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Rating:McDonough Builds Out a New OpFunds Institute Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, June 19, 2017

McDonough Builds Out a New OpFunds Institute

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

John McDonough is expanding the OppenheimerFunds [profile] distribution and marketing teams in several areas, building out a new advisor-focused institute, and looking into cutting edge technology.

John McDonough
Head of Distribution and Marketing

McDonough, head of distribution and marketing at the New York City-based mutual fund shop, is "in the process of building a portfolio solutions platform." That platform will include a team of four specialists, portfolio consultants who will team up with OpFunds' external wholesalers (called consultants) to "help advisors think about the entirety of a portfolio, how asset classes work together and don't work together."

"It'll culminate in an institute," McDonough tells MFWire. "The working title is 'portfolio solutions institute.'"

The OpFunds Portfolio Solutions Institute project follows the creation about five years ago of the OpFunds CEO Advisor Institute. (The name reflects the two roles advisors play throughout the workday: CEO for their practice and employees, and advisor for their clients.) That institute is a "professional development platform," McDonough explains, with four coaches who support the OpFunds sales force in the field and with a mobile app to complement or supplement the coaches' face-to-face advisor meetings.

These two institutes, McDonough says, are all about understanding advisors' needs and their pain points.

"Those two platforms are going to be absolutely critical for us," McDonough says. "It's easy for advisors to understand what they are, how they can access the services, and then the value of the services beyond just the underlying investment products."

"This consultative orientation ... requires a lot more time to do it properly," McDonough adds. "It's very different than engaging as a product vendor."

Those two institutes are part of the generalist/specialist distribution model at OpFunds. McDonough has dedicated sales teams across several channels: broker-dealers, unaffiliated RIAs, the private client group (which targets family offices, private banks, and bank trust departments), third-party (which targets insurers and the like), and institutional. Those channel teams, then, are supported by an expanding team of specialists, like the portfolio consultants and coaches at the two institutes.

"That specialist team will grow," McDonough says. "We'll be adding more portfolio consultants. We'll be adding more of the CEO advisor consultants."

Looking ahead, McDonough also plans to expand his data and analytics team. The data effort, he says, is a four-step process: acquiring the right data, organizing the data, interpreting the data, and then delivering the analysis to drive productivity.

"We're starting to play around with AI, too," McDonough says. "The capabilities are there." 

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