A new book on marketing money management services to pension executives trashes many common practices and assumptions of ambitious marketing pros in the industry.
"Marketing Institutional Money Management Services," published by Irwin Professional Publishing, Burr Ridge, Ill., is practically guaranteed a wide distribution among money managers because a plan sponsor is its author: Philip Halpern, chief investment officer at the $27 billion Washington State Investment Board, Olympia.
Mr. Halpern has unflattering comments about marketing approaches in the industry, claiming many marketers don't do their homework and don't adequately meet the needs of the plan sponsor.
The book offers a wealth of insight and information for marketing executives.
Mr. Halpern writes many money managers lack "responsiveness," which he says is "the most important hurdle that gets money manages into trouble, either during the search process or once hired."
He provides 16 "etiquette rules," including:
Do not bring "armies of people" to meetings; two people is the optimal number.
Avoid ostentatious behavior. Do not try to impress by being "well connected and industry wise."
Know and understand your audience. Avoid talking about politics and controversial issues. "As hard as it may be for money managers to believe, not everyone is a Republican and thinks poorly of Hillary Clinton."
He said most pension officials "can smell insincerity miles away. Principals of money management firms who communicate attitudes offensive to their target audience are dead meat."