Building Trusted, Valued Partnerships With IntermediariesA "broad-based" strategy to increase our presence with intermediaries around the world, explains Robert Higginbotham, head of Global Investment Services, has led to continued hires in the UK, Benelux, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Spain; a new head of our Asia intermediary business; and the formal opening of offices in Frankfurt, Madrid, and Milan.
Our U.S. Investment Services business is likewise expanding. "We continue to build out areas of strategic importance for our clients and the firm, including strengthening our offering to individual investors, financial advisors, financial institutions, and retirement plan sponsors," says Scott David, head of U.S. Investment Services. "Our new digital solutions are fostering improved engagement levels with our clients, and we continue to invest in both people and solutions to drive distribution excellence across our business lines."
Supporting Exceptional Client Service with Digital Solutions
Whether a client is an intermediary or institutional investor, the ability to interact with us digitally is an important component of our business. "Improved digital delivery of content allows clients to get the information they need when, where, and how they want it," notes Mr. Higginbotham. "These capabilities also allow us to scale our client service more effectively across time zones and geographies."
The introduction of MarketSceneSM, an app for advisors, now enables access to T. Rowe Price perspectives and analysis anytime, anywhere, on the user's preferred device. Similarly, a new intermediary website initially launched in the UK, Australia, and Switzerland, and slated for wider release in 2016, enables timely, multi-language translations of content, extending our best thinking to global intermediaries and their clients.
U.S. Investment Services launched a variety of digital initiatives, including a new website for financial advisors, an iPad app and refreshed Insights content for individual investors, and personalized "smart video" statements for 529 college savings plan clients.
Of course, supporting a successful digital experience also requires significant investment in back-end technologies and in the operating model that facilitates client interactions.
"New data and content management capabilities, plus an updated workflow management system, are just two examples of the technology investments we're making today to serve clients for years to come," says Nigel Faulkner, head of Technology. "Furthermore, the rapid pace of change, our clients' increasing and evolving expectations concerning access and insights, and the ever-present drive to maintain information security continue to transform the way we do business."
Investing in people, our most valuable asset
Our workforce strategy is consistent with our investment approach. "Think strategically, be nimble, and take a long-term view," says Deanna Fidler, chief human resources officer. "As a result, effectively serving our clients now and in the future means anticipating emerging needs, identifying capabilities that will differentiate us, and planning the organization of the future—all the while continuing to develop our people, skills, and services today."
Our approach includes investing in developing leaders internally as well as opportunistically recruiting talent externally to bring leadership expertise and fresh thinking to the organization.
"When we're hiring analysts, we realize that we're actually recruiting the next generation of portfolio managers," explains Jason Polun, director of Equity Research, North America. "We look for people who are not just great analysts, but also individuals who embrace the firm's investment philosophy, values, and culture—including our commitment to instilling a sense of confidence and reliability for our clients."
The process to enhance our firm's capabilities continues through all market conditions, Ms. Fidler adds. "Our talent strategy to build a global, diverse, and high-performing workforce remains on course."