The use of customer relationship management (CRM) technology and systems in the fund industry continues to evolve. CRM applications have gone from virtual obscurity within the investment management industry to become standard among sales and marketing departments over the past several years.

Whether CRM is managed internally or outsourced, sometimes called CRM on-demand, it always combines sales, servicing and marketing functions and is centered around a database of information about the preferences, investment transactions and habits of clients, be they individual investors and outside selling partners such as broker/dealers, bank or insurance reps and retirement plan sponsors. The CRM database provides bountiful information on customers, such as their profiles. It can also determine who the most profitable customers are and even predict their behavior - information that is invaluable to internal and external wholesalers, sales reps, client service reps and sales managers.

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