Cogent Syndicated

US Institutional Investor Brandscape examines the behaviors and attitudes of senior investment professionals across defined benefit (DB) pension plans, and private and public foundations and endowments. The report covers overall trends in asset allocation and investment strategies, the variables that lead to selection, and the current state of brand equity, differentiation and loyalty in this critical market.

Services provided to DC plan sponsors and participants
• Impact of fee disclosure regulations
• Number of plan providers typically recommended
• Number and type of investment options typically recommended
• QDIA option used most often
• Target date fund recommendation


The report will enable subscribers to:

Boost Profitability
Identify growth segments in the institutional marketplace to boost profitability and grow market share

Track Competitors
Benchmark performance against your key competitors to improve positioning

Maximize Retention
Understand the elements that strengthen client satisfaction and promote loyalty


  • Representative sample of 400 institutional investors with at least $100M in institutional assets
    • Corporate defined benefit pensions
    • Public defined benefit pensions
    • Taft-Hartley pensions
    • Endowments
    • Private foundations
    • Public foundations
    • Tax-exempt organizations
  • Web-based survey

Areas of Inquiry

Future Asset Allocation

  • Expected changes in asset allocation
  • Drivers of asset allocation changes and desired outcomes by asset class

Current/Future Investment Strategy Trends

  • Expected portfolio return
  • Current/future use of and percent of portfolio allocation to liability-driven investing (LDI); multi-asset strategies; outsourced CIO multi-asset strategies; environmental, social and governance investing; pension risk transfer options (PRT); and quantitative/factor-based investing
  • Unaided and aided awareness and consideration of LDI, OCIO and PRT providers

Asset Manager Selection Process

  • Number of asset managers currently used and number likely to add over next 12 months
  • Importance of 17 specific metrics in selecting a new manager and in selecting the most recent asset manager hired

Brand Equity and Brand Differentiation

  • Top aspects of focus in assessing investment performance
  • Awareness and overall impression of 48 institutional asset managers
  • Unaided and aided consideration of leading asset managers
  • Unaided consideration of asset managers as active, passive, equity or fixed income providers
  • Aided consideration of asset managers by asset class
  • Perceptions of leading broad asset managers across 13 brand attributes
  • Brand engagement across 13 outreach channels
  • Most effective communication method, optimal frequency
  • Conference attendance and print and online publications used

Evaluation of Asset Managers

  • Asset manager penetration
  • Loyalty to and satisfaction with asset managers across 15 metrics
  • Asset managers likely to drop in next 12 months
  • Reasons for dropping asset managers

Subscription Details

Survey fielded: October–November 2019
Publication: March 2020
On-site strategy session: April 2020


  • Detailed report including a summary of findings and strategic implications
  • On-site strategy session, presentation designed to deliver actionable results and facilitate strategic planning
  • Custom data cuts and survey work by senior analysts
  • Customized “Beyond the Report” podcast available

Investment: $35,000

US Institutional Investor Brandscape