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Putnam Investments Survey on Social Media Points to growing importance for financial advisors to leverage social networks to connect, communicate and cultivate

"The Social Advisor" Makes Daily Use of Social Media to Improve Their Referral Network, Build Brand Identity and Enhance Current Client Relationships

BOSTON, October 2, 2013 — In a continuing effort to help financial advisors stay on top of changing trends in social media and technology, today Putnam Investments unveiled the results of a new study that indicates that approximately 3 out of 4 advisors are currently using at least one social network to help serve clients and further grow their business.

The Putnam Investments Survey of Financial Advisors' Use of Social Media explores the social media behavior of U.S.-based financial advisors, wealth managers and securities brokers, based on a survey of over 400 professionals conducted by FTI Consulting Strategic Communications. Interestingly, results from the Putnam study help draw an initial picture of some key characteristics possessed by the more prolific users of social media among the financial advisor ranks today. "The Social Advisor," defined as an advisor who uses social media on a daily basis:

  • is a 44-year-old male, fee-based independent broker-dealer,
  • has 10+ years of experience in the business,
  • manages a book of business that averages less than $150 million, with an average client portfolio of less than $1 million in assets,
  • uses social media to improve their referral network, build their brand and enhance relationships, and
  • has a higher success rate in gaining new clients on social media, with new clients assets averaging less than $500,000 in assets.

In discussing the new study, Mark McKenna, Head of Global Marketing, Putnam Investments, indicated that Putnam, as a firm that strives to add value to the advisor community on a daily basis around issues of importance to both advisors and their clients, is keenly aware of the dynamic force that social media — in all forms — has become in the marketplace. "Our study results underscore the growing significance of social media use in the day-to-day work of financial advisors, including how they serve clients and prospect for business. This is a trend that is only likely to continue in the years ahead."

Further, McKenna explained that while there has been interesting anecdotal evidence pointing to a possible correlation between advisors' use of social media and attracting new clients and assets, the Putnam study has shed further light on the synergy. "Advisors are becoming more aware of the critical importance of not only having a presence on social media networks, but actually leveraging the new medium to manage existing business and make huge strides toward expanding their practices," he said.

Other key findings from the study include:

  • 75% of financial advisors use at least one social network for business, with 81% using LinkedIn as their primary network,
  • 46% of all financial advisors, not just those already using social media, expect social media to play a more significant role going forward; with over one-third attributing this growth to increased marketing and networking opportunities,
  • Of those advisors using LinkedIn, 66% use it to prospect for new relationships; in contrast, 69% of advisors using Facebook use it to enhance current relationships,
  • Corporate policy at 93% of the surveyed companies allow advisors to accept LinkedIn connections, and
  • 49% of advisors who use social media acquired new clients through social networks and of those, 29% gained over $1 million in new assets.
Putnam and Social Media

Putnam has been a thought leader in the developing use of social media in the investment marketplace and currently has a robust presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In July 2009, Putnam President and CEO Robert L. Reynolds became one of the first CEOs in the asset management arena to go live on Twitter — and now has over 4,000 followers.

In 2011, Putnam identified a need among financial advisors to understand the emerging importance of social media as a business-building tool. To assist, a program was developed focusing on technology, mobile and social media to help advisors manage and grown their day-to-day practice. Some key initiatives launched from Putnam in this area include supporting advisors as they begin to use social media — specifically LinkedIn — through: seminars; online resources and tools; 1:1 training and ongoing discussions; creation of a community discussion via the firm's LinkedIn group; and useful video vignettes on its Advisor Tech Tips blog.

Survey Background

The Putnam Investments Survey of Financial Advisors' Use of Social Media was conducted by FTI Consulting in July 2013, based on a survey of 408 U.S. based financial advisors.

About FTI Consulting

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,000 employees located in 25 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.

About Putnam Investments

Founded in 1937, Putnam Investments is a leading global money management firm with over 75 years of investment experience. In February, the firm was named #1 out of 62 Mutual Fund Family by Lipper/Barron's based on the firm's 2012 performance across asset classes. At the end of July 2013, Putnam had $139 billion in assets under management. Putnam has offices in Boston, London, Frankfurt, Beijing, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney. For more information, visit putnam.com.

How Barron's ranked the fund families:

The Lipper/Barron's survey published February 9, 2013, for the 2012 award period, ranked Putnam #1 out of 62 fund families with funds in five categories: general U.S. stock, global or international, mixed-asset, taxable bond, and tax-exempt bond. Putnam Investments ranked 27 of 53 and 36 of 46 for the 5- and 10-year periods, respectively. Only funds with at least one year of performance were included. Returns were calculated minus the effects of sales charges and 12b-1 fees. Rankings were asset weighted, so larger funds had a greater impact on a fund family's overall ranking, and then weighted by category, with each category assigned a percentage. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Barron's is a registered trademark of Dow Jones & Company.

Request a prospectus, or a summary prospectus if available, from your financial representative or by calling Putnam at 1-800-225-1581. The prospectus includes investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information that you should read and consider carefully before investing.

Putnam Investments Media Contacts:

Jon Goldstein — 617-760-1127 (office), 516-946-5598 (cell), [email protected]
Laura McNamara — 617-760-1108 (office), 617-850-2727 (cell), [email protected]

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