The asset management space has seen major movements recently. In 2019, drastic escalations in the race to zero commissions saw some firms crossing the finish line. Though this has centered largely around brokerage firms, the effects have spilled over into the asset management space, and firms must adapt to these new parameters if they want to attract new clients and retain existing ones. Investing in digital experiences is a smart way to demonstrate value to prospects and clients because the asset management industry lags far behind the major tech giants in this area, and the websites of these out-of-industry firms set consumers’ expectations. We have begun to see more asset management firms enhancing their online offerings, but they must do more amid the sea of superior sites and user interfaces in other industries.
In our December 2019 Asset Management Monitor – Investor Awards Report, we summarized major changes firms made throughout the year and recognized those that performed well in five important site areas, including secure site homepages. Homepages act as a main hub for investors, allowing them to perform important tasks such as managing their accounts, making transactions and updating their person information; therefore, they are a critically important area for focus and investment. Here, we outline some of the trends that shaped the year in the digital asset management space and reveal the gold medal winner in the homepage category.
In 2019, no firms launched new tools, representing a noticeable weakness in our coverage set. Additionally, only two firms added new microsites this year, a significant decrease from the five launched in 2018. Most firms instead focused on adding individual public site pages periodically throughout the year. Franklin Templeton introduced a new Why Top of Mind Now Might Mean a More Confident Mindset Later microsite, which reports insights gleaned from the eighth annual Franklin Templeton Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) Survey examining attitudes and concerns regarding retirement preparedness. Meanwhile, Invesco introduced a new Let’s Scale the Ladder Together microsite, which promotes the firm’s BulletShares ETF suite.
New Franklin Templeton Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) Survey Landing Page (Truncated)
On the positive side, seven firms performed total revamps of either their public or secure investor sites, with American Funds, Calvert, Janus Henderson and Wells Fargo focusing on their public sites. Notably, Wells Fargo’s redesign came after a long period of no update activity. The firm updated the homepage, reorganized its navigation and added several new pages while redesigning all existing pages to mirror the new site aesthetic. The new site pages are less text-heavy and employ more color and images. The firm also reintroduced a dedicated Insights section to the site.
Invesco, Franklin Templeton and T. Rowe Price made enhancements to their secure sites. T. Rowe Price’s revamp stands out—the site now features its own seven-tab intrapage menu, which allows investors to navigate the site without the public site navigation menu. The site also features a refreshed aesthetic that employs the firm’s branded navy color, an updated typeface, and a static account summary header that provides the user’s current account balance as well as daily, monthly and yearly change. Also, within the account settings interface, the firm lets users customize the secure homepage by letting them choose which accounts to show on the landing page and group accounts into default or custom categories. The firm stands out for linking to recent commentaries and offering detailed site help in the form of a Take a Tour feature. These changes earned the firm the gold accolade for the category this year.
Despite a few notable updates, the asset management industry’s lack of attention to the digital customer experience could hurt it in the long run. Firms should start making changes not only to compete with their peers, but to keep up with the experiences provided by out-of-industry companies that investors interact with every day.
At Corporate Insight, our team works to provide you with the insights you need to create an award-winning experience. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
View a free slide deck preview of the report here: