Around the Industry: First Eagle Investment Management

by on Oct 02, 2013

CI’s Around the Industry series reviews public websites and digital resources offered by leading financial services firms that fall outside of our Monitor Services coverage groups. To access the full archive of Around the Industry reviews, click here.

First Eagle Investment Management can trace its history back to 1800’s Berlin, where it joined a buddingfirst_eagle_investment_management_logo financial industry to catalyze early Germany’s industrial development. The firm moved its operations to the United States in 1937, and, headquartered in New York City, now manages around $81 billion and is largely owned by its owners and staff. The firm offers sites for financial advisors, institutional investors, and consultants, but this review will focus on the firm’s individual investor website.

Homepage
Last month, the firm announced that it would launch a newly revamped site, and the new site fully delivers on that promise. First Eagle’s homepage makes a bold first impression offering a strong design that is both clean and functional. A good example is the site’s large flyout menus, which appear across the width of the page and provide ample space for the sub-menu options. The homepage body features a short recap of the firm’s history and ownership model as well as four columns exploring fund performance, news, commentaries and offering a link to client site account access.

First Eagle Homepage
First Eagle Homepage
 

Main Navigation Flyout Menus
Main Navigation Flyout Menus
Fund Profiles
First Eagle’s fund profiles are relatively strong compared to the competition as they leverage the site’s new complexity of design to offer a high quality fund research experience. The profiles pages feature performance graphs, pie charts and various tables and graphics, and almost every element includes mouse-over callout boxes or pop-up windows offering additional information. Some data can also be viewed as a table or as a chart by toggling between the two options.

First Eagle Fund Profile Page (Truncated)
First Eagle Fund Profile Page (Truncated)

Mobile Usability

Although the new First Eagle site does not make use of responsive web design and lacks a mobile-specific version of its content, the site actually works quite well on tablet devices. We tested the site on an iPad 2 and found that the webpages scale to fit the tablet screen – although without rearranging content as a responsive site would. The site also features large images and links for relatively smooth touch navigation. The fund profiles’ performance charts are noteworthy as they work perfectly on a tablet, where with many other firms these tools are inoperable on certain mobile operating systems – mostly because they use Adobe Flash. Users may run into some trouble with the mouseover-enabled callout boxes on various pieces of content – touch controls are an imperfect substitute for a traditional mouse in some cases. Therefore, although it is still a barrier to mobile usability, it should not be seen as a mark against First Eagle’s site in particular.

Many financial services firms have already taken steps to optimize their websites for tablet use. To learn more, download Corporate Insight’s latest study – Tablet-Friendly Web Design: Best Practices for Financial Services.

Closing Thoughts

First Eagle’s newly redesigned site is a great value add for the firm, certainly deserving of more coverage than this short article can afford. In addition to the strong homepage design and fund profiles, each making full use of the site’s new visual capabilities, the remaining site content is engaging and informative. Considering these strengths as well as it’s adequate mobile performance, First Eagle ranks among the best websites reviewed in our Around the Industry series.