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 $100 million in institutional assets
  • Web-based survey
  • NEW: CONSULTANT PERSPECTIVE Series of in-depth interviews with institutional consultants to identify how their role is changing and the impact on their asset manager expectations

Areas of Inquiry

Future Asset Allocation

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

Economic Outlook

  • Top economic influencers on institutional portfolio
  • Actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Portfolio adjustments due to US elections

Current/Future Investment Strategy Trends

  • Current/future use of and portfolio allocation to liability-driven investing (LDI), alternatives, digital assets/crypto currencies, outsourced CIO multi-asset strategies, ESG investing, pension risk transfer options (PRT), and quantitative/factor-based investing
  • Unaided consideration and aided awareness of LDI, OCIO and PRT providerss

Asset Manager Selection Process

  • Number of asset managers currently used and number likely to add over next 12 months

Consultant Relationships

  • Changes in reliance on consultants
  • Aspects most valued in consultants
  • Influence of consultants on asset manager selection
  • Reasons for rejecting consultant recommendations

Brand Equity and Brand Differentiation

  • Awareness and impression of 50 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 14 brand attributes
  • Brand engagement across 13 outreach channels
  • Most effective communication methods for evaluating new asset managers vs. keeping up-to-date with current managers
  • Changes in communication with asset managers and consultants
  • Interest in specific contend

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 and reasons for droppings

Subscription Details

Survey fielded: October–November 2020
Publication: March 2021
On-site strategy session: April 2021


  • Detailed report including a summary of findings and strategic implications
  • Custom strategy session, presentation designed to deliver actionable results and facilitate strategic planning
  • Custom data cuts and survey work by senior analysts

Investment: $40,000

USIIB 2021_Fact Sheet