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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Supermarkets Look to Restock with Infomation and Education

Reported by Hung Tran

So what are fund platforms looking for in terms of partnering up with a fund shop and what will mutual fund supermarkets look like 10 years from now?

Carolyn Clancy, executive vice president for Personal, Workplace, and Institutional Services at Fidelity Investments, and Aaron Dillon, director of mutual funds & ETFs at TD Ameritrade, offered their views on the future of the fund supermarket at the MFWire 2011 Influencers' Summit: See 2020 this afternoon at the Mandarin Oriental in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dillon said he has seen a massive inflow into the RIA channel.

"Firms are ramping up on wholesalers to cover advisors," Dillon told conferees. "Understand our drivers and bring value to our platform."

Clancy offered that fund firms have to be thinking about multiple investment vehicles.

"It's about the proliferation of products. What are your needs for your clients?" she said.  

Clancy added that the best fund shops are selling education to their platform providers.

"It's about educating us. You know what best-in-class looks like everyday," Clancy said. "The big surprise is how little people focus on the retail channel. It's a sect that needs attention and is a huge opportunity."

Going forward, Dillon said that his firm will be able to deliver to retail clients on a broad-based scale as social media technology becomes more "unique."

"Clients are looking to access information in an easier way," Dillon said.

Clancy countered that tweeting and Facebook is not to be confused with online buying behaviors.

She offered that fund supermarkets will look like Walmart within the next 10 years in terms of different price points and array of products. Although she admitted that she didn't know if the supermarket of the future is going to be an international platform. 

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