FolioDynamix Making Waves in Bank Trust Market


Fundfire featured an article yesterday about FolioDynamix adding a new client in the bank trust space.  They called me for comments on how the company has positioned themselves to increase bank trust market share and if their platform provides an opportunity for asset managers to sell more product.

The article is by Danielle Verbrigghe, who recently replaced Tom Stabile as the wealth management reporter for Fundfire.  I always enjoyed reading Tom’s work, talking to him at conferences and was glad to be able to contribute to a number of his pieces.  I wish him the best of luck on his new beat, alternative investments.

To quote the article:

FolioDynamix, which now works with bank clients representing $40 billion in assets, has augmented resources to address the channel over the past year and a half. In April the firm acquired GlobalBridge, a Minneapolis-based unified managed account provider. Last year FolioDynamix acquired Evansville, Ind.-based Access Partners, another bank and trust-focused turnkey platform.

“Those two acquisitions have really positioned them well to capture more market share in bank and trust,” says Craig Iskowitz, principal with Ezra Group, an East Brunswick, N.J.-based strategic consultant. GlobalBridge, which has a “strong” unified managed account (UMA) product, has helped FolioDynamix court banks, he says. The Access Partners deal has also helped the firm position itself as an expert in performance reporting for trusts, he says.

While acquisitions make good news, they don’t make good business sense if you can not leverage their strengths.  FolioDynamix has a rock-solid technology platform, which makes it easier for them to integrate the systems from the purchased firms.  Their platform is also completely modular, so clients can pick and choose which components they want to purchase.
The trigger for this story was a South Florida wealth management firm deciding to outsource part of their investment management process:
FolioDynamix announced it had signed a new trust client, Coral Gables Trust. FolioDynamix, which now works with more than 60 banks, will provide a technology platform, investment research, due diligence support and manager strategies for the Coral Gables, Fla.-based trust’s UMA program. Coral Gables Trust, which serves clients with $1 million to $30 million, will perform its own overlay management.

FolioDynamix has been improving their capabilities to service bank trust clients for a few years now.  As more banks adopt open architecture – bringing in third-party providers of investment platforms rather than developing them on their own – Folio is well-positioned to capture a lot of this increased demand for outsourcing.

Mrak notes more banks are looking to outsource platform construction, manager research and overlay management. As banks build up programs, many are also shifting away from proprietary products and looking to broaden their third-party SMA manager menus, Mrak says. This creates an opportunity for SMA managers, particularly for those that provide strategies in model format.

Asset managers should think about how they can leverage TAMP platforms to increase their distribution:

While getting on a platform like FolioDynamix can help managers gain access to banks and trusts, it can still be tricky to gain traction with such institutions, says Iskowitz of the Ezra Group.

“It’s definitely a way that you can reach a lot of bank trusts through a single platform, as long as you’ve got the product that they want,” he says. “Getting on a platform like FolioDynamix will help, but [managers] have some work to do on their own to differentiate themselves and make their options valuable for a bank trust.”

Banks often look for small- and mid-cap, international, fixed income and alternatives from third-party managers to complement core proprietary offerings, says Mrak.

I have written about ways for asset managers to break into sponsor platforms.  Knowledge is King.  Some of the keys to success are knowing your own products, becoming an expert on the sponsor’s platform and understanding the competitive landscape.  They must find ways to differentiate themselves and stand out from their competition.  (see Finding the Keys into Sponsor Platforms)

You can read the entire article on Fundfire’s website: Platform Plumps up SMA Menu, Crafts Models, Adds New Client

Related WM Today Content
6 Keys to Launching a Successful UMA Program
8 Great Distribution Lessons for Asset Managers
Beyond the Style Box: SMAs and Model Portfolios

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