The last time a team went through this much realignment, the Allied Forces invaded Normandy.
Like an army preparing for invasion, The Hartford
] is conducting a thorough reorganization of its mutual fund sales force with the aim of trouncing its competitors.
In particular the firm is realigning its mutual fund sales force in four areas:
Expanding its senior national account resources to more effectively support our broker-dealer relationships.
Streamlining its sales force around more uniform territories in order to provide a more consistent experience for financial advisors. It will also expand its training resources for this group to further develop their expertise and level of professionalism.
Increase its dedicated RIA resources to focus on this growing opportunity, as previously announced.
Increase its DCIO specialists to better support financial advisors focused on retirement plan business, as previously announced.
During an interview with Wire, chief marketing officer Marty Swanson described the changes in this way.
Over the last 18 months,we have unveiled a number of investments and enhancements in our mutual fund business to accelerate our growth. We are expanding resources in three different areas that we think are really some of our best growth opportunities going forward.
For example, Swanson said that "we are increasing the number of resources directed to the RIA business. We view RIA as a big opportunity. A lot of industry trends going on, but that is one of the fastest growing sectors in the marketplace. We are doubling the resources focused on RIA. In the past, he said, sales people would have had shared responsibilities with regards to selling to RIAs and other groups."
The firm also plans to "expand our resources on the DC I-O side. We are committing resources to advisors who are focused on the retirement plan business. This is a space that we have played in historically, but we think there is even more opportunity here."
In addition, Swanson said that "we are also adding additional senior sales management resources on national accounts. The firm looks to tap into growth potential as more broker-dealers do business through investment platforms."
Moreover, the Hartford is "also streamlining our wholesaling force. We kind of stepped back and looked at creating what I would call more consistent territories.
We are aligning our wholesaling force with in the new geographies. This geographic realignment might led to a dropping of some sales people, but it will really allow us to more efficiently serve advisors out there. Sales territories over time can get out of whack, we are really looking at what makes sense and how we can most effectively support these territories and the financial advisors who do business in there."
Lastly, Swanson said that "we are also investing heavily in our wholesale training, raising expertise and levels of professionalism."
There are three goals to this reorganization:
Focus on these three growing segments: national accounts, RIA and DCIO.
Raise the quality of support they provide broker-dealer firms and financial advisors.
Leverage the newly expanded relationship with Wellington Management which now serves as the primary sub-adviser for more than 50 equity, fixed-income, multi-asset, target-retirement, and alternative funds.
"We are adding resources in areas that we think possess the greatest opportunities and then realign these sales forces to bump up the opportunities in the most efficient way possible," he said.
Swanson declined to comment on total personnel numbers after all these changes but said that "numbers-wise, we are probably in line with all of the top players out there. When you look at the top ten players out there, I think we will look similar in size."
The changes follow the January hiring of Jac McLean for the newly-created position of head of distribution.
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