United Asset Management's redesigned website is a model of how a decentralized asset management firm such as UAM can use the Internet to provide investors with a central source of information and identity.
The UAM site, located at www.uam.com, was originally created in September, 1996 as a source of shareholder information and documents such as annual reports, press releases, quarterly reports and Securities and Exchange Commission forms.
Since then, the site has been significantly expanded and has become more of a marketing tool that helps solidify UAM's identity and take advantage of all its resources. UAM has 50 firms that operate under it autonomously and manage over $180 billion in assets.
The new site is the latest effort by UAM to strengthen its brand. In April, UAM began the first advertising campaign in its 18-year history with print ads that are running in financial trade publications. In the prior year, the company hired the brand consulting firm, Sametz Blackstone of Boston, to help develop its brand and to design a new logo.
The website's new design also is part of the company's efforts to support its affiliated money management firms, an effort that the advertising campaign supports as well, company officials say. In fact, the website was designed with the new branding campaign in mind, and was developed in part by Sametz Blackstone. As such, the site's look is consistent with its new branding campaign.
The redesigned website will now become an important new channel for UAM, company officials say.
"It allows us to capitalize on our scale while at the same time supporting the investment and operating autonomy of our firms," UAM president Charles E. Haldeman, Jr. said in a statement.
The site features not only information about the UAM family of funds - those branded under the UAM name - but also information about its affiliates. It also provides links to those affiliates that maintain their own websites. While each firm is responsible for its own marketing, the advertising campaign and other investments are adding new dimensions to the relationship beyond just ownership. The enrichment of the website is another step in fortifying these relationships.
"The firm is evolving from being essentially a holding company to a strong and supportive operating partner," a UAM spokesman said.
The site also has a password-protected area for financial advisers that has in-depth fund information such as portfolio holdings and fund manager commentary.
"The web will play a major role in our marketing and communications going forward," said Norton H. Reamer, UAM's chairman and ceo in a statement. We see tremendous opportunities both for improving our communications with UAM shareholders and for providing UAM Funds shareholders and financial advisers with information on their investments."
The best addition to the site may be the mutual fund information that features the UAM Funds, company officials say. Daily net asset values, performance information, manager biographies and sector weightings for funds are included. Investors are also able to download prospectuses.
D.C. firm adds Internet fund
The Monument Fund Group has added an Internet fund, the Monument Internet Fund, to its family of mutual funds. Monument officials said their fund has much to offer investors since many Internet companies are located in the Washington, D.C. area where Monument is located. Only three other Internet funds exist: WWW Internet fund, Internet Fund and Munder NetNet.
All are relatively small. Monument also runs two regional funds, the Monument Washington Regional Growth Fund and the Monument Washington Regional Aggressive Growth Fund, both launched in January.
Thornburg to add portfolio holdings
Thornburg Management Co. is now listing the entire stock portfolio of its Thornburg Value Fund on its website at www.thornburg.com. The revised website will also include comments from fund manager William V. Fries.