4 Technology Innovations for a Better Shareholder Experience

What Mutual Fund Advisers Need to Know about Transfer Agent Online Investor Platforms

May 25, 2022

| Registered Funds | Technology and Innovation

If you shop or bank online, you know that all online experiences are not created equal. Some sites make digital interactions a pleasure; other sites bring nothing but frustration. Design, navigability, and transaction ease all impact the user experience.

Investors want an easy-to-use online platform with robust content, self-service features, real-time account information and full functionality on handheld devices, to name a few. The investor experience—positive or negative—is likely to influence perception of the fund adviser.

Knowing this, mutual fund advisers—particularly those with robust fund families—may wonder if leveraging technology in transfer agent and shareholders services can elevate the client experience while competing for new growth.

This article addresses recent innovations in mutual fund online investor platforms and how they affect shareholder engagement.

Online Investor Platforms: 4 Areas of Innovation
#1: Modern-Day Must-Haves

Security, self service and ease of use are must-haves for shareholder platforms. At a minimum, online platforms should:

  • Offer top-notch security and fraud mitigation, including multi-factor authentication and instant bank account verification.
  • Be as easy to use on a mobile device as on a desktop computer (More on this in #4: Intuitive User Interface).
  • Allow shareholders to update information such as address and contact information, statement delivery options, and allocation models through self-service functionality, without having to contact shareholder support.
#2: Customizable Branding and Marketing Campaigns

Brand loyalty is important when it comes to investors and customization can make the difference.

Determine if your transfer agent can easily customize branding—colors, logo and typography—for the online account platform. The goal is to wrap shareholders in the fund’s brand experience and having a partner that can keep pace as marketing strategies evolve is essential.

Consider also if the online investor platform can support marketing campaigns. Technology should provide the ability to easily communicate with investors and drive deeper engagement and growth. For example, customizable marketing campaigns can be used to notify shareholders of a fund launch or an upcoming conference.

#3: Asset Allocation Modeling

Asset allocation modeling is a new offering on select transfer agent shareholder platforms that makes it easier for shareholders to allocate investments across an adviser’s fund lineup. Fund advisers can offer pre-defined allocations and even construct customizable questionnaires that help shareholders more easily determine fund models that fit their unique investment goals and risk appetites. The best online portals offer auto rebalancing to keep pace with market volatility and are easily customized to adapt to evolving portfolio offerings and disclosure requirements.

#4: Intuitive User Interface

Today, Baby Boomers—who range in age from their late 50s to mid-70s—account for more than 40% of assets invested in U.S. mutual funds. About the same percentage stems from the combined younger generations of Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z.¹

The implications are profound. With investors varying in age from their 20s to their 70s, online account platforms must be easy to use and intuitive for those who are tech savvy and those who are less so. To this end, the online investor platform needs mobile device responsiveness, easy-to-navigate functionality, and self-service guidance, to name a few.

Final Thoughts on Online Investor Platforms

In addition to the four areas of innovation, consider the following technology-related items:

  • Can the platform be customized quickly and easily by the fund administrator on behalf of the fund adviser?
  • Is the fund administrator committed to dynamic, ongoing development of the platform?
  • How will the online platform improve shareholders’ experience and make a difference in growth?
  • Is it worth changing transfer agents or replacing a legacy system to obtain additional functionality?
Beyond the Technology, it is About the People and Service

Now more than ever, the online experience drives customer perception and having a transfer agent service partner that is committed to engaging users and clients to provide the best possible experience is essential. Choosing a firm that has a strong reputation for white glove service and a passion for driving technology forward should be top of mind for any adviser looking to grow their business.

About Ultimus & Its Transfer Agent

Ultimus Fund Solutions is a leading provider of full-service fund administration, accounting, and investor solutions to support the launching and servicing of registered funds, private funds, and public plans.

Ultimus’ uTRANSACT™ is an advanced online portal that provides real-time information and account access for both shareholders and fund advisers. uTRANSACT positions investment managers and fund families to deliver an enhanced shareholder servicing model while expanding their digital presence. The proprietary technology is built to be customizable, flexible, and easily adaptable into the future.

For more information contact us at inquiry@ultimusfundsolutions.com.

¹ https://icifactbook.org/21_fb_ch7.html
15076968 5/25/2022

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DISCLOSURE: Information contained on this website is based on public data, historical agreements and dialogue with intermediaries. Such information represents our current understanding of the described platforms and the costs associated with them. In many cases, such costs may be negotiable. All pricing and fee information is subject to change without notice.

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