Friday, June 29, 2007

Wealth Management Service Models Must Evolve as Needs of High Net Worth Individuals Grow Increasingly Complex, according to Merrill Lynch & CapGemini

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

PR for wealth managers working the aging parents angle

If you're a wealth manager with expertise in the challenges of caring for elderly parents, read the article below for a timely PR idea from Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound.

1. Aging Parents & You

USA Today and ABC News are devoting this week to exploring the
challenges of caring for elderly parents.

The newspaper kicked off the series yesterday with seven articles
devoted to the topic. You can read more about the series at

Last night, ABC's "World News with Charles Gibson" aired a story
on nursing home alternatives.

Are you Hounds thinking what I'm thinking?

How about piggybacking onto this series and pitching your own
stories related to coping with elderly parents? Since many
broadcasters "rip and read" stories from papers like USA Today,
they will be well aware of the series. So will newspapers in the
Gannett chain, the parent company of USA Today. The bloggers are
probably also discussing this series.

Here are ideas to get you started, based on the stories that will
be appearing in USA Today this week:

--Today, the newspaper features articles on how to balance work
demands with caregiving, and tips on negotiating with employers
for time off. How is your company helping employees with elderly
parents? Do you offer related perks that are part of a
recruitment and retention strategy?

--Tomorrow, the newspaper will report on navigating sibling
relationships when giving care, the rise of multigenerational
households, and how to avoid scams targeting your parents. The
scam angle, in particular, is worth piggybacking onto. If you
know of scams in your particular state, pitch the idea.

--On Thursday, USA Today will focus on the risks of long-term-
care insurance, how and whether to get a long-term-care policy,
and what to do when a parent has Alzheimer's or dementia.
Financial planners, insurance companies and experts in the
medical community can offer background and commentary on these

--Friday's installment will feature articles on planning ahead
for retirement and elder care, and how to spend down assets to
pay for care. Financial planners, retirement experts, authors,
speakers and others who can address these issues can pitch
story ideas.

--If you like the series, don't like it, or have your own two
cents to add, write a letter to the editor of USA Today. I'm
guessing they will be devoting a lot of space on their editorial
pages to readers' reactions to this series.

When pitching media in your own community, it's OK to mention the
USA Today series, and offer your own experiences as "the local

Reprinted from "The Publicity Hound's Tips of the Week," an ezine
featuring tips, tricks and tools for generating free publicity.
Subscribe at and receive by email
the handy list "89 Reasons to Send a News Release."

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U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman addresses BSAS

U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman addressed the Annual Meeting of the Boston Security Analysts Society on Monday, June 25.

In his speech, Bodman said "pretty much what he was supposed to say." Or at least that was the consensus at the table where I sat.

Things got more interesting during the Q&A.

China, said Bodman, ignores environmental and energy policy in favor of economic growth. The Chinese government's big fear is that if it loses economic growth, then it will not be able to maintain order in their society. There's tension because of the big gap between the rich and the poor.

Bodman predicted it'll take three years to break ground on new nuclear plants in the U.S. and it'll be 2015 before those new plants are in working order.

In answer to a question about the high cost of sugar in the U.S. despite Brazil's cheaply produced sugar, Bodman said that's why cellulosic ethanol is being pursued. In answer to this question and others, he said that he doesn't try to take on things -- such sugar subsidies -- that he can't change.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Designer Margaret Patterson: Producing Pitch Books Without Losing Your Mind, Part Two

Production Tips

Delegating Responsibility

Delegate pitch book production to one employee. A pinch hitter can help out, but only if your key production person is out sick. This saves time and helps maintain effective results even within tight deadlines.

File Management

An organized library of electronic files is a great beginning. It is also a valuable tool for controlling time sheets and preserving good vibes. A few basic steps:

1. Name your files so clearly that everyone knows what they are.

2. Use suffixes at the end of every document title (.doc=Word, .qxd=Quark, .idd=InDesign, .ppt=PowerPoint, etc.)

3. Organize files in electronic folders labeled by usage: fact sheets; drilling down to folders for each product; drilling down to a folder for each version you currently use, etc. Keep documents and relevant import files together in folders. This speeds up printing and minimizes hectic last minute production jitters.

4. Create archived image libraries for logos, charts and photos.

5. Always obtain a complete “menu” of files from consultants who create them… unformatted and formatted files for many uses.

6. Contract to own every file created by consultants you hire. Here’s what you need:

Compressed files… Multiplatform

JPEG files are for viewing continuous tone images on monitor. Photos and logos with blended or fading colors are good examples. GIF formatting can retain sharp images that have no blended or fading colors, ergo, having only solid colors and lines. Both formats contain just enough pixels to be clear on the monitor when saved at 72 DPI (dots per inch). Using these small files minimizes web site screen refresh time. JPEG and GIF color specs cannot be altered in the document into which they have been imported. What you import (place) is what you get.

Do not open and resave a JPEG and GIF file over and over again. Ever time you resave a compressed file it compresses again until, eventually, it is no longer sharp on screen.

Noncompressed Files

Tiff files are multiplatform, retain any color usage you can create and can often even accept new color assignments after being placed in your document. For good printing quality save them at 144 to 200 DPI, depending on the printing device you are using. Save them at much greater DPI if the output will be large like a poster.

EPS files are platform specific. Having higher resolution than JPEGs or GIFs they print well, but are too data-heavy for use on the web.

When in doubt give unformatted PhotoShop files (suffixed .psd) to your web master or graphics designer. These files can be used to create generate formats and DPI settings as needed.

No Fault “Insurance”

Formatting and/or printing problems can occur as documents are passed from workstation to workstation. I always enjoy working closely with in-house marketing and production people. We share ideas that help marketing tools print and link to sites with ease. Good ideas:

1. Give yourself and your consultant enough turnaround time to handle proofreading, editing and production.

2. Keep a cool head in emergencies. Solve production problems by retracing steps.

Input and questions are welcome. Your thoughts may show up in future articles, so let me know if I can quote you.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"Stocks Won’t Go Up Forever. Are You Prepared?"

This is a catchy title, which I found in an email from Financial Advisor magazine.

When you find a good title, consider using it in your communications. You can even adapt titles from the non-financial realm to grab your audience's attention.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"How to Avoid Green Marketing Myopia"

CFW's question about socially responsible investing (SRI) was on my mind when I read "How to Avoid Green Marketing Myopia," an article from

"Green marketing must satisfy two objectives: Improved environmental quality and customer satisfaction. Misjudging either or overemphasizing the former at the expense of the latter is what can be called 'green marketing myopia.'...To avoid green marketing myopia, marketers must fulfill consumer needs and interests beyond environmental requirements," say authors Jacquelyn A. Ottman, Edwin R. Stafford, and Cathy L. Hartman. In other words, you can't sell socially responsible investments solely on the grounds of being socially responsible. You've got to appeal to other consumer desires.

It would be nice if you could promise better or more cost-effective performance using SRI. Too bad that's not possible. How about promising convenience? Customization to client definition of SRI? Credible benefits to society?

Check out this article's "strategies for success" and let me know if it inspires new ideas for you.

Also, look at how Calvert is advertising its Global Alternative Energy Fund. It looks like you must have performance or the potential for it.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Creating Pitch Books Without Losing Your Mind: Design & Content Management Tips by Margaret Patterson

Below you'll find the first of three articles on "Creating Pitch Books Without Losing Your Mind" by Margaret Patterson.

Please ask questions of Margaret using the "Comments" feature at the bottom of this post. You can ask questions about topics other than pitch books.

Typically many employees provide input for a firm’s pitch book. To pull all that information together you need a good plan.

1. Delegate pitch book content management to one employee. That person will be the key contact for every employee and consultant who influences the pitch book.

2. A small approval committee, 3 to 5 people, should determine what content works best.

3. Give considerable attention to investment process but whittle it down to no more than five steps. Don’t over-explain. Let your graphics be a starting point for conversation.

4. Emphasizing investment professionals’ expertise gets new business. Don’t leave out the support they get from marketing, client service, operations and reporting. Finding inefficiencies in markets, sticking to disciplined investment processes and impressive client service are the marks of well-structured firms regardless of their size. An impressive organization chart carries a lot of weight with prospects.

5. Request senior management approval only after you have a complete draft that can be defended with valor. You need a concise mission statement supported by brief, punchy text and elegant graphics. 20 to 25 pages are enough. After all, people are pitching to people. Be a good listener and let your spoken story address a prospect’s unique concerns.

6. It’s a good idea to customize books if you clearly understand your prospect’s investment objectives. Customized pages can be inserted into your standard book.

7. Handouts are also valuable tools in a high courtship pitching process. Use fact sheets, company profile handouts and composite performance PDFs to provide more detailed information. Handouts also help you control who gets the information and when. Conversely, prospects will resort to taking phone calls and planning golf games if your pitch book is too long and intense.

I create a PowerPoint design system guide for each client to help them maintain consistent, effective messaging.

Input and questions are welcome. Your thoughts may show up in future articles, so let me know if I can quote you.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Introducing designer Margaret Patterson, a new guest on this blog

Margaret Patterson will be a guest on this blog starting later this week. Please ask her your questions about the design and production of investment and wealth management marketing materials. Her biographical information follows below.

Margaret Patterson Company is a Boston-based resource for financial services firms. She has created sales support tools and provided production management expertise to numerous institutional asset managers and consultants, mutual fund companies, bank corporations and wealth management advisors for 25 years.

Knowledgeable about financial products and services
Successful decision-by-committee teamwork with clients' approval committees
Seamless coordination with in-house marketing personnel
Knowledgeable of dynamics relevant to merger and acquisition
Associated with reputable presentation coaches, PR specialists, photographers, videographers, technical writers and web masters
Skilled with mainstream graphics and image enhancement software

Branding, cross selling and new business development
Identity Development Winner of several national design awards
Graphics Standards Guidelines
To facilitate consistent messaging and company branding throughout all marketing tools
Web Sites Content development and design
Pitch Books Discovery/content development/production planning
Performance and Product Fact Sheets
Quarterly updates or templates for in-house use
Firm Overviews and Manager Biographies
White Paper Templates Market commentaries, product education, etc.
Annual Meeting Packages
Announcements and attendee information
Pocket Folders and Report Covers

A few recent retail, high net worth and institutional clientele:
Eaton Vance Management Institutional Asset Management
Merganser Capital Management Institutional Asset Management, Fixed Income
New Century Portfolios Funds of Funds
Numeric Investors LLC
Institutional Asset Management, Quantitative
Pillar Financial Advisors Wealth Management Advisors
Standish Mellon Asset Management
Institutional Asset Management, Fixed Income
Wagonhound Investments, L.P.
Hedge Funds, Global

Contact Margaret by posting a comment on this blog. Or, if you're a potential client, call her at 617-971-0328

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