kasina, an e-business consultant for financial services companies announced its finalists for its annual list of top asset management Web sites yesterday. The firm has narrowed down its lists of top 40 retail mutual fund sites and top 20 advisor and institutional sites, all three of which will be cut in half for the final report. The report, Asset Management e-Business: Online Strategies for Success, will be released in September.

INVESCO Funds Group and Fidelity Investments were the only firms to be named as finalists in all three categories.

kasina uses five general evaluation categories as part of its criteria for judging financial sites. Those are branding, content, online services, web technology and usability. Within those groups, the company examines 50 individual criteria.

Most of the finalists are large fund complexes, however some smaller companies made the list. "Though size does matter, many smaller firms, such as Calvert or Montgomery, have been able to overcome this 'disability' on the Internet by focusing their energies on creating and maintaining a niche market," said Lee Kowarski, a consultant at kasina. "This has allowed them to provide content tailored to their specific client base."

Sites dedicated specifically to institutional investors have developed over the past year, according to Alexandre Dussaucy, a kasina consultant. "Unlike last year, we had no trouble identifying a number of firms that are looking to the Web to help supplement their institutional asset management business," he said. "These companies are currently looking to take advantage of this powerful medium to primarily provide reporting functions, but also are beginning to add robust sales and marketing material."

Top 20 Mutual Fund Retail Web Sites finalists are (alphabetically):

AIM Management Group, American Century Investments, American Funds Group, Armada Funds, Berger Funds, Calvert, CDC Nvest Funds, Charles Schwab & Co., E*TRADE Group, Fidelity Investments, Founders Asset Management, Gabelli Asset Management, The Hartford, INVESCO Funds Group, Janus Funds, John Hancock Funds, Marsico Funds, The Montgomery Funds, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, One Group Mutual Funds, OppenheimerFunds, Pax Funds, Prudential Financial, Royce Funds, RS Investments, SAFECO Mutual Funds, Sentinel Funds, Smith Barney Mutual Funds, Stein Roe & Farnham, Strong Investments, T. Rowe Price, TD Waterhouse Funds, TIAA-CREF, United Asset Management, The Vanguard Group, Van Kampen Funds, The Wachovia Funds, Wells Fargo Funds, Westcore Funds, & Zurich Scudder Investments.

Top 10 Financial Professional Web Sites Finalists (alphabetically):

AIM Management Group, The Alger Funds, American Century Investments, American Funds Group, Calvert, CDC Nvest Funds, Federated Investors, Fidelity Investments’ AdvisorXpress, Founders Asset Management, Franklin Templeton Investments, Gabelli Asset Management, INVESCO Funds Group, John Hancock Funds, MFS Investment Management, One Group Mutual Funds, OppenheimerFunds, PIMCO Funds, Pioneer Investments, Putnam Investments, Royce Funds, State Street Research, TIAA-CREF, Van Kampen Funds, Westcore Funds, & Zurich Scudder Investments.

Top 10 Web Sites –Institutional Asset Management Finalists (alphabetically):

AIG, Alliance Capital Management, Bank of America, Barclays Global Investors, Brinson Partners, The Capital Group Companies, Citigroup Asset Management, Credit Suisse Asset Management, Federated Investors, Fidelity Investments, Frank Russell Company, Goldman Sachs, INVESCO, JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management, Legg Mason Asset Management, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Northern Trust Global Investments, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Principal Capital, Putnam Investments, Schroders, State Street Global Advisors, The Vanguard Group, & Zurich Scudder Investments.

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