If you bump into a wholesaler from Pioneer
over the next few months, don't be surprised to see that person poring through a textbook, muttering something about shorts, derivatives or secured floating rates.
Pioneer is scrambling to turn all of its 60 wholesalers into alts experts, and fast, as the firm ramps up its efforts to sell is three existing alternatives products, and makes preparations to launch others.
"We think that liquid alts are a very important emerging strategy that has legs. It is not a splash in the pan," chief executive Daniel Kingsbury
recently told MFWire
To ramp up the expertise of all of their sales folk, Kingsbury is bringing in alts coaches of a sort as well as tons of textbooks and educational material on the investment category.
The firm launched three such alts products on February 18th: the Pioneer Absolute Return Bond Fund
, the Pioneer Long/Short Global Bond Fund
and the Pioneer Long/Short Opportunistic Credit Fund
Kingsbury plans to aggressively promote these products in all the channels in which his firm is active, including national wealth managers, independents, RIAs, 401(k)s and institutions. There will be no single alts team for Pioneer, everyone will be expected to get up to speed with the products fairly soon.
"We are getting everyone involved in a very strong education program. We have internal trainers and a large set of descriptive material so they can understand better what liquid alts are meant to provide," he said.
Among the insights Pioneer sales people will be able to offer: how to work these alts into client portfolios.
Kingsbury declined to say when his firm will be launching more alts products, but he stressed that "our distribution partners have been pushing us to bring out products in this area," and promised that there will be more.
The training and alts launches follow Pioneer's recent explosion of its sales force, by over 25 percent, to its current roster of 60. This includes roughly 50 field people and another ten devoted to RIAs and the retirement space.
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