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American Funds, iShares and Jackson National best at connecting with advisers, says Cogent


More financial advisers feel a strong personal connection with American Funds than with any other mutual fund company.

Similarly, exchange-traded fund and variable annuity producers identify iShares and Jackson National as the providers in those categories doing the best job connecting with advisers, according to Advisor Touchpoints2012, a new report released in August by Cogent Research.

The report is based on a nationally representative survey of 1,741 retail investment advisers across all major distribution channels.

When asked to identify the mutual fund company with which they feel the strongest connection, 16 per cent of mutual fund producers point to American Funds. Meanwhile, more than a third (37 per cent) of ETF producers and a quarter (24 per cent) of variable annuity providers identify iShares and Jackson National as the firms achieving the best connection with advisors in their respective product categories.

“Relationships matter,” says Linda York, research director at Cogent. “In the case of American Funds and iShares, trust and familiarity built up with advisors over many years has and will continue to sustain these market leaders against the onslaught of competition. For Jackson National, which overtook Prudential this year on this measure, it is proof that building a strong connection with advisors can actually propel a company to the top.”

York says another strong indicator of future momentum for a provider is the portion of advisers who are not currently using a company’s products, but identify the firm as the provider to which they feel personally most connected. Three specific examples include J.P. Morgan Funds, PowerShares, and Jackson Life where five per cent, nine per cent, and 11 per cent of non-users respectively feel more connected to these providers than any other firm in the category – including their current providers.

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