Watch for the Gemini Companies
team to take a more consultative approach to relationship management across their different business lines as a new unit expands under a recently promoted distribution executive. Meanwhile, Gemini's distribution arm is encouraging its asset manager clients to shift their distribution focus in a changing marketplace.
| Alma Piscitello|
Executive Vice President
, who in January rose to executive vice president of all of Gemini after two years as senior vice president of strategic partnerships and key accounts chief for Gemini's Northern Lights Distributors
unit, plans to add more people to Gemini's new "strategic advisor services" team, she confirmed to MFWire
in an interview last month on the sidelines of the 2017 Gemini Edge Conference
in New Orleans. (All of Gemini is also under new leadership, CEO Kevin Hesselbirg
, who took over
earlier last month.)
That new strategic advisor services team includes members in both of Gemini's big offices, Omaha, Nebraska and Hauppauge, New York, and it incorporates Gemini's onboarding and implementation team, as well as its relationship management team.
"That team is in place today," Piscitello says. "We're going to need more service agents on that."
"I do have a fantastic team," Piscitello adds. "You hire talent; somebody like you but better!"
Piscitello's mission across Gemini, she explains, is to "take the consulting framework for relationship management [at Northern Lights Distributors] and bring that to Gemini Fund Services," while she simultaneously continues in her leadership role at Northern Lights Distributors. About 95 percent of Northern Lights Distributors and Gemini Fund Services clients are the same, she says, and the Gemini team is "creating that consistency of a service model across the organization."
Next up for Gemini, Piscitello says, are efforts to digitize customer service, implement a CRM system (with embedded project management tools) across the whole company and more. Proactivity, responsiveness and accountability are the focus, Piscitello says.
"It's about increasing the client experience and being stewards of accountability and development for our clients," Piscitello says. "We're looking to create a more centralized client portal that will be more interactive."
We want to improve our response time. We want to improve the quality of the output. We want to continue to be innovative. We want to continue to be comprehensive.
Meanwhile, Piscitello is also making changes, specifically within Northern Lights Distributors, too. At the end of 2016, NLD shut down its two-year-old
outsourced internal wholesaling business, "Active Marketing Services." That service, Piscitello, "was very difficult to do."
"We decided to close the business," Piscitello says. "Over the last two years the distribution landscape has changed significantly ... It became more and focused on the platforms, and the platforms all focused on DoL."
"Now we have to pivot," Piscitello adds.
The Northern Lights Distributors team is putting "more focus on distribution consulting," Piscitello says. And they're encouraging their asset manager clients to "use those dollars more tactically" in their distribution and marketing efforts. She likens the shift to the contrast between a SWAT or special forces approach to an army one.
"Wholesaling is about mass, quantity, as many people as you can reach. You start your funnel really wide. The sales cycle is very long," Piscitello says. "You need to go SWAT, focusing on your target market, accessing right at the decisionmaker."
"You have to have a deliberate plan," focused on your competitive edge, marketing resources, distribution planning, and distribution activity, Piscitello says.
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