The websites of three Canadian asset management firms have earned top marks for their methods in educating and guiding financial advisors through the second phase of the Client Relationship Model (CRM2), according to Julia Binder, director of e-business research at Kasina, a New York-based consulting firm that works with asset managers and insurers.

AGF Management Ltd., Invesco Canada Ltd. and Mackenzie Financial Corp., all in Toronto, stood out for their efforts in this area.

“We think that asset managers that are using [CRM2] as an opportunity to forge stronger relationships with their financial advisors should be recognized for their leadership,” she says.

Kasina conducts an annual survey that gauges how American asset management firms are doing in terms of their digital engagement with advisors. This is the first time the company has compiled a report looking exclusively at the success Canadian asset managers are having with their digital presence. It studied 12 asset management firms, who lead in terms of assets under management and conduct business in Canada.

Demand from Kasina’s Canadian clients and the country’s regulatory overhaul with CRM2 warranted the Canada-only results, according to Binder.

Where Mackenzie and AGF excelled was in their ability to use their websites as resource centers by providing information regarding the regulatory changes, including timetables, and suggestions on how advisors can leverage CRM2 for business development, says Binder.

Invesco’s ability to “get social” with their CRM2 resources is what helped it stand out. The firm has set up an online forum for advisors, who can comment and ask questions, says Binder.

“[This] is still fairly unusual in terms of Canadian asset managers,” she adds.

Toronto-based Pimco Canada Corp. also earned praise in the report for its focus on providing informative and detailed information regarding their products and portfolio managers.

“Pimco makes it easy to do business because it focuses on news content on their people and products,” says Binder.

The quality of the content was a critical area, with Kasina looking to see if content was published regularly and had multimedia elements.

Another area that was important in considering asset managers’ digital engagement success were how responsive their websites were to different devices.

“That’s important these days because if you can’t see the performance numbers on your smartphone,” says Binder, “that’s kind of a turnoff especially when you have lots of other similar choices for products.”

And websites that were conducive to sharing content also proved to be more successful in this report.

Financial advisors want to be able to share product and portfolio manager information with their clients, says Binder. “Share” buttons make it easier to email or post this information.