If Greenwich Associates Is Right, Most Allocators Won’t Read This Article

Asset owners seeking industry news and information on asset managers are increasingly turning to social media over traditional financial news outlets, a Greenwich report finds.

Illustration by II

Illustration by II

If you’re an allocator reading this, you may be in the minority – at least according to a new report from Greenwich Associates.

Less than half of the 277 institutional investors surveyed by the consulting and research firm reported that they regularly consumed finance-focused trade publications. Instead, the senior investment professionals polled by Greenwich indicated that they increasingly get their industry and market insights from social media, with 63 percent declaring themselves regular social media users.

In fact, the survey respondents largely indicated that their preferred media source was not a major financial news outlet like the Financial Times or Bloomberg but LinkedIn, which was cited as the best platform for distributing or commenting on market updates, providing personalized news content, and keeping track of peers and other industry professionals. It was also declared the second best for “deep subject matter education,” ranking just behind the FT.

The report happened to have been commissioned by LinkedIn.

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The allocators polled by Greenwich – which included representatives from endowments, foundations, pensions, and insurers – said they were more likely to turn to social media over news media to get timely news and updates on markets and the industry, follow investment thought leaders, look for product and service recommendations, and seek educational content.

Sixty-eight percent said they used social media to research asset management firms, up from 36 percent in 2015. By comparison, 56 percent said they used news media when researching managers.

The insights gained from social media perusal in some cases proved actionable, with 58 percent of surveyed allocators saying that such information has led to discussions with their investment consultants, and 56 percent reporting that social media has influenced their perspective on an industry issue or topic.

Forty-six percent said social media had influenced their decision whether or not to work with a particular company. Forty-three percent said it had influenced an investment decision.

In addition to being a source of information, social media was seen by the survey’s respondents as an important tool for connecting with managers and their peers. Fifty-eight percent said they had used social media to seek support or service from an asset management firm, while 56 percent said they used it to start a dialogue with a manager.