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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Which Fund Firms are Top of Mind Among Advisors?

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Despite being plagued by negative headlines in the last several months, American Funds [see profile] continues to command significant mindshare among advisors. That's one of the findings in the first of what will be a series of research reports from The RepThinkTank, a consulting alliance made of RegisteredRep magazine, FUSE Research Network, Momentum Partners and The Oechsli Institute.

Findings also suggest that MFS [see profile] and Putnam Investments [see profile] are on their way to regaining lost glory.

For the report, which appears the Distribution Dynamics brand, RepThinkTank polled more than 1,000 advisors in June.

Among the questions is, "Which managers are first to mind when you think of the top providers in the following categories?"

American Funds and Franklin Templeton [see profile] were the firms that were mentioned the most by advisors in the wirehouse, regional and independent channels.

Advisors from the three channels were asked to name the top managers in 12 categories -- three of which were domestic equity, four international equity and five were fixed income.

American Funds came out on top 17 times (out of 36), while Franklin Templeton was mentioned as the top provider 11 times. For its part, Pimco was mentioned eight times.

"American Funds, for all the heat it its taking for performance and net redemptions, continues to be highly regarded by advisors," said Neil Bathon, partner at FUSE Research Network.

"This speaks to the fact that firms who have delivered strong performance and high-quality service over a long period can weather short-term challenges," he added.

Findings also suggest that Davis Investment Advisors [see profile], Ivy Investment Management [see profile] and First Eagle Investment Management [see profile] "appear poised to sustain -- or expand upon -- recent sales momentum," and that Thornburg Investment Management [see profile] "appears to be on the verge of a major break-through, given how well-regarded the firm is in a wide range of investment categories," Bathon said. 

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