Over 80 Percent of Financial Advisors Use Social Media for Business According to 2015 Putnam Investments Social Advisor Study

BOSTON, September 16, 2015 — In the largest known body of research on financial advisor use of social media, the Putnam Investments 2015 Social Advisor Study points to social media as having become an increasingly essential client communication and business-building component for financial advisors across the industry. Research findings released today by Putnam from the firm’s third annual study of over 800 financial advisors nationwide show 81% of advisors currently use social media for business, up from 75% last year.

Advisors of all ages are more frequently using social media networks in their professional practice, with 40% of advisors (versus 25% last year) now using four or more networks for business and a growing number (69%) pointing to social media having a significant role in their marketing efforts — up steeply from the prior year (56%).

The increasing utilization of social media by advisors is translating into concrete business results: The share of advisors acquiring new clients through social media is up sharply to 79% (from 66% in 2014), with the average annual asset gain from these clients standing at $4.6 million.

Putnam Investments President and CEO Robert L. Reynolds, who was one of the first senior executives in Financial Services to actively engage on social media, commented, “We are seeing a clear, powerful trend emerging where social media is becoming an almost indispensable communications tool for financial advisors in their day-to-day interaction with their clients, investment providers and the broader marketplace. This is a dynamic that is likely to endure, providing tremendous opportunity for advisors to establish and build relationships.”
Additional Findings

The study yielded other notable findings, including:

  • The median increase in assets gained through social media activity is $1.9 million, up from $1.2 million in 2014
  • Advisors look toward certain social platforms to help perform different business-building functions: LinkedIn to improve their referral network and connect with other financial professionals; Facebook to enhance client relationships and build professional brand; and Twitter to expand professional knowledge and help establish a thought leadership platform
  • While LinkedIn continues to be the dominant network for business use by advisors, business usage of other networks is growing more rapidly
  • Advisors are increasingly getting their business news and information from social sites — equating the sites’ credibility with traditional news sources

“Social media use by financial advisors today is broader, deeper and more results-driven than ever,” said Mark McKenna, Head of Global Marketing, Putnam Investment. “We are seeing advisors across the industry — including those affiliated with major wirehouses, independent firms and RIA shops — recognize the present and future potential of social media engagement with clients, prospects and other crucial constituents. This is a medium that is evolving rapidly for advisors and offers tremendous promise for the years to come.”
Profile of a “Social Advisor”

The Putnam Investments research indicates that the typical financial advisor — who has gained assets through social media — has the following characteristics:

  • 44-year-old wirehouse advisor living in southern or western U.S.
  • Active on five social networks
  • Has 10 years of experience
  • Runs a book of business of $80 million (median)

Putnam Investments and Social Media
In recent years, Putnam Investments has expanded outreach to clients, advisors, consultants and other stakeholders with social media by building out a robust presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. The firm has been widely recognized for developing and adopting best practices in social media. In 2014, Putnam Investments was ranked the #1 social media leader in the asset management industry by kasina, based on Putnam’s work across social media platforms.

In identifying a need among financial advisors to understand the emerging importance of social media as a business-building tool, Putnam Investments has developed key practice management offerings in this area including: providing best practice seminars to advisors on use of LinkedIn and other social platforms; a series of online resources and tools; one-on-one training and continuing discussions; creation of a community discussion via the firm’s LinkedIn group; and video vignettes on Putnam’s Advisor Tech Tips blog (http://www.advisortechtips.com/).

In 2014, Putnam Investments President and CEO Robert L. Reynolds was named a LinkedIn Influencer, joining a select group of CEOs, political figures, entrepreneurs and other influential business executives who provide compelling commentary and professional insights on a variety of subjects. Currently, Reynolds has over 9,000 followers on Twitter (https://twitter.com/RobertLReynolds). Reynolds was also one of the first CEOs in the financial industry to actively tweet — beginning in July 2009. In addition, he currently has over 100,000 LinkedIn followers.
About the Survey

The research was conducted online by Brightwork Partners LLC among 817 financial advisors nationally who have been advising retail clients for at least two years. The study was conducted in July 2015.

About Brightwork Partners LLC
Brightwork Partners is a specialty research and consulting firm focusing on distribution strategies for retail asset managers and providers of defined contribution services. Founded in 1999, the firm conducts custom and multi-client research among advisors, consultants, plan sponsors, third party administrators and participants on behalf of major providers in the industry.

Putnam Investments Names Sumedh Mehta Chief Technology Officer

BOSTON, September 8, 2015 — Putnam Investments today announced that Sumedh Mehta has been named Chief Technology Officer, with responsibility for all aspects of the company’s worldwide systems infrastructure and application development, as well as technology integration across business lines. In recent years Putnam has deepened its commitment to leading-edge technology as it seeks to further enhance client experience and support its core investments, sales and operations.

“We believe that leveraging evolving technology can be a critical factor in allowing our firm — and industry — to continually elevate how we serve our clients and the quality of offerings that we can provide them,” said Putnam President and Chief Executive Officer Robert L. Reynolds. “As we build upon our deep commitment to advance technology, we are pleased to have a highly seasoned professional like Sumedh help lead the charge, bringing vision and creativity to the role and our firm’s mission in this area.”

Mehta will be based in Boston and report directly to Putnam Chief Financial Officer Clare Richer. He will lead a full range of corporate-wide technology groups, including Software Engineering, Enterprise Computing and Telecommunications and Data. A nearly 25- year information technology leader, Mehta joins Putnam from Fidelity Investments, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, Fidelity Investment Management Technology.

Prior to joining Putnam, Mehta held a series of senior roles in financial services information technology, with a strong focus on asset management. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President, Equity, High Income, Select Co., Pyramis and Research Technology for Fidelity Investments, where he developed solutions for portfolio managers, traders and research analysts.

Previously, Mehta served as director of operational effectiveness for Marsh & McLennan Companies and as industry head for the financial services practice at Patni, Inc., a technology consultancy firm.

Earlier in his career, Mehta held positions at Mercer, The Reference, Inc., and The Mathworks.

Mehta holds an MBA degree from Babson College, an M.S. degree in electronic engineering from Columbia University and a BSc. degree in electronic engineering from the University of Southampton.

Putnam Investments sponsors Patriots Fancam; Helping fans get in the picture at every regular season home game

BOSTON, September 2, 2015 — Putnam Investments, the official mutual fund sponsor of the New England Patriots, today announced that it will offer Patriots Fancam an innovative technology that allows fans to locate a high-definition image of themselves in virtually any of the nearly 67,000 seats within Gillette Stadium, at every New England Patriots home game throughout the 2015 regular season. Fans in attendance will be able to share their game-day photo with family and friends on social media platforms, beginning with the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, Sept. 10.

“We are pleased to provide this extraordinary New England fan base with an exciting way to view and express their Patriots pride and share their image on social media," said Mark McKenna, head of global marketing, Putnam Investments. "Building upon the success of our one-game sponsorship of Patriots Fancam last season, we have decided to make this unique engagement experience available throughout the 2015 season for Patriots Nation at Gillette Stadium.”

McKenna noted that Patriots Fancam was extremely well received by fans at Gillette Stadium when Putnam first made it available at a game late in the 2014 regular season. Based on its popularity, as evidenced by the volume of social media tagging and posting, Putnam will now offer Patriots Fancam at all home games.

The Power of Teamwork: You, Your Advisor and Putnam

Putnam also today announced the launch of a new multimedia marketing campaign, “The Power of Teamwork,” which will officially kick off with the start of the Patriots regular season. Television, radio and digital advertisements will focus on the importance of assembling a winning team off the field, in the form of a strong partnership between a client, his or her financial advisor and Putnam Investments — or as the ads highlight, “You, Your Advisor and Putnam.”

A centerpiece of the campaign is a pair of 30-second television spots, shot at both Gillette Stadium and at Putnam’s Boston headquarters, titled “Teaming Up” and “Working Together.” The ads feature financial advisors and their clients in the stands at Gillette wearing Patriots gear and then in the advisor’s office discussing their financial strategy — emphasizing the importance of teamwork and pursuit of excellence. The ads will run throughout the 2015–16 National Football League season.

“Putnam Investments’ new Patriots-themed marketing campaign is part of our Performance in Motion strategy,” said McKenna. “We want the message to be unmistakable: Like the athletes and teams that share our commitment to winning, we are always striving for world-class results.”
Putnam Investments: Performance in Motion

The partnership with the New England Patriots is part of Putnam Investments’ Performance in Motion marketing strategy that draws upon sports that appeal to its advisor, institutional and investor audiences. As part of this effort, the firm works closely with teams and athletes who best personify Putnam’s focus on performing at the highest level. For more information, visit www.putnam.com/performanceinmotion.

Putnam Investments and the New England Patriots

Putnam Investments and the four-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots have a multifaceted, multi-year marketing partnership that aligns the company with the Patriots, one of the strongest and most recognizable global brands in professional sports. The relationship, which underscores the shared commitment of Putnam and the Patriots to performance excellence, includes an extensive co-branded multimedia campaign across television, radio, print, digital and social media elements. It also incorporates high-profile branding of various properties at Gillette Stadium, most notably the Putnam Club, an upscale dining and entertainment venue at the stadium.

About Patriots Fancam

Patriots Fancam employs an advanced photographic technology that enables fans to locate images of themselves in almost all of the nearly 67,000 seats within Gillette Stadium, and then share them with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter and email. Using Patriots Fancam, fans will be able to zoom in on their actual seat, tag their image and share it on social media. Additionally, fans will be able to get an inside look at Gillette with exclusive 360-degree virtual tours of the stadium, the Putnam Club and the Putnam Suite.