February 2013: Introducing Eaton Vance

This month’s Advisor Monitor Report introduces the newest addition to our coverage group: Eaton Vance. With origins stretching back to 1924, the Boston-based asset management company was formed in a 1979 merger of two firms: Eaton & Howard, and Vance, Sanders & Company. Today, Eaton Vance holds $238.4 billion in assets under management and employs over 1,100 individuals.

Eaton Vance’s website is a strong addition to our coverage group, and the site presents good interactive features and excellent practice management resources. The site is somewhat smaller than many others covered by Advisor Monitor, and several commonly covered topics are not part of the Eaton Vance business model. For example, the site does not provide discussions of retirement strategies or college savings plans. The areas that the firm does focus on, such as practice management resources and product information, are of top quality.
 
Eaton Vance provides impressive business building materials, which provide practical tips to advisors looking to attract new clients and deepen relationships with existing partners. The firm provides audio, video and text commentaries to help advisors in their practices.
 
Eaton Vance offers a good Fund Finder tool in the main navigation menu, allowing for ready access to search for fund by asset class and category. The firm also offers a strong search function to aid in running queries of the site.
 
Another useful feature offered by the firm is the unique Portfolio Fit tool. Eaton Vance assigns investing categories by goal to each of its funds, which can then be searched using the tool. Using the tool, advisors can filter by investing category, providing an additional method for locating useful products.
 
For our analysis, we focused on providing discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the site, as well as providing a detailed walkthrough of different site features.

We found the following strengths:

  • A convenient Fund Finder Tool included in the main menu.
  • Strong advisor-oriented commentaries for topics such as market performance and practice management.
  • A unique Portfolio Fit tool for locating funds by investing goal.
  • Excellent Asset Class Centers that explain different asset classes and how they fit into a portfolio.
  • Good use of interactive and dynamic web features that efficiently deliver information.