- About Spectrem Group
- Consulting Capabilities
- Research Capabilities
- M&A Capabilities
Spectrem Group has been providing financial providers and advisors with in depth market research and analysis for more than 15 years. While our research capabilities include advisors, plan sponsors, board trustees and investment managers, Spectrem has particular expertise with investors of all wealth levels. Our goal is to provide the “Voice of the Investor” to the industry. These investors include retail investors; 401(k) and 403(b) plan participants as well as wealthy investors of all levels from $100,000 to several billion dollars.
Our research is presented in two formats. The first is our Syndicated Research. These reports are created on an ongoing basis and are available for purchase by multiple institutions. These reports are listed for sale throughout this website. The second type of research is Custom Research created for one specific client. Custom research includes both qualitative and quantitative research and includes focus groups, one-on-one interviews and multiple other methodologies to most effectively meet the needs of that particular client. Both Syndicated and Custom research are described in detail.
Spectrem’s syndicated research falls primarily within two market segments: Affluent and Retirementl.
Affluent research is conducted on a monthly basis. It includes the following wealth segments:
Research with investors in excess of $25 million of net worth is conducted periodically, but not on a monthly basis.
Research with retirement plan participants is also conducted on a monthly basis. Research with investment managers, financial advisors, plan sponsors, board trustees and other more exclusive segments in the institutional markets is conducted on a periodic basis.
Our research is presented in the following formats that can be purchased by any firm:
Spectrem’s Syndicated Research provides financial providers and advisors with unique insights to investors that will lead to solid strategies, unique products and services and a more successful approach to understanding existing and future clients. Our understanding of the “Voice of the Investor” is unique in the industry and it is imperative for financial advisory firms to begin to listen to this voice.
In addition to our full line of multi-client studies of the affluent and retirement markets, Spectrem Group is uniquely positioned to undertake custom research assignments for clients. We know how to effectively bring the Voice of the Investor to your product testing, strategic initiatives, and branding analysis. Our research experts have an in-depth understanding of these markets based on over 50 years of experience of proving actionable information to our clients.
Complete Range of Quantitative and Qualitative Methodologies
Spectrem believes in a collaborative process with clients to determine the appropriate research methodology. We work closely with you to understand the business decisions you want to make. We then determine the specific audiences who can provide the information needed to make those decisions and develop a methodology that will maximize cooperation of the target respondents most efficiently. We have delivered assignments using social networks, mobile technology, traditional telephone, mail and on-line survey research for quantitative projects and both focus groups and in-depth interviews for qualitative assignments.
A Collaborative Approach
Questionnaire or discussion guide preparation is a joint effort with Spectrem providing its expertise in tailoring the questions and flow of the inquiry while the client ensures their information needs are addressed and approves the final product. Spectrem Group senior staff, who have extensive experience in the appropriate markets, moderate all focus groups. They also conduct all one-on-one interviews involving complex subject matter or targeting senior corporate executives. A senior staff member is responsible for managing all aspects of the project and ensures that clients are fully informed of progress throughout the work.
Final reports are prepared in a presentation format and include strategic insights and action recommendations. Spectrem’s extensive consulting experience with providers in the affluent and retirement markets provides a real world perspective that ensures our recommendations are based in reality. We also deliver complete SPSS data files for all quantitative studies and DVDs of all focus group sessions so that clients can do additional information mining after the final report.
Expertise in Reaching Key Target Audiences
>> Ultra-Wealthy: Net worth of $25MM+
>> Ultra High Net Worth: Net worth of $5,000,000 or more
>> Millionaire: Invested assets of $1,000,000 or more
>> Affluent: Net worth of $500,000 or more excluding primary residence
>> Mass Affluent: Invested assets of $100,000 to $1,000,000
>> Retirement Plan Sponsors: Corporate, non-profit and government sectors
>> IRA Rollover: Individuals having the opportunity to rollover a retirement plan balance
>> Advisors: Affiliated and Independent Wealth Management and Retirement Plan Advisors
>> Other: Third Party Administrators, Investment Consultants and Registered Investment Advisors
Ongoing Satisfaction Survey with Plan Sponsors and Participants
A 401(k) provider works with Spectrem to annually survey plan sponsors via an online survey regarding satisfaction with the services of the provider. These results are combined with an online satisfaction survey completed with plan participants for a comprehensive overview of the services provided. These results are compared to a market wide survey of plan sponsors and providers to benchmark against the industry. The provider shares results with plan sponsors and formulates service enhancements based on the outcomes of the reports.
Annual Satisfaction Study of Financial Advisors
A large bank holding company annually surveys the clients of its financial advisors in an in-depth survey regarding their satisfaction levels. With their own advisor. The in-depth results of these surveys, including pro-activity, responsiveness, knowledge and other key criteria, are used in measuring the compensation levels of the advisors. Similar surveys are also conducted with Lost Clients and Bankers to identify additional areas for improvement.
Strategic Assessment Using In-Depth Telephone Interviews
A private equity provider seeking to better understand what attracts affluent investors to private equity and venture capital investment opportunities engaged Spectrem to conduct telephone interviews with 200 high net worth individuals (i.e., individuals with a net worth greater than $5 million). Research findings on individuals’ attitudes towards private equity investing, decision factors, influencers and value-added opportunities provided valuable input for the firm’s strategic review.
Mail/Telephone Operational Analysis
A super regional bank wanted to benchmark investment management and trust department revenue and expenses against similar banks. Spectrem used an information sharing approach among peer banks and a process involving a written inquiry with telephone consultation to ensure uniformity in responses. Findings were shared with all participants on a company-blind basis. A total of 12 banks were included in the review.
Distribution Channel Assessment Using In-Depth Advisor Interviews
A leading retirement plan provider engaged Spectrem Group to assess the key success factors and barriers to market entry across several distribution channels. Spectrem conducted 40 in-depth interviews with retirement plan advisors addressing vendor selection criteria, product selection factors, wholesaling support requirements, compensation preferences and acceptance of a potential new provider to the 401(k) market. The client used this information to establish sales strategies and goals.
Mail Survey to Measure Client Satisfaction
A large Investment Management Firm employed Spectrem to conduct a client satisfaction survey. This mail based survey was designed to measure overall client satisfaction with investment services, products and investment counselors. The survey helped the firm understand client satisfaction and perceptions of it related to their unique market position. The results generated new ideas for use in future marketing efforts.
Marketing Strategy Assessment Using Focus Groups & In-Depth Interviews
A global mutual fund company engaged Spectrem Group to help test key messages with intermediaries as part of a brand and positioning strategy. Initial ideas were tested in focus groups held in key metropolitan areas. A follow-up evaluation of several collateral material samples was conducted using one-on-one advisor interviews with 30 advisors from various channels serving high net worth investors. Results from these interviews were used to revise and finalize advisor collateral materials as part of a corporate-wide branding strategy.
Telephone Survey of Financial Advisors
A large mutual fund company engaged Spectrem to determine the key drivers financial advisors’ selection of specific funds recommended to their clients. A telephone survey of 400 advisors assessed perceptions of the firm’s funds against competitor products across channels and geographic regions. From this study the company was better positioned to develop marketing strategies that were aligned with advisor priorities.
DC Market Profile Using Secondary Research
A major DC investment manager engaged Spectrem to profile the retirement savings market (i.e., corporate, non-profit, government and IRAs) in terms of overall market size, segmentation into client-defined size groupings and growth rates over the past ten years. Government and public data sources as well as Spectrem’s own proprietary data bases were used to profile leading firms in terms of assets managed by type in each market. The analysis served as the basis for a firm-wide strategic review by senior management.