kasina, a New York-based e-business consulting firm that specializes in asset management firms, announced today its selections for the top 20 retail mutual fund webs. The firm also named the top 10 sites for small fund complexes.

kasina reviews retail, intermediary, and institutional mutual Web sites and selects the top ones annually. This year, the firm reviewed 478 retail sites, 57 more than the year before. kasina evaluates sites in five categories: branding, content, online services, usability, and Web technology.

While retail sites have improved throughout the industry, there are still several servicing features that are largely absent, according to kasina. For example, only 53% allow investors to view account balances online, although that’s up from just 12% five years ago. Also, while 66% of firms encourage direct investments, only 5% of the retail sites allow investors to fully open an account online.

"In general, the top 20 sites and the top 10 small fund sites are doing a much better job servicing clients than the overall industry," said Steven Miyao, CEO of kasina, in a statement. "While this gap continues to be large, we are seeing the margin decreasing as the industry strives to follow the lead of the top sites. One area where we continue to see slow growth overall is the adoption of innovative and value-added Web technologies."

Since, kasina began naming the top 20 retail sites five years ago, eight companies have made the list each year. They are: American Century Investments, Fidelity Investments, Charles Schwab & Co., Zurich Scudder Investments, Stein Roe & Farnham, Strong Investments, T. Rowe Price, and The Vanguard Group.

Top 20 Web Sites - Mutual Funds (alphabetically):

Top 10 Web Sites - Smal Fund Firms (alphabetically):

Top 3 Sites in Each of kasina's 5 Evaluation Categories

Branding:
  1. The Montgomery Funds - www.montgomeryfunds.com
  2. The Vanguard Group - www.vanguard.com
  3. Zurich Scudder Investments - www.scudder.com

Content:

  1. Fidelity Investments - www.fidelity.com
  2. The Vanguard Group - www.vanguard.com
  3. T. Rowe Price - www.troweprice.com

Online Services:

  1. Fidelity Investments - www.fidelity.com
  2. The Vanguard Group - www.vanguard.com
  3. INVESCO Funds Group - www.invescofunds.com

Usability:

  1. INVESCO Funds Group - www.invescofunds.com
  2. Strong Investments - www.strong.com
  3. The Vanguard Group - www.vanguard.com

Web Technology:

  1. Fidelity Investments - www.fidelity.com
  2. American Century Investments - www.americancentury.com
  3. INVESCO Funds Group - www.invescofunds.com

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.