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«FEBRUARY 2016 For a few, now couldn’t be a better time. The investing public, institutions and HNW individuals are both fearful and ...»

OVERVIEW

FEBRUARY 2016

www.aared.com

For a few, now couldn’t be a better time.

The investing public, institutions and HNW individuals are both fearful and

hopeful. On the one hand they are shocked and distressed by the

calamitous drop in their asset values a few short years ago, yet on the other

they are simultaneously looking, albeit hesitantly, for a new source of trust.

In a word: money is in motion.

For those firms who conduct their business with strong client attention, frank dialogue, demonstrable due diligence, disciplined investing and strong relative performance, the time to get your story out is now, right now. In fact, the telling of it could hardly be more powerful than in the present vacuum of investment leadership.

T u s t r [W H O ] WE ARE Now in its twenty-eighth year, aabalone[red] delivers differentiation to investment and wealth management firms — so they compete more effectively, go to market creatively, and harvest web technologies to service clients and grow their businesses.

[W H AT ]

M AT T E R S M O S T

Naturally, our clients come first. But we view success in another way...it is our clients’ success with their clients and prospects that really matters.

While we understand that you come to us with certain objectives, we strive to keep an open ear and a creative eye to uncover ways for you to stand out in a competitive environment, to build your relationships and to shine in the finals.

[W H AT ]

WE THINK

Differentiated firms carve out a favored position in the minds of prospects.

Strong brands induce prospects to select your offering while providing psychological affirmations of their choices. Research indicates a number of positive benefits accrue to firms with strong brands: higher ROEs, better margins, more wins and better recruiting to name a few. In short, brand is a competitive advantage that provides an enduring and compelling compound return. Your brand is the asset we manage, so you can concentrate on the financial ones.

Everything we conceive, write and create is an [o original. It has to be. Properly viewed, each client is in a marketing niche of one.

[H O W ]

WE DO IT

Similar to many of our investment clients, we apply a process, fine-tuned by experience to transform and manage our clients’ brands. Scaled to the complexity of the assignment, our process elements are: Discovery, Positioning and Ignition.

Each of these elements informs the other. Discovery brings to light strengths, weaknesses and differentiation possibiliti

–  –  –

D I S C O V E RY typically entails a thorough review of your current situation comprising secondary market research, online competitive analysis, examination of current marketing materials and sales presentations, iterative discussions with management and custom interviews with both internal and external audiences. At the close of Discovery, our clients have in hand a “findings” document complete with market analysis, interview citations and communications recommendations.

P O S I T I O N I N G identifies the competitive space you

–  –  –

aabalone[red] 6 Thorndal Circle Darien, Connecticut 06820 USA 203 655 1920 T E L 203 655 4959 F A X getred@aared.com E M A I L www.aared.com WHY THE NAME Because of its individuality, enduring strength and distinctive design, the abalone shell is an inspiring symbol of our brand promise. Combined with the fact that we are located in a red brick building near the Connecticut shore, it seems a natural fit. The double “a” at the front stands for our two founding partners, who’ve successfully grown the firm for 28 years. While few can actually spell our name, its quirkiness has proven memorable.

WHY THE POSITIONING LINE

Focused squarely on providing consulting and marketing communications for asset managers in every asset class, aabalone[red] has the knowledge, methodology, and experience that ensures our clients receive an optimal return at every point along the curve.

[P E O P L E ] Alec Wiggin, PRESIDENT

Harvard University, AB; Columbia University, MBA

Alec is the strategic thinker at aared; he has a natural ability to see both the forest and the trees. A problem solver, Alec finds thoughtful and rational ways for clients to more effectively communicate their differences (at the delight of their clients and the expense of their competitors). Somehow Alec finds time to stay abreast of trends in the asset management industry and to educate the rest of us on the intricacies of market neutral strategies or the taxation of carried interest.

Alec oversees the consulting, positioning, editorial, client management and new business services of the firm.

Formerly a vice president at Bessemer Trust Company and an assistant manager at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., he has a deep background in finance and marketing. As long as thirteen years ago, Alec was speaking before audiences like AIMSE about the future of the web in asset management. Some of Alec’s commentary has been published in Pension & Investments and Plan Sponsor.

Gail Wiggin, GUI IGNITION DIRECTOR Goucher College, BA; Post-graduate study at Radcliffe and Harvard Business School Gail is the driving creative force and the founder of the firm. Her early days were grounded in print communication and a variety of marketing mediums for corporate accounts, but she lost her heart to the web in 1995. Since then she has honed her skills in web asset development, including information architecture, GUI and web application design, private portal implementation and social media. Tending towards the vocal, she has presented and postulated on subject areas running the gamut from Experience Design to Dot.com-Mom challenges. Our ignition director’s work has been recognized nationally by organizations and publications such as Communication Arts, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, SIGGRAPH, the Art Directors Clubs of New York and Connecticut, and the Advertising Club of Los Angeles.

A graduate of Goucher College in Fine Arts and English, Gail has served on the board of the New York chapter of AIGA. While painting in Europe under a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, her work was exhibited in the Mall Gallery, London and the Grand Palais, Paris.

Holly Hough, MARKETING CONSULTANT Skidmore College, BA Holly’s more of an analytic type who likes fresh marketing ideas that stem from research. With over fifteen years of sales and marketing experience in the consumer packaged goods arena, Holly’s background includes market analysis and forecasting, managing test markets, the launch of dozens of new brands, special event and regional marketing, as well as local development and execution of national strategies.

Since 1998, Holly has been working with key asset management clients in the areas of strategic positioning, branding, web usability, project management and communications planning. She’s a hard-core “multi-tasker” who likes to see the end result. In her years with The Coca-Cola Company she was responsible for growing corporate volume, market share and profits throughout the Northeast.

[P E O P L E ] continued Tracy Floyd, CHIEF ENGINEER

Coastal Carolina University, BA

Tracy heads our development team and brings something truly unique to aabalone[red] — a calm persona with a southern drawl. His background in fine arts and graphic design landed him art director positions at agencies in South Carolina, but as the world became more digital, so did Tracy. For us, he is a web strategist and hands-on, multi-lingual programmer with a passion for design, and an information architect who is user-focused and agile in development techniques.

Tracy has an uncanny ability to translate complex techno talk into everyday words so that we all understand each other.

He specializes in conceptualizing, designing and implementing web assets for our clients and is especially fond of CakePHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and jQuery.

Nat Connacher, CREATIVE DIRECTOR Yale University, MFA Nat is a combination of art and science — he has a way of combining the emotional side to creativity with a logical approach to design. Nat brings over eighteen years of corporate marketing & communications knowledge with multimedia experience including print, web, information design, social media, editing and graphical representation of complex ideas. His knowledge allows him to approach each new project with a strategic outlook that creates a unique visual dialogue between the client, their brand and their audiences.

Nat has worked on diverse branding, collateral, web and software projects for companies including Aetna, Celera Genomics, Gartner Group, IBM, Oxford Health Plans, and Pratt & Whitney. His work has been featured in Communications Arts. Nat is also actively involved in his local art community as a photographer and painter.



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