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FAs Say Wholesalers Less Helpful Than Usual During Pandemic

September 21, 2020

Some financial advisors didn’t feel they got what they needed from wholesalers during the stressful times of the Covid-19 pandemic — and many of them were already reducing the number of asset managers they work with, according to news reports.

Twenty-two percent of advisors said wholesalers were less helpful than usual during the pandemic, according to a survey Broadridge conducted in July and August, FA-IQ sister publication Ignites writes.

Only 10% of respondents said the wholesalers they normally deal with were more helpful as the pandemic first hit their practices, Broadridge found, according to Ignites.

“If ever there was a time that you needed to step up, this was the time,” says Matt Schiffman, principal of distribution insights at Broadridge, according to the publication. “The fact that only 10% [of advisors] found wholesalers more helpful, we think, is sort of a red flag that asset managers should be aware of.”

At the same time, advisors had already been narrowing down the number of wholesalers they work with: close to a third of respondents said they’ve already reduced that number compared to two years ago, Ignites writes. 

Some asset managers have stepped up their game, according to the publication. JPMorgan Asset Management, for example, boosted the number of national conference calls, from about four or five made in January to February to close to 100 since March, says Steve Lundquist, head of U.S. funds management distribution at JPMorgan Asset Management, according to Ignites.

Attendance at the JPMorgan conferences, meanwhile, grew more than threefold, and advisors doubled their requests for portfolio reviews in April and May, in part to see how their picks handle volatility,  Lundquist tells Ignites.

Broadridge also found that what most interests advisors about working with asset managers are investment commentary and ideas, followed by portfolio construction support and resources, according to Ignites. Marketing and business-building came in third, according to the survey cited by the publication. 

Advisors are also keen on assistance with doing digital outreach in light of the remote work arrangements, according to Schiffman, Ignites writes.

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By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Ignites article cited in this story, click here if you have a paid subscription.
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Tags:  Investment strategies , Portfolio management , JPMorgan

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