March 2015: Assessing Private Site Performance Centers

This Annuity Monitor Report assesses the research capabilities offered on private site performance centers that help clients better evaluate their portfolio performance. The ability to view overall performance in manageable, dynamic charts is ideal and affords higher grades in our assessment. In the less than ideal circumstances where firms rely on public site research capabilities and do not specify client holdings, we look for intuitive access, such as the ability to remain logged in while using public resources. A total of 12 Annuity Monitor firms are reviewed.

Specifically, this report focuses on the following criteria for performance centers:

  • Location
  • Performance data
  • Benchmarking capabilities
  • Additional resources

Three leaders in this report provide exemplary performance centers with comprehensive capabilities that allow clients to adequately evaluate their subaccounts and benchmark them against other funds. All three firms provide filtering, sorting and exporting options, making it easy to manage and retrieve information. Two of them also use interactive graphs to display performance data.

When examining the performance data offered, we reported that all 12 firms provide incremental performance returns and ten provide daily pricing information on their performance centers. Of these firms, filter and sorting options are offered by nine and 10 firms, respectively. With the ability to filter and sort performance data, clients can better manage information.

Overall, we hope to see more firms add capabilities and content tailored for clients on the private site. Most covered firms offer clients access to resourceful performance centers; however, few of them take the extra step of tailoring it for clients. A few firms offer benchmark capabilities on their performance centers and even fewer highlight clients’ invested funds. Due to this, our grades reflect a need for improvement on private site performance centers.

Additional key findings include:

  • Three firms can filter performance data by invested funds.
  • Six firms use graphs to display performance data.
  • Ten firms make subaccount profiles or fact sheets accessible from their performance tables.
  • One firm offers a multimedia tutorial of its performance center’s capabilities.