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Rating:With a Pair of Moves, Thompson Seeks to Broaden its Reach Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, November 15, 2010

With a Pair of Moves, Thompson Seeks to Broaden its Reach

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Thompson Investment Management [see profile], the Madison, Wisconsin-based manager of the Thompson Plumb Funds, has made two key moves this year as part of efforts to widen its reach in the market. This year marked Thompson Plumb Funds' return to Charles Schwab's OneSource marketplace and the company's foray into online advertising.

Jason Stephens
Portfolio Manager
Thompson Investment Management
Thompson offers three mutual funds. The five-star Thompson Plumb Bond Fund is the firm's largest, with $437 million in AUM, according to Morningstar. Thompson Plumb Growth has $127.9 million and Thompson Plumb Midcap has $15.5 million.

In a recent interview with The MFWire.com, Thompson portfolio manager Jason Stephens pointed to three key ingredients to raising assets, "Producing competitive returns, making ourselves as available as possible on NTF platforms and targeted marketing," he said.

Thompson's mutual funds started becoming available again via Schwab's OneSource in January of this year. Thompson's products were originally carried on OneSource from January 1997 through March 2001.

Talks with Schwab about a return to the NTF platform started in August 2009, Stephens said. The decision to return to OneSource reflected a philosophy change within the firm regarding fund distribution, Stephens said.

"We realized we needed both," he said, referring to performance numbers and a spot on platforms.

Thompson's funds are also available through other platforms, including Fidelity FundsNetwork and TD Ameritrade.

This summer, right before the Morningstar conference, Thompson Investment Management started placing ads on morningstar.com. The firm in the past has taken out ads in local papers.

"We wanted to be able to measure the outcome better," said chief compliance officer and director of business development Nedra Pierce, adding: "We're implementing the marketing plan we started working on a year-and-a-half ago."

Of the firm's advertising and marketing efforts, Stephens said: "It doesn't do you any good to have a great track record and have no one know about it." 

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