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Friday, October 05, 2012

Pershing Sweetens Fundsters' Access to Advisors

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

The mutual fund distributor Pershing is working on a number of initiatives, including education campaigns aimed at advisors and a push into 529s, to better connect funds firms with broker dealers and RIAs.

"We want to help firms get more exposure to managed portfolios within the broker dealers, to the teams that are actually creating model portfolios so their products will be selected," says Sandy Motusesky, Pershing's director of mutual funds, ETFs, alternatives and insurance, and a 2010 honoree of the MFWire's list of most influential people in the industry.

These efforts have included a number of educational pushes, including webcasts and conferences that introduce asset managers to advisors, seminars and conference calls that teach fund firms how to better use Pershing's fund platform, Fundvest, and to better reach various target audiences.

One such program includes the Pershing Education and Development Series, a curriculum based program offering a series of ongoing webcasts designed to help advisors grow their businesses, increase efficiency and learn about the latest investment strategies.  The Investment Solutions monthly webcast series features investment experts from up to three investment managers offering their insights on a particular topic.  Themes include "Alternative Investments", "Investing for Income", "Goal Based Investing", "Annuity Solution"s and more.

Another important program is the Investment Manager Symposium. Pershing hosted its second such annual symposium in March.  The event features speakers from Pershing Managed Account Solutions, Lockwood, RIA Complete, Pershing Advisor Solutions, Global Customers and selected broker dealer and RIA clients.

  On October 17th, Pershing is hosting a webcast designed to present Pershing's sponsorship opportunities to a broad audience of investment managers and others who have not participated in the Investment Manager Symposium. This particular webcast will have a "Pershing Spotlight" where Pershing Advisor Solutions director Tom Valverde will present an overview of his program.  

The big goal of these pushes, says Motusesky, is to get advisors to appreciate Pershing fund managers as experts in their various niches, and learn how to best leverage Pershing's platform when reaching out to RIAs and broker-dealers.

"I think advisors are smart enough to sense a product push from a mile away," she says. "We tell our fund firms, start off with your investment expertise. Lead with your thought leadership. People will connect with your product after that."

Motusesky and her team are also working to help firms get a better sense of their target markets, and their penetration in these markets. To that end, Pershing has been beta-testing, with roughly 50 fund sponsors, a market data tool informally titled Pershing Analytics and Reporting. The tool, which is being developed with fellow BNY Mellon company Coates Analytics, will be official launched later in the Fall. 

The tool will provide an enhanced mutual fund reporting capability to potentially more than 200 investment managers that participate in Pershing's FundVest no-transaction fee mutual fund platform.  Additionally, ETF enhanced reporting is available to ETF sponsors that participate in ETF Center.  This new reporting provides transparency around market share and overall assets and allows the fund companies to target their sales efforts more effectively.

With such tools and marketing initiatives, Pershing is working steadily to draw more firms to its no-transaction-fee platform, Fundvest, which features nearly 5,000 mutual funds managed by more than 230 firms.

Motusesky is also working to generate greater awareness of CollegeAmerica 529 plan, the nation's largest 529 plan featuring American Funds, which Pershing launched on its platform in July. It currently has over 60 broker-dealers participating. Pershing was the first clearing firm to offer such a plan.

"We want to talk to all fund companies interested in 529 products and get them on this platform," she says.  

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