Cogent Reports: Active Managers Here to Stay

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--()--Despite the growth of fee-based advisors and reported death of active management, new research shows a resurgence for particular active managers. This year, a handful of active managers rival low-fee providers known more for their passively managed investment strategies for advisors’ mutual fund dollars. These and other findings are from Advisor Brandscape®, a Cogent Reports™ study released by Market Strategies International.

American Funds, PIMCO and T. Rowe Price are three active managers gaining ground with fee-based advisors, having successfully weathered past downturns by maintaining a strong, consistent brand identity. American Funds earns the strongest associations of any provider with “is a company I trust,” “consistent performance” and “is a leader in equities.” PIMCO enjoys a strong advantage in “is a leader in fixed income.” While Vanguard remains the undisputed leader in “good value for the money,” American Funds and T. Rowe Price rank second and third, respectively, both having improved their ratings over the past two years.

“Asset managers that are known for particular asset classes have an opportunity to promote their expertise, but it’s about more than that,” said Meredith Lloyd Rice, a vice president at Market Strategies and author of the report. “The market leaders have been continuously communicating their strengths and reinforcing their brand identity with advisors for many years, and that, in turn, builds advisors’ trust.”

“Active managers that have historically been more focused on commissioned advisors must now work to strengthen relationships with fee-based producers,” said Linda York, a senior vice president at Market Strategies. “Firms that stay true to their value proposition will be most credible when making this transition.”


Top 10 Mutual Fund Companies in Overall Consideration among Fee-based Advisors*

2017 2016
1 1 American Funds
2 2 BlackRock Funds
3 4 Vanguard ▲‘16‘15
4 3 Franklin Templeton Funds
5 5 Fidelity Investments/Advisor Solutions
6 6 PIMCO Funds ▲‘16‘15
7 7 J.P. Morgan Funds
8 10 T. Rowe Price ▲‘15
9 9 OppenheimerFunds
10 8 MFS Investment Management
* 50%+ fee-based advisors with at least $25 million in AUM
▲= Significant increase in rating from stated year
Source: Market Strategies International. Cogent Reports™. Advisor Brandscape®. June 2017.

About Advisor Brandscape®

Cogent Reports conducted an online survey with 1,355 financial advisors from January to March of 2017. In order to qualify, respondents were required to have an active book of business of at least $5 million and offer investment advice or planning services to individual investors on a fee or transactional basis. Cogent Reports set quota targets and weighted the data to be representative of the overall advisor universe using the Discovery Data Financial Services Industry database as a sample source. Market Strategies will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

About Market Strategies International

Market Strategies International is a market research consultancy with deep expertise in financial services with practice areas serving wealth, banking, payments and insurance. We blend primary research with data from our syndicated, benchmarking and self-funded studies as well as Big Data to help our clients grow their businesses and brands. Market Strategies’ research specialties include brand, communications, CX, product development and segmentation.

Our syndicated products, known as Cogent Reports, are the wealth sector’s leading source for insight on the attitudes, opinions and behaviors of key investor populations, including advisors, plan sponsors and affluent and institutional investors. Founded in 1989, Market Strategies is one of the largest market research firms in the world, with offices in the US, Canada and China and additional industry expertise in consumer & retail, energy, healthcare, technology and telecommunications. Read Market Strategies’ blog at FreshMR, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Market Strategies International
Anne Denz, 617.715.7611

Release Summary

Despite the growth of fee-based advisors and reported death of active management, new research shows a resurgence for particular active managers.


Market Strategies International
Anne Denz, 617.715.7611