Advisor Websites Evolve, Embrace Open Access

by on Jan 30, 2018

The trend toward open access quality investing information online makes it increasingly challenging to captivate advisor audiences, and fund firms are competing to gain visibility. For some asset managers, getting advisors to visit their site, let alone log in, can be challenging. Over the past few years, Corporate Insight (CI) has observed asset managers incrementally pacing toward making advisor site content available to unregistered viewers. Today, many firms allow public viewers to browse their advisor websites freely, with only account-specific site features, tools or advisor-restricted content blocked. For many asset managers, the benefits of allowing advisors to view appropriate content without logging in generally outweigh the rationale for creating barriers. To date, CI’s Asset Management Monitor – Advisor series tracks 20 firms in its coverage set, with Fidelity and Putnam implementing the most stringent login requirements to access content.

As a best practice, fund firms should aim to keep appropriate content in front of the login. An overabundance of required logins may potentially dead-end advisors in their journey. Users frustrated by roadblocks will quickly move on to another site. A seamless browsing experience, on the other hand, ensures that advisors, whether they have a relationship with the firm or are merely prospective/visiting users, will benefit from uninterrupted access to relevant site content.

Putnam Financial Advisor Login Lightbox

Revamps and redesigns represent an opportunity for asset managers to consider what they will offer publicly and what they will restrict. For example, Lazard Asset Management recently revamped and opted to make the bulk of its advisor-specific content publicly viewable without authentication. The firm promotes select content, such as commentaries, product literature and regulatory materials in the Financial Advisors dropdown on the main navigation. Lazard’s overhaul also exemplifies the trend of integrating advisor and investor websites into a single platform. Similarly, Legg Mason integrates sites for both client and professional audiences and positions content for the latter in the publicly accessible Advisor Resources tab.

Lazard Asset Management Integrated Platform