The problem

The finance world has a problem: fund documents are a pain to send and messy to receive.

Many fund providers distribute the latest factsheets, KIIDs and prospectuses using methods as rudimentary as creating an Outlook email – with no level of quality assurance checks or any way of tracking email activity. With today’s technology so easily accessible, this news was a bit disconcerting to us. So, to everyone out there manually sending out documents and painstakingly updating Excel sheets with their contacts’ fund choices, consider this an intervention.

Last year, StoneShot surveyed over 400 investment professionals to get a clear picture of today’s ever-changing communications landscape. In the UK, we found that 60% access fund documents and factsheets from a fund provider’s website and 48% visit a third party site to get them, but 66% would prefer to receive them via email. Across the pond, in the US, 80% access fund documents from a fund provider’s website, with 81% preferring to receive them via email.

The consensus clearly favours email distribution but delivering these updates successfully and seamlessly using only Outlook and Excel as tools requires a lot of time and effort from client services teams, time and effort that could be spent on more value-adding activities. It’s easy for teams to get bogged down with emailing dozens of updates to hundreds of contacts, and, with such a manual process, mistakes are bound to happen.

DDS

It’s not just time that’s an issue. We’ve heard from a number of client services managers who are concerned because they are unable to measure their teams’ effectiveness. Many are under pressure to report results to senior management but their current distribution methods don’t offer any insight into performance. They have no way of tracking if emails are actually received or how many contacts are opening and clicking on them. Without the ability to measure email activity, there is little opportunity to improve and impact sales.

On the opposite end, professional investors are receiving fund documents at erratic times and within multiple emails, forcing them to dedicate a lot of time to sorting through the many documents. This extra level of administration sounds all too familiar to pulling documents from a fund provider’s website and doesn’t provide much of an advantage. It’s fair to say the current distribution process is highly time-consuming and ineffective for both parties.

The solution

But do not despair! Alternatives do exist! Automated services are available that can send out thousands of emails in one go and improve processes and email quality. After some techy integration, platforms can pull updated documents into emails and automatically send these emails to contacts subscribed to specific funds. No more long Excel sheets or manual labor. Technology does it all for you. And, if you’re using an email platform, these communications will be tracked, from launch to open. It’s like a dream come true.

From the kind of milk to take with a coffee to the level of upgrades for a new car, we live in a society of choice. Document distribution shouldn’t be any different. According to our research, about half of investors prefer to receive fund documents as they are updated, while the other half prefer a monthly update. How can a client services team satisfy both groups? By offering a preference centre that provides the power to choose how, when, and what to receive, professional investors gain a customised experience that meets their specific needs, helps them stay organised, and improves their overall user experience.

We didn’t stop at identifying the problem. We built a solution too! If you’d like to find out more about how our Document Distribution System (DDS) can improve your workflows, shoot us an email at engage@stoneshot.com