FUSE In The News

Five Fundster Bigwigs Talk About Advisors

Since these professionals have become essentially the gatekeepers to pretty much everybody, firms are devoting lots of resources to learn how FAs think, like buying research from the likes of FUSE and Penton on the subject.

Article Published on March 6, 2013

Scrutiny of Distribution Fees to Put Pressure on Sales Execs

The problem for managers is that the answer is not always clear-cut, even to the manager. Disparity in rates paid to different distributors may not be a problem, since the scale and quality of services each delivers to end clients may vary, based on their size, systems and other factors, says Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research, a strategic consultancy in Boston.

Article Published on March 5, 2013

Dreyfus Top Sales Exec Departs As Firm ‘Dechannelizes’

“The distribution team Jon Baum put together certainly seemed to be working, as Dreyfus had begun to emerge from an extended period of relative obscurity having strung together a few years of positive net sales,“Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network, writes in an e-mail response to questions.

Article Published on February 28, 2013

Want to Know More About How Advisors Think?

A partnership between FUSE Research Network and Penton’s WealthManagement.com has been forged to provide asset managers with these vital clues for competitiveness.

Article Published on February 27, 2013

Delaware Bulks Up Internal Sales Desk With Hiring Spree

Almost half of mutual fund firms plan to add muscle to their wholesaling arm this year, according to Fuse Research Network’s benchmark research on distribution. 

In fact, 48% of firms plan to add to their internal staff and 40% of firms plan to add to their field wholesale staff, according to Fuse. Fuse conducted an online survey of distribution staff at 25 firms and interviewed distribution heads at these companies last summer.

Article Published on February 21, 2013

Lawsuit Shines a Harsh Light on Subadvisory Fund Fees

Economies of scale could partly explain the gap between the fees. Vanguard's huge size allows it to negotiate "a far better price when hiring money managers than anyone else," said T. Neil Bathon of Fuse Research Network. Kasilag’s lawyers argue that the fee disparity reveals that Hartford’s subadvisory fee wasn’t a product of successful “arm’s-length bargaining” with Wellington as the Gartenberg standard requires. 

Article Published on February 21, 2013

Advisors’ Biggest Gripe: Untargeted Marketing

Among firms with more than $100 billion in assets under management, 65% have staff dedicated to CRM and database systems to support sales and marketing firms, according to a report produced by a partnership between SwanDog and Fuse Research Network in 2012.

Article Published on February 13, 2013

No Replacement for Departed Eaton Vance CMO

The broader reach of marketing departments within the fund industry is one of the 10 trends identified by Fuse Research Network for 2013.

Article Published on February 5, 2013

Pioneer Consolidates Funds to Trim Costs

“If the fund hasn’t reached critical scale … and didn’t perform up to expectations, it is sound business practice to eliminate [it],” says Michael Evans, director of Research at Fuse Research Network. “Having small funds can certainly impact the profitability of a firm.”

Article Published on January 28, 2013

Janus, BlackRock Roll Out Alts Funds

The growth of retail alternatives strategies is one of the main industry trends for 2013, according to Fuse Research Network.

Article Published on January 25, 2013

Hiring Picks Up as Key Accounts Role Evolves

In fact, in a survey of roughly two dozen fund firms conducted last fall, Fuse Research Network found that more than 40% plan to tack on more national accounts team members in the coming months, as reported.

Article Published on January 22, 2013

Firms to Add Sales Staff, Segment Clients and Focus on Alts

The projection is one of 10 trends identified by Fuse Research Network. With the flows being projected by the firm, 2013 stands to be the second consecutive year of solid industry net sales.

Article Published on January 17, 2013

FUSE Tries to Predict 2013

FUSE Research Network, though, gives it a go in predicting 10 trends to look for in the mutual fund industry in 2013.

Article Published on January 17, 2013

The Year of the Shrinking A-Share…and Other Predictions

In the coming year, fee pressure from distributors will make the calculus behind share class offerings even more complex, more shops will staff up their key accounts teams, and rep-as-portfolio manager programs will continue to swell. 

Those are among some of the forecasts from Fuse Research affecting key account executives. The firm has unveiled its list of 10 industry trends to watch in 2013. 

Article Published on January 15, 2013

Key to Growth in 2013: Efficient Distribution

“Firms are looking to make sure that they are running as efficiently as possible and streamlining their operations,” says Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network.

Article Published on December 27, 2012

Spate of Homegrown Execs Emerge in 2012

“There is good reason to be more sensitive to try to promote from within,” says Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network. “If you don’t show that you are going to, you are going to lose people.

Article Published on December 26, 2012

FUSE Finds Layoffs are Down

FUSE Research announced the publishing of its 2012 comprehensive product management and development benchmark of the asset management industry.

Article Published on December 20, 2012

Morgan Stanley Hits Fund Families With New Fee Hike

Companies can add new share classes to suit certain types of distributor needs, but that exercise is costly. Simply refusing to sign is another option, but asset managers risk being shut out of conferences or getting access to data. “The firms that have the clout may be able to do that,” says Neil Bathon, founder of strategic consultancy Fuse Research Network. But increased adoption of boutique managers for niche strategies and alternatives has eroded some of the power the larger managers once wielded, he says.

Article Published on December 18, 2012

Firms Should Keep an Eye on Aging Funds: Study

In the aggregate, mutual funds tend to bleed assets on or after their tenth anniversary, according to Fuse Research Network. Funds launched since 2000 reached their peak in terms of sales between their first and sixth years. After that, between years seven and nine, funds saw their flows taper off.

Article Published on December 7, 2012

Cost Control Contributes to Firms’ Q3 Profit Growth

“There are areas within fixed income that can attract higher fees than others, but in the aggregate equity products have higher revenue than fixed income is going to have,” says Mike Evans, president of Fuse Research Network.

Article Published on December 4, 2012

Multi-Asset Funds Take More Teamwork: Managers

Asset managers must be careful not to reach far beyond their investment teams’ expertise, but those that can effectively create products that draw from multiple investment specialties stand to win out. “There is no question that [distributors’] interest in those types of products has grown,” says Mike Evans, president of consultancy Fuse Research Network.

Article Published on December 4, 2012

Industry On Pace for Near-Record Year of Growth

The bulk of flows go to a limited group of firms and products, Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network, writes in an e-mail response to questions.

Article Published on November 26, 2012

Russell Goes All In-House for New Retail Fund

The fund is managed by the same four-person team that has controlled the proprietary strategy Russell has offered its institutional clients since 2010. That signifies the ever-blurring lines between institutional and retail markets, says Sam Campbell, director of research at Fuse Research Network.

Article Published on November 20, 2012

TDFs Lead Growth in Target Portfolios

Growth in target-date funds is expected to increase 21% between the end of 2011 and 2016, a study conducted by BrightScope with Fuse Research Network, an asset management research and consulting firm, found. Market share in defined contribution plans should increase from 76% in 2011 to 80% in 2016.

Article Published on November 12, 2012

Firms Fine-Tune Marketing Strategies: Study

The attempt to optimize marketing resources is one of the trends identified in a recently released study based on a survey of 29 chief marketing officers or directors of marketing by SwanDog Marketing and Fuse Research Network between March and May. The study also discusses trends in staffing for marketing departments, investment allocation and the use of value-added programs, Web marketing and social media.

Article Published on November 6, 2012

Hybrid Wholesalers in Demand: Study

These professionals, who are called hybrids because they take on duties of both external and internal wholesalers, still make up only a small part of the industry’s sales force. In fact, only about 40% of asset managers employ hybrid wholesalers, according to a recent survey by Fuse Research Network. Fuse surveyed distribution staff at 25 firms across the industry and interviewed sales heads at these firms between June and September.

FUSE Talks Wholesaler Pay

Neil Bathon’s research firm latest report is connected to an issue all wholesalers should be interested in: how they get paid.

According to a FUSE Research Network report published this week, around 41 percent of surveyed firms have a net sales commission component as part of their compensation structure for wholesalers.

Article Published on November 2, 2012

With Redemptions Up, Metrics for Wholesaler Pay in Flux

In fact, 41% of firms surveyed by Fuse Research Network have incorporated net sales into the set of drivers of wholesaler compensation this year. In partnership with Lisa Cohen, CEO of Momentum Partners, Fuse conducted an online survey of distribution staff at 25 firms that represent different segments of the market and interviewed distribution heads at the companies. The surveys and interviews were conducted between June and September.

Article Published on October 26, 2012

New Oppenheimer Fund Exploits SteelPath Acquisition

The product type is appealing to advisors looking for an easy way to fill an alternatives sleeve in a portfolio. “If you’re putting alternatives into your portfolio, unless the portfolio is very big, it’s potentially hard to get the diversity across strategies. For a lot of folks it’s simply easier to add in a single product that covers multiple strategies,” says Sam Campbell, director of research at Fuse Research Network.

Article Published on October 15, 2012

Alts Take Center Stage at Industry Forum

“Liquid alternatives is the best place for us to be as a firm,” Mark Casady, CEO of LPL said during an interview with Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network, at the conference. “I think the space will only grow but it is important to understand it is a small space.”

Article Published on October 15, 2012

Legg Mason hires Korn/Ferry to run CEO search

Other candidates to run Legg Mason might be Sallie Krawcheck, the onetime head of Bank of America's Global Wealth and Investment Management unit, or Peter Cieszko, an executive at Kansas City asset manager American Century Investments who previously worked at Legg Mason, said Neil Bathon, managing partner of FUSE Research Network, a Boston-area fund consulting company.

Article Published on September 27, 2012

HighTower Revises Business Model Blueprint for Growth

As of May, HighTower has over $10 billion in discretionary AUM, which puts the firm in the top five RIA firms, according to Sam Campbell, director of research at Fuse Research. HighTower works with investment research providers Envestnet and CAIS and custodians Schwab, Fidelity, J.P. Morgan and Pershing, according to Campbell. 

Article Published on September 25, 2012

Alternatives merge into retail mainstream

The benefits of M&A go far beyond plugging gaps in line-ups, however. “Some of these firms have the investment capabilities in-house, but one of the most important factors the professional buyers are looking at is the reputation and history of running these strategies,” says Sam Campbell, director of research at Fuse Research Network.

Article Published on September 21, 2012

Is Fidelity Building an ETF Empire in the Rockies?

“There’s no doubt Fidelity is a major player in the sector fund business, and sector funds make perfect sense for ETFs,” says Sam Campbell, director of research at Fuse Research Network. He says he believes any efforts Fidelity makes in the sector ETF space would first be focused on its internal client base of RIAs that custody with the firm or possibly its
Pyramis Global Advisors unit.

Article Published on September 21, 2012

Legg Looks for New CEO to Tackle Old Challenges

“My view is that Mark Fetting has done [as good a] job as anyone could have done,” says Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network. “He operated under incredibly difficult circumstances.”

Article Published on September 12, 2012

B-Ds Tell Managers to Foot the Due Diligence Bill

Although the practice may not be common now, asset managers should expect due diligence fees to become more standard in coming years, says Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network.

Article Published on August 28, 2012

Nuveen Poaches Forward’s Head of Distribution

“Jeff’s Cusack background, experience and connections make this a major win for Nuveen,” Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network, writes in an e-mail response to questions.

Article Published on August 21, 2012

Columbia Reveals Big Plans for ETF Business

Track records are important to gaining interest and sales in active ETFs, much like mutual funds. Having the ability to talk about a portfolio manager’s expertise and history in managing a particular strategy in a mutual fund may give Columbia an advantage over other active ETFs that are using completely new strategies, says Mike Evans, president of Fuse Research Network.

Article Published on August 20, 2012

In split from SocGen, TCW's fortunes seen set to rise 

Unlike Pimco, TCW has a "strong line" of equity funds as well as fixed income, said Neil Bathon, managing director at Fuse Research, a Boston-based fund marketing consultant.

Article Published on August 10, 2012

Baird: Bar for Active Managers Keeps Getting Higher 

The volatility that has characterized the markets since 2008 has meant greater demand for funds with more flexible mandates industry-wide, says Michael Evans, president of Fuse Research Network. “There is still demand for style-specific products, but that demand is waning,” he says. 

Article Published on August 7, 2012

OppenheimerFunds Buys SteelPath, Expands Alts Lineup

As more firms look to boost their alternative asset class or strategy product lines, acquisitions could be one way to bring in some incremental capabilities, says Sam Campbell, director of research at Fuse Research Network. “It’s a matter of firms looking at what their existing capabilities are and where and how they want to participate in this growth,” he says. “I do think you’ll see firms looking at acquisitions going forward.”

Article Published on July 18, 2012

Ignites - Mainstay Cracks Alts Market With Fund Adoption

Sam Campbell, director of research at Fuse Research Network, says MainStay will need to bring the fees down on the Marketfield Fund in order to ensure good distribution. 

Article Published on July 2, 2012

Ignites - Eaton Vance Buys Big Stake in Global Equities Manager

Having those capabilities is key for asset managers who are positioning themselves on their scale and breadth of investment capabilities rather than any particular niche, says Sam Campbell, director of research at Fuse Research Network. 

Article Published on June 19, 2012

Ignites - MFS Revamps Brand to Convey Global Reach

“MFS is one of the oldest investment firms,” says Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network. “I would try to maintain a tighter link to the past.” 

Article Published on June 19, 2012

Deutsche Unites Asset Management, Private Client Groups

Closer communication between advisors and the asset management group’s investment teams will not necessarily translate into the adoption of the proprietary funds and other products Deutsche’s asset management unit develops, says Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network. “There has always been a reluctance of the private client group [of any distributor] to welcome the proprietary asset management unit,” he says.

Article Published on June 12, 2012

Managed Account Assets Surge 9.3% in Q1

Asset managers can work with distributors to thwart the “hypersensitivity to volatility and downside protection,” investors believe, says Mike Evans, president of Fuse Research. “Expertise that can help with portfolio construction” and developing and integrating “newer, sophisticated” products that protect against downside risk are ways product manufacturers can partner with firms, says Evans.

Distributors are hungry for materials that they can share with investors, strategies that protect against risk, and a strong sales story, says Evans.

Article Published on May 29, 2012

Ignites - DoubleLine Cracks Top Five for Q1 Flows

DoubleLine is also benefiting from having secured a relatively favorable outcome from the highly publicized legal feud between Gundlach and his old firm, says Sam Campbell, director of research at Fuse-Research Network.

Article Published on May 9, 2012

Hartford Splits with 'Dr. Bob'

“There is certainly a legitimate issue,” says Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network. While Froehlich, who often appears on television and in other media outlets, has a strong advisor following, “he’s an investment strategist, but all of the investments are being done at Wellington. How does he stay in synch with them?”

Article Published on April 24, 2012

Ignites - Rise of Indexing Helps Sink Expense Ratios

"Active managers have to have tangible differentiators that can be communicated to advisors and home offices to justify why funds are going to be so much more expensive than the norm,” says Mike Evans, president at Fuse Research Network.  

Article Published on April 24, 2012

Ignites - Firms Poised to Convert Loyalty Into Assets: Report

“When it comes to reallocating out of traditional asset classes like equities, being there in another capacity makes it easier for you to have that opening conversation, but that’s the extent of it. Then it’s up to you to articulate your benefit, and it becomes a strategy-by-strategy evaluation by an advisor,” says Sam Campbell, director of research at Fuse Research Network. 

Articled Published on April 16, 2012

Ignites - Neuberger Boosts Wirehouse, Regional B-D Sales Force

“Neuberger Berman is fighting above its weight class, given the competitors it has surpassed,” Bathon says. 

Article Published on April 11, 2012

UMA Assets Surge as Advisors Seek Flexibility

“There’s no question that key accounts is going to be hugely influential and important to understanding the dynamics of the different platforms, obtaining access to the different platforms and driving business from the top-down from those relationships,” says Michael Evans, president of Fuse Research Network. 

Article Published on April 10, 2012

Ignites - USAA Targets Third-Party Sales With New Hire

“ Most recently he served as an independent consultant and co-authored white papers with Money Management Institute and Fuse Research Network. ”

Article Published on April 10, 2012

Ignites - UBS Slaps Funds With Huge Fee Hikes

“The longevity of the assets is falling way, way off,” says Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network.

Model portfolios created by home offices determine the destination of a good chunk of assets. The turnover of these models can cause sudden and sizable redemption notices with damaging consequences for fund manufacturers, Bathon says. “The portfolio managers have to figure how to handle that redemption,” he says. “They have to sell off securities that they probably didn’t want to in order to meet the redemption request.”

Article Published on March 23, 2012

Ignites - Dreyfus Names Head of Broker-Dealer Distribution

“ Fuse Research Network estimates that the direct and indirect influence of research teams at broker-dealers accounts for 50% of industry sales. ”

Article Published on March 20, 2012

Ignites - What March Madness Says About the Modern Workplace

“ Many fund firms are moving toward more of a 24/7 work culture and away from a 9-to-5 one, says Mike Evans, president of Fuse Research Network. ”

Article Published on March 19, 2012

Pioneer "Farming and Hunting" at Home Offices 

Pioneer’s decision to invest in its growth was a necessary step for the firm, says Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network. “They were operating on a shoestring relative to other firms of their size for the last couple of years,” says Bathon. 

Article Published on March 6, 2012

HighTower in High Growth Mode

“I don’t think HighTower is looking to impose themselves in terms of the end client,” says Sam Campbell, director of research at Fuse Research Network. “The end client is looking at the advisor as their relationship, not HighTower. I think that distinction eliminates some of the concerns around a really consistent delivery of results or experience from the home office level,” Campbell says. 

Article Published on March 13, 2012

Ignites - BlackRock Launches Massive Ad Campaign

“This helps investors and other kinds of industry folks look at them as a consolidated organization and what they can bring to bear as a single entity,” says Sam Campbell, director of research at Fuse Research Network. “Not too long ago you looked at them as BlackRock or iShares. This [effort] positions them as a single entity with a broad set of resources.”

Article Published on March 2, 2012

Ignites - New Ads Showcase Fidelity’s Investment Management

The reliance on global themes can effectively build more brand equity for Fidelity, consultants say. “The most effective marketing and thought leadership efforts oftentimes don’t have a direct tie-in,” says Mike Evans, president at Fuse Research Network. “They illustrate the kind of intellectual capital and the strengths inherent to the organization with a modest tie-in.”

Article Published on February 27, 2012

Top Sales Exec Departs Fidelity

"Trying to do more with less is a common theme these days," says Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network.

Article Published on February 8, 2012

Ignites - Allianz Names New Retail Distribution Head

“I definitely think that getting out from under the shadow of Pimco will serve them,” says Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network.

Article Published on February 3, 2012

Ignites - Firms Slow to Integrate Digital Marketing: Survey

SwanDog Marketing, for its part, found that asset managers spend a significant amount on marketing collateral. SwanDog surveyed asset managers for a benchmark study it conducted in partnership with FUSE Research Network last year.

Article Published on January 30, 2012

Pimco Total Return ETF may not track mutual fund

Many investors were burned by derivatives like credit default swaps and mortgage-backed securities during the financial crisis, said Sam Campbell, director of research at mutual fund research and consulting shop Fuse Research Network.

Some fund management research teams "that use the Total Return Fund ... (say) they have no idea what they are holding because of its use of derivatives," said Sam Campbell, an analyst with FUSE Research Network.

Article Published on January 27, 2012

Ignites - Putnam Expands Advisor-Focused DC Sales Team

Neil Bathon, founder of Fuse Research Network, says Putnam took the lead in establishing itself as a leading player in transparency, and that this is one key

Article Published on January 26, 2012

Analysis: Resisting change, American Funds faces more losses

... performance began to suffer just as many advisers were evaluating their fund lineups as part of that change, said Neil Bathon, a partner in mutual fund research and consulting company FUSE Research Network LLC.

More fee-based advisers have also started using the investment models of the brokerage firms they work for. Those tend to include very precise strategies. "American Funds doesn't work well in those models" because its funds are large and diverse, Bathon said.

Article Published on January 19, 2012

New ETF players find ways to crack the US market

Several new entrants to the exchange traded fund space in 2011 were able to crack the concentrated market and find early sales successes.
“Unless someone brings in something that is unique from a product perspective or has a significant brand and distribution infrastructure already in place, it’s incredibly difficult to get to a critical scale because there are such strong and established players at the top,” says Mike Evans, president of FUSE Research Network.

Article Published on January 11, 2012

Model SMAs Cheapen Portfolios: Barclays Wealth

The Barclays Wealth approach to model portfolio SMAs may make sense at the margins – in the case where it’s a boutique firm using eclectic managers and harder-to-trade strategies – but doesn’t fit the broader retail high-net-worth market, says Neil Bathon, partner at FUSE Research Network. Many managers in recent years had resisted the shift to model portfolios, arguing that they added value through their trading skill, but they weren’t able to prove those claims to the brokerage sponsors – and ended up relenting, he says.

While it’s possible that high-end managers with specialized strategies may be able to prove their trading value, the case for streamlining delivery of SMAs through model portfolios and having the sponsors manage trading is compelling from a total cost and efficiency standpoint, Bathon says.

Barclays probably won’t gain notice from investors specifically because of its model portfolio stance, he adds. “I don’t think there is an edge there, because I don’t think the typical client looks past the advisor to understand the trading and operations in the background,” he says.

Article Published on January 11, 2012

FUSE's 12 Predictions for 2012

Mike Evans and his colleagues at FUSE Research Network list their predictions for 2012.

Article Published on January 10, 2012

Commonwealth Hunts for New Tactical Products

The trend toward tactical is also one that cuts across channels, as these types of products increasingly pop up on home-office platforms industry-wide, says Michael Evans, president of Fuse Research Network. “There is a real trend toward implementing [tactical strategies] on a broad level,” he says.

Article Published on January 10, 2012

Poll: 2012 Will Be Year of ETFs, Equities

FUSE Research Network founder Neil Bathon also says the coming year will bring the continued rise of passive investing. Institutional investors are already allocating about 30% of their assets to passive management, compared to 20% in the retail space, but institutional trends will carry over to the retail space, he says.

Article Published on December 30, 2011

Fidelity’s ETF push likely hinges on 401(k)s, brokerage

Fidelity’s internal distribution channels and access to ETF-hungry clients make its strategy and motivations different than any other large mutual fund manager looking at launching ETFs, says Michael Evans, president of FUSE Research Network.

The platform and ability to offer commission-free trading combined with its substantial index asset management resources “makes this kind of strategy sensible for Fidelity, where for most other active managers to compete with the likes of iShares and Vanguard and SSgA on the index side is next to impossible,” he says.

Article Published on December 12, 2011

Deutsche Bank Mulls Sale of U.S. Division

Changes at the firm over the last five years have helped unify and strengthen the DWS brand, says Neil Bathon, founder of FUSE Research Network. “They are inching closer and closer to syncing that brand up,” he says. As a result, the business would be more valuable to a potential buyer now, he says. Still, maintaining a strong U.S. retail presence is an important element to developing a truly global brand.

Article Published on November 23, 2011

Envestnet-Fund Architects Partnership Signals Larger Trend

Hiring a third-party model provider can also keep product providers out of trouble, he says. “If you use the home office model and you make a mistake, you probably made that mistake across all asset allocation models,” Campbell said. 

Article Published on November 17, 2011

Gatekeepers Offer Hints on How to Win Business

The increasing influence of the centralized research groups comes as advisors are faced with a surge of new products and increasingly complex client needs, said Neil Bathon, founder of FUSE Research Network. “The best use of the advisor is client acquisition, retention and service, not [asset] allocation,” said Bathon. Despite major upheaval among distributors in the wake of the financial crisis, about 50% of advisors across all channels surveyed by Fuse say they either “trust implicitly” or “think highly of” home office model portfolios.

Even if advisors are not using models built by their home office research team, those models — and others that advisors may find elsewhere — heavily influence the way that they construct their own clients’ portfolios, said Bathon. By 2015, Fuse projects that up to 80% of all fund sales will come through a pre-packaged model, whether directly or indirectly, he said.

Article Published on November 8, 2011

FRC Files for Bankruptcy, Sells Pieces to Strategic Insight

FRC, which was founded in 1987, has undergone several transitions, with management changes coming rapidly in recent years. In 1996, FRC founder Neil Bathon sold the firm to Boston Institutional Group, which in 2001 was acquired by Bisys. Bathon left FRC in 2006. In 2007, Citigroup Inc. bought Bisys. By 2008, Citigroup, facing its own financial turmoil, began cutting staff and selling subsidiaries.

In August 2008, FRC president Michael Evans left FRC to join Bathon in a new venture, FUSE Research Network. The following spring, FRC director of research Sam Campbell joined them.

Article Published on October 4, 2011

T. Rowe, TIAA-CREF, MFS & John Hancock Take Top Honors in NOVA Award Competition

Eight industry executives served as independent judges this year, generously giving of their time to very carefully assess the entries. They are: Neil Bathon, partner and founder of FUSE Research

Article published on October 3, 2011

American Funds Preps Its First Funds of Funds

“The recommendation I would make to my clients is that they should not be starting such funds now because the growth prospects are probably fairly limited. But for American Funds it could work, because its reputation is stellar and it has a strong following.” said Neil Bathon, partner at FUSE Research Network.

Putnam’s A/R Marketing Campaign Draws Criticism

Not every industry observer felt the specific labeling of the funds was an unwise move. Neil Bathon, partner at FUSE Research Network, is one consultant who favors Putnam’s approach. “I like the fact that they stuck their stake in the ground and set clear performance goals, regardless of whether they actually reached them. Too many fund managers use nebulous names to protect themselves from a little criticism

Wells Fargo Taps New Distribution Head

Article Published on September 29, 2011

Model-Only SMA Focus Steers Schroders

Schroders has company – and is bound to have more – among institutional market-focused asset managers tapping the model portfolio route to break into the SMA world, says Neil Bathon, partner at Fuse Research Network, a strategic consultancy.

“There’s a bit of an upswing – a willingness from asset managers that have focused on the institutional market,” Bathon says. “There’s an uptick in interest in this as their way for accessing retail.”

The impetus is both managers’ desire to avoid the onerous back office infrastructure required to run traditional SMAs, as well as the strong push by sponsors to grow their model strategy menus and expand that side of their businesses, he adds.

“Merrill and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney are being particularly aggressive on pushing this approach,” Bathon says.

Article Published on September 28, 2011

Putnam Scores Big Wins in Retirement Market

Article Published on September 14, 2011

S&P Takes Swipe at Active Managers

Article Published on August 26, 2011

Shifting Distribution Erodes Gatekeeper Power

Article Published on August 24, 2011

Eaton Vance Readies Volatility-Fighting Funds

Article Published on August 23, 2011

Alt Funds Face Make-or-Break Moment

Article Published on August 11, 2011

Firms Look to Ease ETF Launch Path

Article Published on July 25, 2011

How Are ETFs Changing Actively Managed Funds?

Article Published on July 20, 2011

Pace of New Fund Launches Gathers Steam in Q2

Article Published on July 11, 2011

Credit Suisse Exiting Equity Fund Biz

Article Published on July 6, 2011

Poll: Wirehouses, RIAs Will Generate Most Flows

Article Published on July 6, 2011

Goldman Guns for Retail Assets With Fee Cuts

Article Published on June 24, 2011

AMG Taps BlackRock Alum to Lead Global Distribution

Article Published on June 22, 2011

AllianceBernstein Down $4B in Subadvisor Work Since 2010

Article Published on June 17, 2011

Advisors: Jury’s Out on Morningstar’s New Ratings

Article Published on June 13, 2011

DWS Makes Play for Direct Shareholders

Article Published on June 8, 2011

Russell, Wells Woo Advisors With Biz-Building, Allocation Campaigns

Article Published on May 24, 2011

BlackRock Winnows 14 Funds From Lineup

Article Published on May 18, 2011

Columbia to Run Grail ETFs, Dump Subadvisors

Article Published on April 18, 2011

Huntington ETF Could Be Bellwether for Fund Conversion

Article Published on April 14, 2011

SSgA Preps Active ETFs

Article Published on April 5, 2011

Columbia Adds Funds, Launches Absolute-Return Campaign

Article Published on April 5, 2011

BlackRock starts to flex retail muscles

Article Published on March 27, 2011

Putnam Recycles Funds for New Retirement Income Suite

Article Published on March 22, 2011

T. Rowe Joins Emerging-Market Currency Rush

Article Published on March 18, 2011

Russell Grabs AllianceBernstein Vet to Grow DC Business

Article Published on March 10, 2011

Schwab Launches ETF Short List for Retail Investors

Article Published on March 10, 2011

New Hires Give Shape to Pimco’s Equity Strategy

Article Published on March 8, 2011

Putnam Shakes Up Fixed-Income Leadership

Article Published on March 1, 2011

Putnam Preps Absolute Return for VA Push

Article Published on February 23, 2011

BlackRock Trims Lineup, Axes Muni Funds

Article Published on February 23, 2011

Schwab changes fee structure on fund platform

Article Published on February 20, 2011

Facing Stigma, 130/30 Fund Drops Name, but Not Strategy

Article Published on February 4, 2011

Janus Preps New Guaranteed Fund

Article Published on February 1, 2011

Alger Axes Money Fund, Launches Emerging-Markets Fund

Article Published on January 24, 2011

American Funds is top fund family for Indie B-Ds

Article Published on January 23, 2011

Top Execs See Stronger Sales, New Alt Products in '11

Article Published on January 19, 2011

Two Indian Firms Set Sights on U.S. Fund Business

Article Published on January 10, 2011

Grail Goes on the Block: Sale or Liquidation Imminent

Article Published on January 7, 2011

ETFs, Equities Loom Large in 2011 Predictions

Article Published on January 6, 2011

DWS Shakes Up Executive Ranks

Article Published on December 30, 2010

Legg Mason Sheds Affiliate Through Buyout

Article Published on December 15, 2010

Barclays Rates SMAs for 'Personality' Traits

Article Published on December 13, 2010

Goldman Sach Readies 'Next-Eleven' Fund for 2011

Article Published on December 10, 2010

AXA Rosenberg Names New CEO, CIO in Reorg

Article Published on December 2, 2010

Research-Heavy Advisors Win Ultra Wealthy Biz

Article Published on November 29, 2010

As Pimco Evolves, It Loosens Ties Allianz Global

Article Published on November 24, 2010

AXA Rosenberg Loses CIO in Latest Blow

Article Published on November 22, 2010

Top 10 SMA Sponsors Pumps up Model Portfolios

Article Published on November 10, 2010

Long-Short Funds Dominate New Launches

Article Published on October 19, 2010

BofA Merrill Restructures Small Plan Business

Article Published on October 18, 2010

Eaton Vance Taps Richard Bernstein for Go-Anywhere Fund

Article Published on October 14, 2010

SMA Due Diligence Unit Zooms In on Manager Ops

Article Published on October 15, 2010

Putnam Preps New Fee Disclosure Initiative

Article Published on October 13, 2010

SMA Managers Win New Assets Through UMAs

Article Published on September 22, 2010

Changing Expectations Push Advisor Portfolio Changes

Article Published on August 31, 2010

Is Commission Based Business on the Wane?

Article Published on August 30, 2010

Brokerage Moves Whole SMA Book to UMAs

Article Published on August 5, 2010

Pimco Builds Equity Bench, Plans to Hire ‘Dozens’

Article Published on July 26, 2010

JPMorgan Names New US Institutional Leader

Article Published on July 12, 2010

State Street Responds to Securities-Lending Exodus

Article Published on July 8, 2010

Poll: Independent Channels Will Be Top Revenue Generators

Article Published on June 30, 2010

AllianceBernstein Preps Fee-Free Funds for Wrap Channel

Article Published on June 24, 2010

Poll: Downside Protection Is FAs' Top Concern

Article Published on June 9, 2010

Small Firm Lures Investors With Novel Promotion

Article Published on June 9, 2010

Bond Funds Headed for Bust: Fixed Income Strategists

Article Published on June 8, 2010

FUSE uses SySys Corporation and FundSysTM to create custom research tool

Article Published on May 25, 2010

Money Management Executive Announces 2010 Fund Operations Award Winners

Article Published on May 20, 2010

Putnam to put plan sponsor fees online

Article Published on May 18, 2010

Fund firms try to coax still-skittish clients to put cash to work

Article Published on May 16, 2010 

Vanguard Cuts Escalate Price War on Brokerage Front 

Article Published on May 5, 2010

SwanDog Looks to End ConFUSEion Over Asset Management Marketing 

Article published on April 30, 2010

Fund Families Need Better Pruning Process: Study

Article published on April 23, 2010

Poll: Mixed Predictions for Pimco's Equity Play  

Article published on April 21, 2010

Firms Linking Wholesaler Pay to Company Objectives  

Article published on April 14, 2010

More SMAs of ETFs Hit Advisory Market

Article published on April 1, 2010

MFS Taps Market Trends With Two New Funds  

Article published on March 16, 2010

Poll: Most Firms Have Rebounded From Market Low 

Article published on March 10, 2010

FundFire - What's a Priority for a Struggling Manager? 

Article published on February 22, 2010

Legg Nears Finish Line on Sales Overhaul 

Article published on February 22, 2010

T. Rowe Latest to Launch Infrastructure Fund 

Article published on February 12, 2010

Advisors, Mutual Funds Tops in Investor Trust: Survey

Article published on February 9, 2010

JPMorgan Creates New DC Investment Unit

Article published on February 8, 2010

ING Boosts Efforts to Win Small Plan Dollars

Article published on February 3, 2010

iShares Deal Catapults Fidelity onto ETF Stage 

Article published on February 3, 2010

Putnam’s New Tool Gives Fresh View on Retirement 

Article published on January 27, 2010

Vanguard Tops Fidelity in Investor Loyalty: Study

Article published on January 21, 2010

Fidelity Turns Ad Campaign to YouTube Masses

Article published on January 13, 2010

Changing Fortunes for Bond Funds, Alts 

Article published on January 8, 2010

Poll: Industry Skeptical About Green Shoots

Article published on January 7, 2010

2009 Worst Year for Fund Launches Since 1990 

Article published on December 29, 2009

Equity Funds Predicted to Draw Flows in 2010 

Article published on December 23, 2009

YourQ&A: What’s the Top Credential for a DCIO Sales Pro? 

Article published on December 16, 2009

On a quest for security


Article published on December 13, 2009

23. Neil Bathon 

Article published on November 24, 2009

Big Firms Planning to Add Staff in 2010: Survey 

Article published on November 18, 2009

Asset Managers are back in Hiring Mode 

Article published on November 18, 2009

Critic: Why Doesn't Vanguard Close Index Funds 

Article published on November 6, 2009

FUSE gains Momentum 

Article published on November 6, 2009

Your Q&A: Should Funds Prep for DC Plan Investment Regs?

Article Published November 3, 2009

Kinetics to Launch New Absolute-Return Fund

Article Published October 27, 2009

Fund inflows are two-edged sword


Article published on October 18, 2009

With Money Fund Waivers, Schwab Fee Revenues Drop 24%

Article Published October 16, 2009

Poll: Fund Industry Doubtful of Facebook's Benefits

Article Published October 14, 2009

Industry Pruning Giving Way to New Fund Launches

Article Published October 2, 2009

When it Comes to Branding, Don't Get Fooled Again

Article Published October 2, 2009

Legg Mason mulls active ETFs 

Article published on October 1, 2009

Asset Managers Start to Gear Up Product Development 

Article published on September 29, 2009

Fundsters Head Back to the Drawing Board 

Article published on September 29, 2009

Fixed-Income, ETFs Fuel Fastest-Growing Firms 

Article published on September 17, 2009

PIMCO and ProFunds Top FUSE's List of the Fastest Growing Fund Firms 

Article published on September 16, 2009

Alps Advisors Angling for Growth by Adoption 

Article published on September 9, 2009

Your Q&A: Funds Most Susceptible to Fee Hikes 

Article published on September 2, 2009

SunAmerica Pruning Fund Lineup 

Article published on August 28, 2009

Your Q&A: Will Pace of Fund Pruning Continue? 

Article published on August 25, 2009

Cuts Keeping Internal Wholesalers Chained to Desks 

Article published on August 19, 2009

Fund Ownership Trend Portends Tougher Customers 

Article published on July 29, 2009

Your Q&A: Can Funds Counterbalance Web Criticism

Article published on July 20, 2009

Overhauls Position Janus and Putnam for Sales

Article published on July 16, 2009

In Quest for Growth, MainStay Scoops Up Four Funds

Article published on July 14, 2009

Managers Must Prepare for Worse: Report

Article published on July 13, 2009

Flagging Faith in Advisors Offer Opportunity for Funds

Article published on July 8, 2009

Halderman retiring as chairman of Putnam

Article published on July 1, 2009

High-End Bank Moves $6B to Unified Accounts

Article published on June 9, 2009

Is Rally Giving Some Funds a Stay of Execution

Article published on May 28, 2009

Retail Money Fund Assets Move, Jump Shop

Article published on May 20, 2009

Your Q&A: How Costs Cut Affect Fund Research

Article published on May 19, 2009

CrucialClips FUNDfire - interview with Neil Bathon

Clients Value Wirehouse Approach
SMA Managers Cut Marketing
Managers Unprepared for Unified Acct

Ignites The Exchange: The Challenges of Product Rationalization


Schwab’s Fee Cuts Challenge Vanguard, Fidelity

Article published on May 6, 2009

FUSE Research Names Biz Development Head

Article published on April 20, 2009

FUSE Flips the Switch on its New Site

Article published on April 21, 2009

Active Portfolio Managers Suddenly High on Equities

Article published on April 6, 2009

A Variable Annuity Vet Joins Bathon

Article published on April 2, 2009

Morningstar Will Publish Monthly Fund Sales Data

Article published on March 26, 2009

In Sign of Times, ICI Steps Up Frequency of Data

Article published on January 29, 2009  

After Dismal '08, Net Inflows Predicted for '09

Article published on January 26, 2009

Raymond James Launches New Unified Accts

Article published on January 16, 2009 

Investors shun advisers for retirement planning

Article published on January 11, 2009  

Money Funds Buoy Goldman’s Asset Management Biz

Article published on December 17, 2008  

ING Builds Sales Team for Elite Advisors

Article published on November 24, 2008 

How the Rise of Mega-Banks Will Change Distribution

Article published on November 14, 2008 http://www.ignites.com/articles/20081114/rise_mega_banks_will_change_distribution

Hartford Announces Reorg, Appoints Retirement Head

Article published on November 7, 2008  

Subprime Winners: Firms With Greatest Asset Gains

Article published on October 31, 2008  

SMA Industry Looks to Reaffirm Core Beliefs

Article published on October 23, 2008  

Culture Clashes Could Cost Firms Millions

Article published on Oct 6, 2008 

Money Funds Buoy Goldman's Asset Management Biz

Article published on December 17, 2008  

How the Rise of Mega-Banks Will Change Distribution

Article published on November 14, 2008  

Hartford Announces Reorg, Appoints Retirement Head

Article published on November 7, 2008  

Subprime Winners: Firms With Greatest Asset Gains

Article published on October 31, 2008  

FRC founder launches financial consulting firm

New company poses competition to the research firm Article published on October 12, 2008  

FRC Alums Prep Retirement Income Study

Article published on October 08, 2008

FRC founder lights FUSE

Article published on October 02, 2008  

Putnam, State Street feel heat on money markets

Article published on September 19, 2008  

Brand, Benchmarks and B-Ds, Better Distributions in Three Easy Steps

Article published on September 03, 2008