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97% asset management firms use unreadable copy to communicate with customers

by LLB Editor
30th Aug 19 10:06 am

Latest research from VisibleThread showing 97% of asset management firms use unreadable copy to communicate with customers. 

The plain language experts used standard readability metrics to measure ease of reading for factors including long sentences, passive voice and jargon. A readability score of 60 or more indicates that the average consumer would understand the content.

Content on the top 60 asset management firms’ website in the world returned an average readability score of just 37

BlackRock, Santander and Northern Trust are among the poorest communicators.

“Using plain language is a vital step in building trust,” comments Fergal McGovern, CEO of VisibleThread. “Complex content takes longer to digest and taxes your mental capacity. The result is less engagement and lost business opportunities. When investors read complex, jargon-laden and obtuse language, they think you have something to hide.”

Last year VisibleThread undertook the same research with a 1% negligible improvement this year. 

“It’s a pity to see no significant improvement since our 2018 report covering the same organisations. It’s time for asset management firms to consider how to broaden appeal, increase trust and demonstrate transparency. Adopting a plain language program needs to be a top priority for CMOs and become a key plank of their competitive strategy,” McGovern concluded.

The top plain language performers were:

  1. Federated Investors
  2. Vanguard
  3. Putnam Investors

Bottom of the table were:

  1. Standard Life Investments 
  2. Manulife Asset Management 
  3. Macquarie Asset Management 

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