Mutual fund research companies Access Data and Strategic Insight have entered into a partnership pooling together their resources for financial data gathering.

Under the terms of the partnership, the companies will combine the financial information they gather, regarding such details about mutual funds and exchange-traded funds like assets and new net flow, etc., and combine them in the data products they offer to their respective clients. A key element of this information that they are marketing for this information is that it will segmented by distribution channels and financial intermediary firms.

In particular, the data products which are meant to be enhanced by this partnership, Access Data's Market Intelligence and Strategic Insight's Simfund MF, are aimed to help asset managers with distribution planning and tactical analysis by way of tracking product flows and assets at a more granular level than previously available.

“This will add a lot to our clients— be it market research, marketing, sales reporting or market intelligence related to distribution,” Frank Polefrone, SVP of Access Data told Money Management Executive.

Access Data, a Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. company, says that it provides enterprise data management and reporting solutions for asset managers representing more than 90% of long-term mutual fund assets, as well as 95% of assets in the ETF market. Meanwhile, Strategic Insight, an Asset International company, provides business intelligence to firms managing about 90% of U.S. mutual fund industry assets through a linked suite of Simfund databases, in depth studies, and on-demand research.

The combined data of Access Data and Strategic Insight, according to a statement from Access Data president Dan Cwenar, is being translated into integrated offerings designed to help clients focus their resources on the right distributors and products, as well as evaluate product market share across all sales channels.

"This deeper level of transparency and insight will help drive strategic decisions and create additional avenues to capture growth well beyond what is available today," he stated.

Such alliances are necessary now, according to Strategic Insight senior research analyst Dennis Bowden, because the information needs of financial advisors and fund managers have evolved and intensified drastically.

“Recently, we’ve seen a pretty dramatic shift in the information and data needs of the mutual fund industry,” Bowden told Money Management Executive. “Their needs have become much more complex.”

For example, the companies say that the rise of registered investment advisors and independent broker-dealers is forcing fund managers to targeting sales opportunities in a broader array of distribution channels than ever before.

Moreover, in a statement, the companies cite a recent study by McKinsey & Co., titled "Growth in a Time of Uncertainty - The Asset Management Industry in 2015," which shows that net cash flows have become the primary driver of growth for mutual fund firms. Consequently, understanding these trends by distribution channel and financial intermediary is growing crucial for asset managers.

Tommy Fernandez writes for Money Management Executive.