Financial Research Corporation

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2012 Research Calendar

recent studies

recent studies


FRC is a research firm that has focused on the investment and asset management industry for more than 20 years. The Company provides investment professionals with unique and compelling data and analysis of industry trends and financial product performance. 

FRC's research studies and analysis, along with access to its analysts and subject matter experts, help executives and senior management to make better product, strategy and distribution decisions. One of the greatest values FRC provides its clients is an independent and unbiased view of the current competitive landscape and an assessment of future market opportunities.

At FRC, our people are focused on delivering the insights that will help you drive your business.


Asset Management Industry Market Sizing, 2012-2017

Serving as a time-tested staple in the industry, FRC's Asset Management Industry Market Sizing study assists investment management firms in understanding and building competitive strategies for each of the key distribution channels of the U.S. retail mutual fund market. Now in its 7th year, for the first-time, this study also explores mutual funds, ETFs, and other investment products within the institutional channel. FRC utilizes asset class and category breakdowns that incor¬porate both bottom-up and top-down views on a product-by-product basis. Offering the latest in macro-economic thinking, the study provides product and channel managers a view into the larger picture of projections for mutual fund sales and assets under management. FRC analyst commentary explaining the trends and busi¬ness activities shaping industry projections is presented, as is a cross-channel analysis of gross sales, redemptions, net sales, assets, and growth rates for each interme¬diary channel. This report is specifically designed to assist firms in evaluating and developing distribution channel strategies for near- and long-term success.

Asset Allocation in Lifecycle Funds

Lifecycle fund holdings have changed significantly over the past few years, from plain vanilla investments to the comprehen¬sive packaged products now offered by some managers. FRC's fourth lifecycle fund report reviews these changes, how they are impacting investment returns, and their effect on the saleability and longevity of lifecycle funds. Also answered in the report are the following questions: With performance chal¬lenges facing target-date funds, how will the new allocations play out in the marketplace? What percentage of the funds are really passive? What is the impact on bench¬mark selection? And what will the regula¬tory response be to the new risk-enhanced lifecycle fund? A comprehensive data set of asset allocation analysis accompanies the report, which will support product develop¬ment and marketing decisions.

Trends and Opportunities in the Sub-Advisory Marketplace

In this unprecedented report, FRC partners with Strategic Insight to examine the market size, top players, and key trends in the sub-advisory marketplace. The report analyzes the growth and total market size of sub-advised funds in both the open-end fund and variable annuity market. In addition, the report exam¬ines top firms from both the fund sponsor's and sub-advisor's perspectives, providing analysis on top asset classes, trends in single-managed and multi-managed funds, and historical mandate wins and losses. Key takeaways provide market participants with discerning and actionable information to support their sub-advisory initiatives.

'40-Act Alternative Funds in Diversified Portfolios: Trends in Usage, Portfolio Construction and Product Development

Mutual funds and ETFs which utilize hedge fund investment strategies have grown significantly over the past five years based on investor expectations for differentiated risk-returns and the potential diversification benefits they bring to investment portfolios. However, these strategies have sometimes shown a tendency toward high correlations with long-only funds during periods of height¬ened volatility in the investment markets. This trend has serious implications for inves¬tors and the growth of this new universe of funds.

For this groundbreaking study, FRC surveyed gatekeepers, advisors and consumers to determine the best practices and best markets for product providers in the '40 Act space. The study examines how ''40 Act alternatives are used today, with an emphasis on what product to develop, how advisors and investors should use alts, trends in alts, and successful ways to position alts products. Subscribers will also receive FRC's projections of industry growth, with scenarios based on different market assumptions.

529 Plans: Financial Advisor Support, Selection and Distribution Preferences

In this report, FRC examines how program managers and primary distributors can sell more 529 plans through financial advisors by analyzing their support, selection and distribution preferences. Assessing the disconnects between program managers and advisors, the report details ways that 529 product managers can add value for financial advisors in the broker-dealer and RIA channels. FRC will also review a number of topic areas as identified and designed by the 529 industry such as the most commonly used 529 portfolios and reasons why some advisors sell direct-sold plans. This report is based primarily on an expanded longitudinal analysis of advisor survey responses and the underlying data will be available for ad-hoc analysis as well. Key takeaways provide product providers, primary distributors, and broker/dealers with actionable, relevant, and insightful recommendations for increasing advisors' usage of 529 products.

529 Industry Analysis

In this report, FRC provides a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the college savings industry and key trends driving industry growth over the next five years. Three industry surveys focused on the industry from the perspective of financial advisors, inves¬tors, and product providers, and one-on-one interviews with senior executives provides the basis for a 360 degree analysis of the industry and a 529 savings plan market sizing forecast. Findings provide a reference tool for market participants to increase their aware¬ness of, stay ahead of, and help position their firm for the changing trends within the college savings marketplace.

FRC Announcement:

Sub-Advisory Mutual Fund Assets to Reach $2.2 Trillion by 2016

Boston, MA, September 16, 2011 – In spite of market volatility, demand for sub-advised mutual funds is expected to improve and assets are forecast to reach $2.2 trillion by 2016. This number represents an 11% CAGR from 2011 through 2016, according to industry data released by FRC at FRC Associates' (FRA's) 12th annual Sub-Advised Funds Forum in New York yesterday. Conference attendance included decision makers from the financial services industry organizations SEI Investments, AXA Equitable, Transamerica Retirement Services, and Prudential Financial, among others.

Kicking off the opening session, Lynette DeWitt, director of sub-advisory research at FRC, provided an overview of the state of the sub-advisory market, a snapshot of key findings from FRC's recent report Winning in the Sub-Advisory Business, and a review of FRC's 5-year growth projections for sub-advised funds. "In summation, we believe asset levels overall will grow, but the market has matured, so growth will keep pace with the broader mutual fund market — but not take more share. Our industry projections retain a 14% ratio of sub-advised assets to total mutual fund assets," said DeWitt. (more...)