NEW YORK - Familiar names fill the list of kasina LLC's listing of the top 10 websites for institutional investment managers and the top five financial intermediary websites.
The firms with the top institutional investment management sites are: Alliance Capital Management LP; Barclays Global Investors NA; Citigroup Asset Management; Credit Suisse Asset Management LLC; Fidelity Investments; J.P. Morgan Fleming Asset Management; Merrill Lynch Investment Managers; Morgan Stanley Investment Management; Putnam Investments In.; and Frank Russell Co. The sites were not ranked by overall score.
A full report on the study is due this fall.
The study began in July, said Steven Miyao, chief executive officer at kasina, a strategic consultant to money managers. The candidates for the study were pulled from the top 40 managers of worldwide institutional assets as listed in the May 14 issue of Pensions & Investments. Kasina ranked the firms in five categories: branding; content; online services; usability; and web technology.
Mr. Miyao said there were no big surprises in the list of the top 10 websites. Although the firms were not ranked by overall score, the top three sites in each of the five categories were ranked.
Three sites placed at the top of more than one category. Barclays ranked second in the usability, online services, and branding categories in kasina's study. (BGI placed third in the defined benefit category of the 2001 Pensions & Investments Best of the Web report, published June 25.) Credit Suisse was ranked third in the usability category and first in branding. Also, Citigroup ranked third in the online services and branding categories.
Topped one category
Morgan Stanley topped the online services category. Merrill Lynch and Frank Russell ranked first and third respectively in the content category, and neither firm placed in any others. Fidelity, J.P. Morgan Fleming and Putnam placed first, second and third in the web technology category, respectively.
Two firms placed in individual categories but didn't rank among the top 10 overall. INVESCO was first in the usability category, and Vanguard Group Inc. placed second in the content category.
Kasina's top five websites of financial intermediaries are: American Funds; Fidelity AdvisorXpress; John Hancock Funds; Oppenheimer Funds; and Putnam Investments. The 71 sites that were judged were scored on the same five categories as the money managers' sites. The sites were designed for retirement administrators.
In a separate report due out Sept. 17, Mr. Miyao said, "the intermediary websites that were evaluated for kasina's study only received 32% of the total possible points." Even some of the best intermediary websites are in need of improvements. Firms will have a difficult time selling their services without solid web capabilities, he said in an interview.
Mr. Miyao said the importance of a good web presence should not be underestimated: "Pension consultants are using the web more and more." In fact, the sites were judged on their capabilities for consulting to pension funds. However, Mr. Miyao said, few have that capability, even among the top 10.
"It's sort of odd," said Mr. Miyao, noting institutional clients can get less information via the web than retail clients.