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Lessons from Lockdowns: Benchmark Survey Autumn 2021

Created in partnership with Ignites Research and The SME Forum.

About this Benchmark Survey


The pandemic-caused lockdowns of 2020-21 plunged the industry into a widespread experiment in remote work. This obviously changed some of the processes in the business, and accelerated the existing trend towards greater digital engagement. By exploring some of what changed during the lockdown period, we may be able to draw lessons for the future (or at least ask better questions going forward).

This report looks at the issue and explains two main findings:


1. Remote work didn’t necessarily reduce collaboration within asset managers but it has affected the nature of cooperation and communication


2. Data & analytics is having a greater influence on sales activities (and increasing the visibility of marketing departments)


This report is based on a survey fielded in September-October 2021 by SME Forum and Ignites Research, the research arm of Ignites news that produces original research aimed at helping asset managers strengthen their businesses. The survey of Forum focused on how the remote-work environment of 2020 and early 2021 affected external-facing interactions with clients & prospects and internal-facing collaboration between coworkers — mainly regarding managers’ Retail (advisor-sold) distribution.

We surveyed 26 asset managers advising or sub-advising roughly $7.7 trillion in mutual fund and ETF assets. Of the 26 survey respondents, 62% represent both Institutional and Retail operations, 27% represent primarily Retail operations, and 12% represent primarily Institutional operations.


Institutional Sales, Marketing & Data Benchmark Survey: 2021 Spring Forum is Available Exclusively in our Members Site

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