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Fee-based advisors are one of the few advisor segments that is growing, which has led to a shift toward low-cost, passively managed investments. This shift is being felt across the industry, leading many to believe that active management as we know it is on its way out. However, the data in this year’s Advisor Brandscape® don’t fully support these findings, as low-fee providers known for their passively managed investments are not the only firms topping advisors’ consideration set. In fact, this year’s report shows a resurgence for particular active managers.
American Funds, PIMCO and T. Rowe Price are three active managers gaining ground with fee-based advisors, having successfully weathered downturns in the past 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.
As active managers turn their attention toward the growing ranks of fee-based producers, firms that stay true to their value proposition will be most credible when making this transition. As the data show, winning advisor consideration is about more than shifting product preferences. The market leaders have been continuously communicating their strengths and reinforcing their brand identity with advisors for many years.
For more findings from Advisor Brandscape, download the webinar Advisors Adapting to the New Normal.