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Monday, June 18, 2012

Manning Revamps MFS' Brand

Reported by Irene Park

If you still think of MFS Investment Management [profile] as a domestic mutual fund company, think again. The Boston-based fund manager today revealed its new brand positioning, "Building Better insights," a slogan meant to convey MFS' presence not just in the U.S., but worldwide.

On a related note, MFS has also launched its new corporate logo, the "infinite M." The logo, which consists of a multidimensional "M" shape pieced together with several different planes, represents the different insights and perspectives MFS brings to its investment research and client service, according to a company release.

"Previously, we were best-known as a domestic fund company, but with the rapid development of our global footprint and institutional business, that characterization of us was no longer fully accurate," a spokesman for the company told MFWire.com in a phone interview today. "Announcing our brand position now is an opportunity to make sure the brand, the reputation and the capabilities have a unifying theme underpinning them."

"We have a lot of momentum as a company today, and that's really a direct result of the investments we've made in the firm to grow our platform around the world," he added.

The rebranding of MFS will not result in a change in MFS's investment process or customer service practices. However, MFS has relaunched its website and will continue to enhance its functionality, the release said.


Represents 'Building Better Insights' for Clients

Initiatives Have MFS Poised for Continued Success and Improved Client Experience

BOSTON (June 18, 2012) – MFS Investment Management® (MFS®) today unveiled its new brand positioning. The new brand represents the firm's approach to investing and to serving clients worldwide: Building Better InsightsSM. Its new brand identity reflects that of a global asset management firm offering investment solutions to individual and institutional investors worldwide.

"We are proud of our long history and unique place in the global asset management industry, pioneering the first mutual fund in the United States. However, after surveying clients about our brand, we decided—and clients agreed—it was time to update and better reflect who we are today as an active, global asset manager," said Chairman and CEO Robert Manning. "We've never been more excited about the solutions and insights we bring to our clients and the global focus of our company today."

In conjunction with today's announcement, MFS is highlighting a number of new initiatives that support its mission of building better insights for clients in 2012 and beyond:
  • opening its eighth and ninth investment research offices in Hong Kong and São Paulo, joining Boston, London, Mexico City, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto
  • establishing its first independent institutional sales office in Australia
  • expanding its market and investment commentary materials for clients
  • enhancing MFS.com with greater compatibility for mobile users, with additional enhancements planned throughout 2012 and 2013

"We have invested in initiatives that put our clients first. We have grown our footprint globally to broaden the reach of our investment research platform and to build our presence in markets where our clients are located. We have relaunched our Web site and will be delivering a richer content experience for clients through our investment commentary," added Michael Roberge, MFS president and chief investment officer. "We view opportunities from every possible angle and then bring these multiple viewpoints together to form a unified view on how best to invest and serve client needs." 

Reflecting that, MFS' new corporate logo, the "infinite M," also launched today. It is a multidimensional shape with several pieces coming together to form a whole. It represents the different insights and perspective MFS brings to its investment research and client service. 

 Evolution of an American Original

MFS' origins date back to 1924 and the introduction of the first "open-end" mutual fund in the United States – Massachusetts Investors Trust. Over time, MFS offered a diverse roster of investment capabilities through its US mutual funds, then through its institutional asset management subsidiary, MFS Institutional Advisors, Inc., and later through its MFS® MeridianSM Funds line of offshore funds. Backed by Sun Life Financial, a leading global insurance company based in Canada, which took a majority interest in MFS in 1982, the firm set a course to grow organically, fostering a culture that values fundamental research, risk management, collaboration, and teamwork.

Today, MFS is a major global investor for both institutional and individual clients, with more than 200 investment professionals working across eight global sector teams around the world evaluating securities. Approximately one-half of the firm's assets are managed for institutional clients, and its client assets are in a diverse mix of US and international equity and fixed-income securities.

"While the brand has been updated, there is no change either in MFS' long-standing investment process—guided by core principles of integrated research, global collaboration, and active risk management—or in the company's commitment to providing exceptional customer service," Manning added. "Furthermore, our investment platform performed well through one of the greatest stress tests of all time, the 2008 financial crisis. With our continued investment in the business, we have experienced significant growth since then."

Enhanced MFS.com

Key elements of the Web site redesign will include the following:
  • enhanced compatibility with mobile devices
  • a new universal landing page offering access to MFS' market insights and commentary
  • inclusion of a "carousel" feature that delivers and rotates additional content from within a single page
  • integration of MFS' new corporate logo and other graphic elements of its rebranding initiative

Following the relaunch of the site, MFS expects to roll out significant enhancements to the site's functionality, which will improve the user experience, offer additional tools, and extend even greater compatibility with mobile devices over the course of 2012 and into 2013. 

About MFS Investment Management 

MFS is a premier global money management firm with investment offices in Boston, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto. The firm’s history dates back to March 21, 1924, and the establishment of the first US “open-end” mutual fund. MFS manages $267.8 billion in assets on behalf of individual and institutional investors worldwide, as of May 31, 2012. Please visit mfs.com for more information.

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