Alexandria, Virginia – October 30, 2020: SunStar Strategic, a leading financial public relations and marketing firm, hosted a virtual conference for smaller mutual fund companies on October 20, 2020. The topic, Engaging Advisors and Attracting Investors, drew more than 150 registrants from fund companies, asset management firms and service providers.
Seven industry experts (bios) each presented 30-minute sessions on topics ranging from making your fund more competitive to marketing best practices to trends in platform distribution. SunStar has posted recordings, transcripts and slide decks to its website, all available to help financial industry professionals.
“This year’s conference far exceeded our expectations, particularly given the new virtual environment we are all embracing. We were very pleased with the caliber and breadth of firms who registered and participated,” said Kathryn Morrison, CEO & president of SunStar Strategic. The firm has hosted Small Funds Conferences regularly since 2011. “Zoom technology served us well, but we did miss the opportunity to have casual conversations and share a meal with our industry colleagues,” she added.
Warren Miller, CFA, Managing Director with ISS Market Intelligence, kicked off the event with “Thriving in Asset Management.” Miller unpacked his belief that there are five levers to becoming become more competitive as an asset manager. Considering them together along with the decision-making that you layer on top of it makes the all the difference in creating your competitive position.
Co-founder of Berkshire Global Advisors, R. Bruce Cameron, delivered a state-of-the-industry review focused on “Understanding M&A and Current Valuations.” His firm expects significant continued activity in the sector. An active market, Cameron anticipated that will not change in the very near term.
Hibre Teklemariam, VP and partner with SunStar Strategic, shared ideas for “Creating Content-Rich Websites.” Web Marketing Association’s recently awarded SunStar the 2020 Best Mutual Fund Website recognition for its work on the Mairs & Power site, an asset manager based in St. Paul, MN. Teklemariam highlighted features of the site.
During the pandemic, PR like so much of business has turned to digital. In her presentation, “Going Digital with PR,” Melissa Murphy, EVP and partner with SunStar, provided counsel on managing interviews in this new environment. She stressed the importance of pivoting to today’s reality, embracing the ability to share timely views based on what's happening and why your investment approach is relevant. Murphy encouraged managers to seek out the press and utilize its opportunity to assure investors during tumultuous times and provide perspective.
Social media plays a key role particularly as digital communication takes center stage. D. Bruce Johnston, founder of Two Dogs Social, educated the group on social media trends and provided extensive “how to” direction. He quoted recent research revealing that 55 percent of advisors say they leverage social media, primarily LinkedIn, and have grown clients and assets.
Blensley Point-du-Jour, VP at Discovery Data, shared best practices and trends in communicating with advisors by email and targeted advertising, more important than ever during the pandemic when face-to-face meetings are rare at best.
John Randall, Director of Operations and Distribution for Investment Company Institute (ICI), presented “Maximizing Trends in Platform Distribution.” In his role at ICI, he has found that the most pressing questions smaller asset managers ask are how do we get on a platform and why is it so difficult?
“Our attendees found the presentations to be very valuable,” said Morrison. “Since we talk with so many fund managers throughout the year, we find these conferences are a wonderful forum to catch up on what’s happening in the industry and share best practices.”
About SunStar Strategic
SunStar Strategic obtains exposure and generates awareness for their clients in the financial national online and traditional media. With effective marketing and PR strategies, boutique firms with good stories can become just as recognizable as major brands nationally, competing on par with them as authorities within their investing styles.
Since 1990, SunStar has designed and executed media relations and marketing communications strategies to deliver clients’ timely messages to the right audiences. The company is expert at articulating clients’ unique stories and proactively presenting them to the financial and business media as well as the investment community. SunStar’s services are designed to integrate with existing sales and marketing strategies (repeated word. Programs? Initiative?) to attract and retain customers and investors and build brands through structured news generation programs and smart marketing. More information is available at sunstarstrategic.com.