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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Reynolds Makes Putnam's Latest FA-Support Maneuver

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Bob Reynolds and his team are making a big push to help financial advisors "steer their clients through these times." It's their first new firm-encompassing campaign in seven years.

Robert Reynolds
Putnam Investments
President, Chief Executive Officer
Today Reynolds unveils Putnam's [profile] new multi-pronged FA practice management support program, Maneuver in Markets. The program is powered by the Boston-based mutual fund shop's in-house marketing and communications, led by global marketing chief Mark McKenna.

"We will be bringing a new dimension to our dialogue with the marketplace this year," states Reynolds, who is president and CEO of Putnam (as well as of Putnam sibling Great-West Financial and of Putnam parent Great-West Lifeco U.S.)

Mark McKenna
Putnam Investments
Global Marketing Head
Bill Connolly, co-head of global distribution at Putnam, contrasts the new push with a normal campaign that might only last a month or a quarter. The idea, he says, is to "elevate a dialogue that is timeless." The Putnam team, he says, have been hearing from FAs and home offices about the difficulty of cutting through the noise of the world when talking with investors.

"People are having real trouble engaging the end client with so much volatility, so much uncertainty, and frankly so much fear," Connolly tells MFWire. The new program is "really a call to action to get people back to the discussion... bringing it back to the bigger picture and then drilling through to the outcome."

William Connolly
Putnam Investments
Global Distribution Co-Head
"It's not about the products," Connolly adds. "It's about the demand from the client." Connolly says that the new Maneuver in Markets program will not be an old school campaign that relies just on leaving brochures at the branch after a lunch meeting and hoping someone picks them up. The Putnam sales and marketing folks will use their FA website, webinars, social media, conference calls, and direct phone calls, as well as in-person meetings at branches and conferences.

"Now there's just a continuous contact model," Connolly says. "We're basically going to engage people however they want to be engaged ... We'll be constantly adding collateral."

"We wanted to have a program in a virtual way ... to touch people in a way that the advisor can then take that to the client and engage in a conversation, not about a product but about addressing issues," Connolly adds.

Whenever the Putnam team is reaching out to FAs and their allies, Connolly says, they'll "be talking about this first and foremost."

The program, McKenna tells MFWire, "raises the bar of creating content to help support that dialogue that's happening with advisors in the market and their clients."

"It's going to be an ongoing dialogue," McKenna says. "We really pride ourselves in listening to the marketplace."

Connolly notes that firm-wide campaigns like this are not an everyday thing for Putnam.

"This is the first time in a half-dozen years or so where we've had a sole lead focus. We only do it periodically to realign," Connolly says, pointing back Reynolds' early days at Putnam in 2009 and the launch of Putnam's absolute return product suite.

"The entire organization, all the resources that we put out there ... will be driven around this concept," Connolly says.

"We'll work with the distributors to provide content," McKenna says. 

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