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Asset Owners

Greenwich: Asset owners relying more on social media for researching money managers

Institutional investors are increasingly preferring social media to more traditional media for connecting with individuals, engaging in group discussions and doing firm-specific research on asset managers, said the results of a new survey released by Greenwich Associates.

According to the survey, 68% of investors used social media to research asset management firms in 2018, up from 36% in the investment consulting firm's 2015 study. In addition, 63% of survey respondents said they used social media to connect with their peers, vs. 25% three years ago. Meanwhile, less than half of asset owners regularly read financial trade publications.

However, despite relying more on social media, investors still read long-form content, with 59% of respondents spending an average of 15 to 30 minutes reading a single piece of content.

The survey also revealed that 61% of investors engaged in group discussions over the course of the year, almost double from 32% in 2015.

Daniel J. Connell, managing director, market structure and technology at Greenwich and author of a report about the survey results, said in a phone interview that asset owners are "not just using social (media) as a one-way consumption of information but a transmitter as well."

"It shows how far social has come in such a short period of time," Mr. Connell added.

Other highlights from the survey show that institutional investors rank trust in the brand higher than even the ability to achieve high returns, with trust in the brand or company culture ranked first by 22% of respondents, compared with 21% who thought high returns were most important.

Greenwich Associates interviewed 277 institutional investors in North America, Europe and Asia between August and November 2018.