OppenheimerFunds Inc. has rolled out a new website for advisers. The platform, which was formally launched Thursday after two years of development, includes practice management resources and an adviser-only discussion forum, the Advisor Exchange, as well as fund performance data.
Philipp Hensler, OppenheimerFunds' head of distribution, said he hopes the website will strengthen the company's relationships with advisers, a crucial audience for the firm, which manages $212.25 billion in assets.
OppenheimerFunds wants the website to emulate the retail-consumer experience at websites such as Zappos and Amazon, but the fund manager also looked to websites including Google, Food Network and Ticketmaster for inspiration, said Erik Schneberger, head of digital strategy at OppenheimerFunds.
Some of the site's most popular features have been external content, including Morningstar Inc.'s fund comparison tool, Mr. Schneberger said.
Included among the new features on the website, modeled on the efforts of firms such as BlackRock Inc., are video profiles of OppenheimerFunds' portfolio managers. One of the videos features the company's chief investment officer for equities, George R. Evans, walking around midtown Manhattan, talking about his youth spent in the United Kingdom and his internationalist investing philosophy.
The video is an improvement over traditional talking-head interview because it communicates OppenheimerFunds' brand and investment approach, along with its personality in documentary style, according to Hari Krishnaswami, director at kasina LLC, an asset manager research and consulting group, which worked with OppenheimerFunds on the website.“Firms like Oppenheimer, they're not just competing with other asset managers, they're competing with other third-party providers for the adviser's attention,” Mr. Krishnaswami said. “If your site isn't really giving an adviser what they want, there's lots of other options.”
OppenheimerFunds' old website placed sixth on kasina's annual ranking of websites for advisers. Putnam Investments Inc., BlackRock, Fidelity Investments, JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s asset management business and The Vanguard Group Inc. lead the industry with their web presence, according to kasina.