace of note is twice as nice. Blase, for example, held its best attended event at Le Circe for Driehaus Funds.
This strategy seems to work even better if the location of the lunch as a strong brand name with the members of the fourth estate in the fund firm's targets. 

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