RBC Public Plan IQ Case Study

Firm Profile: Global Asset Management Firm

Products: Public Plan IQ

RBC Global Asset Management (RBC) provides a comprehensive range of investment solutions for investors around the world and has just over $290B in assets under management globally (as of Jan 31, 2017). Drew LoRusso is an Institutional Sales Analyst at RBC, working directly with the institutional sales team in the U.S. RBC has distribution professionals located across the country that market the firm’s investment strategies to institutional investors. LoRusso prepares the team for meetings and for finals presentations, and helps source opportunities within territories. RBC has been using Public Plan IQ since May 2016.

Searchable Database of Public Information

LoRusso said the main advantage to using Public Plan IQ was having access to valuable public plan information in one location. “I used to spend my time on plan websites, combing through board minutes, investment reports and staff bios,” LoRusso said. “And for endowments, foundations, health care or insurance companies, I was going through documents such as 10-Ks, 10-Qs, asset allocation reports, and investment policies. It was a very manual process and very time consuming.”

Public Plan IQ puts all that information into one searchable location. There was really no other way to do that before we had access to the system. Public Plan IQ lets you do it all in one place.”

Key Uses of Public Plan IQ

Consultant Evaluations

“Consultant evaluations are very important, given how consultant-driven the industry is,” LoRusso said. “If a consultant publishes a report on its views of three or four particular emerging market equity managers, that provides great transparency into what the consultant likes and doesn’t like about each manager. This helps us get a sense of how we can position our strategy so they rate us favorably.”

Asset Allocation Changes and Shifts

“If we know that a plan is moving funds from equity to fixed income or vice versa, that is very helpful,” LoRusso said. He also noted that board minutes and investment committee minutes were important to their planning. “It’s up-to-date, recent data. It’s insight into how the board or investment staff are thinking, and you get insight into who some of the key gatekeepers are, who the CIO is and who the field consultant is,” he said.

Competitor Intelligence

“One of our flagship strategies is our emerging markets equity strategy,” he said. “It’s helpful to pull pitchbooks from our competitors to see what their value proposition is, information around fees, and portfolio construction or investment philosophy. It helps us get a better sense of how to position our strategy and helps us improve and enhance our own pitchbooks and value proposition. The industry has seen significant fee compression as of late, so having the most up-to-date fee data is invaluable and helps us price our strategies more competitively,” he said. “We’ve definitely adjusted our fees and helped position our strategies better from that perspective.”

Custom Email Alerts

LoRusso said that he has set up several custom alerts to be notified when certain actions take place on Public Plan IQ. “Anytime a document has the text ‘RBC’ in it, I get an email alert,” he said. “It’s a good way to see if RBC is coming up in any documents from the public plans. I also have an EME competitor pitchbook alert set up so any time an EME client or prospect presentation is published, I get an email. I have another alert set up for consultants as well. Any time a consultant gives an evaluation on a manager, I know about it.”

“The weekly recap emails are nice too. I log in nearly every day, but if I have been out of the office, those emails are a nice way for me to catch up and get a sense of what happened over the past week.”

Valuable Information, All in One Place

“I think that you’re losing against the competition if you’re not looking at this information,” LoRusso said. “I would definitely recommend Public Plan IQ to a peer. Some of the transparency it provides, you really can’t get anywhere else. Obviously, the information is out there since it’s public, but it’s not all in one place.”

“It’s been a pretty positive experience for us using Public Plan IQ,” he said. “It’s been very helpful so far. It’s freed up my time and lets me get a better sense of the landscape in a quicker, faster way.”

“It’s helpful to pull pitchbooks from our competitors to see what their value proposition is, information around fees, and portfolio construction or investment philosophy. It helps us get a better sense of how to position our strategy and helps us improve and enhance our own pitchbooks and value proposition.”

Drew LoRusso, Institutional Sales Analyst

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