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Rating:Graziano Uses a Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Graziano Uses a "Center City" Approach to Doubling AUM

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

We all know that Touchstone's Steve Graziano has a bold attitude towards the fund business. For example, he intends to double his firm's AUM to $30 billion in three years or go bust.

How does he intend to do that? Well, a key part of his sales efforts involves utilizing what he calls a "Center City" strategy, named of course after Philly's main metro district. It centers around a lot of focus.

For example, Touchstone's wholesalers are directed to spend at least 70 percent of their time and resources on just five firms, because, as he says "it is easy to be diluted in your efforts."

The firms are Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch,UBS, Wells Fargo, and LPL and the advisors and home offices that do business via these firms.

Many of these firms have offices in Center City, hence the strategy's moniker.

Graziano says that Touchstone's sales team is very focused on tracking how their efforts and spending materializes in improved sales, not only for them, but for the offices they work with. They have a rigorous followup program in which every quarter they report to these clients their progress, how "we have been able to move the needle on their sales."

"This focus has opened the eyes of many of our partner firms. When you go into their offices, they want to know how you are going to help grow their business. They worry whether 'will I just be one of many clients to you,'" Graziano told MFWire.

The intense focus and face time is important, Graziano said, because of the unique flavor of Touchstone's funds. Most score very high in alpha, over 70 percent. This takes a bit of face time and explanation to clients, he said.

Graziano says they have plenty of room to grow with these partner firms. His ultimate goal is to have Touchstone reach top 10 producer status with many of these firms.

He expects to get there fairly soon. 

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