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Casey Quirk: Managers need to broaden institutional base to grow business

More managers across U.S., Europe plan to move to performance-based fee models

Money managers that work to serve new institutional clients could see $1.5 trillion in inflows through 2021, says new research by Casey Quirk, a practice of Deloitte Consulting.

The consultant warned that those choosing to focus instead on their legacy institutional offerings, deciding against enhancing sales and service models, will experience more than $770 billion in outflows over the same period.

The research covered 92 money managers across the U.S. and Europe at the end of last year. It found money managers must branch out to defined contribution, subadvisory, family offices and certain retail investors in order to attract new assets. They will likely need to alter sales structures and strategies to work effectively with what Casey Quirk terms “emerging buyer groups,” rather than taking incremental steps in differentiating offerings in a saturated and competitive environment.

Gross sales per sales representative dropped 31% on the institutional side of business between 2013 and 2015, found the research. The retail side of the business saw sales fall 20% per representative. However, these managers continued to increase spending on institutional distribution, with a 14% rise over that three-year period.

Those money managers looking to expand their European footprint said they will change the way they cover the region. The survey said 32% of respondents employ local salespeople in Europe, whereas others fly in and out from a U.K. base or use a hybrid of the two options. For the future, 47% expect to cover European markets from a local hub.

The research also found money managers are looking to increase margins amid substantial fee pressure by moving to performance-based models. In Europe, 35% of respondents use this fee model, and 47% said they expect to within the next five years. In the U.S., 33% use them now and 63% expect to by 2022.

“There seems to be hope that proactive and nimble changes today can mean emerging as a winner tomorrow,” said Jonathan Doolan, a principal with Casey Quirk, in a statement accompanying the research. “Longer-term success will likely require meaningfully different approaches to brand development, client segmentation and sales education supported by robust technology. Although these changes will require expense, firms should consider pursuing them strategically so they don’t break the bank as they reposition for growth.”

Casey Quirk also identified offering value-added services such as risk management, asset allocation or custom big-data analytics; differentiated strategies; becoming a corporate buyer, seller or independent specialist; and reallocating capital proactively as other elements for money managers to consider to grow their businesses.