Crispi Wagner & Co. Inc., a New York executive search firm, recently began offering money managers the service of filling out consultant questionnaires, and has signed on Fuji Bank and Trust Co., New York, as its first client, said Nicholas Crispi, president.
"We see an opportunity to do the questionnaire at considerably less cost and with a rapid turnaround," Mr. Crispi said. He declined to say specifically what Crispi Wagner will charge for the service.
Nancy E. Diggins, formerly a vice president with Fiduciary Management Associates, Chicago, joined the firm to coordinate the expansion. Ms. Diggins said Crispi Wagner will gather the information for the consultant questionnaire and then offer quarterly updates, specialized responses, and ongoing re-evaluation of a firm's investment program. Clients can pick which of the services they want, she said.
But some consultants question whether the niche Crispi Wagner is aiming for can be served profitably, given the amount of time and effort needed to fill out consultant questionnaires.
William D. Forsyth, a partner for Frontier Partners Inc., a Chicago-based consultant to money managers, said filling out consultant questionnaires is a "nitty-gritty" part of the business that, nonetheless, is "extremely important" to the success of a manager. If an outsider fills out the questionnaire, "you lose control" of that process, he said.
But that is where Mr. Crispi said his firm can help money managers - in defining their investment processes and communicating them to consultants. "Managers are overlooking an opportunity to present themselves to the consulting community," he said.