Published on December 6, 2013 by Paul Alapat
Since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, buy-side firms have faced serious challenges to strengthening their marketing capabilities in the face of widespread cost-cutting initiatives. Additionally, nearly all new fund management mandates, even for retail clients, increasingly call for a competitive RFP to be filled in. This has placed enormous strains on in-house RFP teams, who earlier primarily serviced institutional RFPs alone.
Fortunately, many fund marketing support activities, including investor and performance factsheets; investment commentary; website development and content management; consultant database updates; RFI and RFP support; performance and client database management; interactive factsheet development; sales cheat sheets; and competitor market intelligence, can be delegated to offshore service providers located in geographies with access to cheaper labor. Furthermore, with the possible exception of institutional RFPs, several of the tasks listed above can be automated and the manual support component significantly reduced.
As some of the marketing support work is rules-based and repetitive, these can be outsourced to BPO, ITO, or KPO vendors. However, our experience and the feedback from our clients strongly indicate that investing in a KPO for such support ensures much richer payback over the longer term. The deeper domain knowledge and higher caliber of workers at a KPO ensure that many of the above activities are done with a better appreciation of context and greater sophistication. KPOs also allow the client’s marketing teams to reduce their involvement in training and supervision, and save precious middle management time. Moreover, firms such as ourselves have large technology teams that help automate repetitive tasks involved in these marketing functions, and deploy automated tools to supplement domain depth with process efficiency – often to a degree even clients are not able to with their onsite teams. No wonder then that fund marketing support has been one of the fasted growing offerings at our firm.
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About the Author
Paul manages the Quantitative Services division at Acuity Knowledge Partners. He has over 22 years of capital markets’ experience in both research and trading. Previously, Paul was Chief Economist Asia (ex-Japan) at Nomura, Regional Financial Economist at Lehman Brothers, and a visiting Professor of Finance at IIM, Bangalore.
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