Reports of the demise of the wholesaler are premature, according to SwanDog Strategic Marketing
According to a study newly released by the consulting firm, dubbed Independent Advisor Dig
, "the wholesaler is alive, well and more relevant than ever."
For example, the study indicates that wholesalers remain an important driver behind product change by advisors.
In particular, 46 percent of those surveyed reported that a respected wholesaler influences their fund choice. And nearly 40 percent noted the wholesaler was the “difference maker” when choosing between two equally performing funds. The study, conducted in late 2012, is the byproduct of focus groups, one-on-one interviews and over 1,100 individual survey responses.
“At a time when the wholesaling function has taken some shots for being a little “long in the tooth,” this research suggests that’s not the case,” states Dave Swanson
, founder & managing partner of SwanDog. “The wholesaler remains the primary carrier of the brand, a trusted source for investment perspective and remains the most effective way to change advisor behavior.”
Moreover, according to Swanson, “Our observations should serve as a reminder that this is still a people business. And all the “wholesaler love” expressed in the study comes down to a simple matter of trust—and, in the end, trust is best earned face to face.”
Moreover, the study reports that advisors "actively lean on the wholesaler for investing insight." In face, SwanDog found that independent advisors are more likely to turn to wholesalers for investment perspective than The Wall Street Journal
or The New York Times
“I think the reliance on the wholesaler for investment perspective reflects well on the ability of the good ones to synthesize the thousands of pages of content the industry produces (most of which will never be read), into highly relevant, snack- sized portions,” she added.
Another important role played by wholesalers: transmitting industry news and best practices. The report asks "How often is the wholesaler asked ...”What’s going on out there?” or “What’s working now”? As the wholesaler goes from branch to branch and city to city, they are uniquely qualified to answer these questions."
“I think the reliance on the wholesaler for investment perspective reflects well on the ability of the good ones to synthesize the thousands of pages of content the industry produces (most of which will never be read), into highly relevant, snack- sized portions,” states Carol Gillen
, SwanDog’s Director of Insights. “Marketers and product analysts should take note of this finding and ensure their wholesalers have the most up to date and compelling competitive data.”
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