RBC Asset Flows Case Study
Firm Profile: Global Asset Management
Products: Asset Flows
eVestment Client Since 2004
RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc. (“RBC Global Asset Management”) is a federally registered investment adviser serving almost exclusively the institutional investment market. The firm has been a subscriber of other eVestment solutions for some time, including eVestment Analytics as well as Omni Source — a solution for database marketing and data population. When the firm’s product management division, however, was charged with the task of developing a greater understanding of the institutional marketplace and overarching investment trends RBC came to eVestment looking for additional solutions.
Keeping a Finger on the Pulse of the Market
“We already thought of eVestment as a leader in the marketplace and felt it was only natural to see if its other tools like Asset Flows would be a fit,” said Nicholas Walstrom, the firm’s Director of Product Management and Analysis. Walstrom had reviewed similar tools in the retail space before, but nothing like the Asset Flows solution had ever been available for tracking institutional flows, especially with this level of detailed reporting. “We like to keep our finger on the pulse of the market. So if we know when a specific asset class has experienced net inflows or outflows, that is important data for us to be aware of as we look to manage our products and develop new products. When we were introduced to Asset Flows, it immediately solved a need for us,” he said.
Evaluating Opportunities for Growth
After signing on with Asset Flows, RBC Global Asset Management initiated a major research project to assess the opportunities for growth within the United States. Then the firm overlaid its existing capabilities to determine the focus of distribution and marketing efforts. “This was a several-month exercise with Asset Flows being the most extensively used tool throughout the process,” Walstrom commented. The effort of doing the initial assessment has now led to the build-out of RBC Global Asset Management’s distribution team, a formal marketing strategy, as well as the development of new strategies and product offerings. “Asset Flows allowed us to come up with and formulate a plan for our business. That in itself is a huge success, not to mention the considerable growth we have seen after using the tool for just 18 months. It has been a very rewarding time period for us,” said Walstrom.
Assessing the Competition
Walstrom also explained he uses Asset Flows to find out what is happening in particular asset classes that are most relevant to his products so he can gain a better understanding of key competitors. He then uses this data in tandem with eVestment Analytics to understand how the competition has been successful. “The fact that Asset Flows is ‘married’ to Analytics helps us get a better idea of characteristics which are desirable in products that are raising assets today. When we look at the characteristics that make a product attractive or unique to institutional investors, this integration really helps us formulate what we should be including in our offerings,” he said.
Integral Business Tools
Walstrom concluded that, in a short time frame, RBC Global Asset Management has become reliant on eVestment for daily operations. “These tools should be on any institutional asset management firm’s radar because they give a broad but also detailed understanding of what is happening in the marketplace and provide a way to better equip yourself for growth. We use Asset Flows and Analytics on a daily basis — both are an integral part of our efforts. I don’t think we could do our jobs without either tool,” said Walstrom.
“Asset Flows allowed us to come up with and formulate a plan for our business. That in itself is a huge success, not to mention the considerable growth we have seen after using the tool for just 18 months. It has been a very rewarding time period for us.”
Nicholas Walstrom, Director of Product Management and Analysis