Having worked on tens of thousands of portfolio manager commentaries over the past decade, our firm has developed a number of best practices for producing commentaries better and faster than anyone else.
Here are some great tips we recommend you try before your next commentary run (and there’s always a commentary run around the corner).
Have all the info you need handy
A spreadsheet with full fund & portfolio manager/sub-advisor names, up-to-date benchmark(s), attribution info, etc. should be maintained throughout the year. Having all this information is key to producing commentaries faster.
Ensure you have a complete understanding of commentary needs
Knowing details like the number of commentaries, the word count for each and the audience (i.e., retail, advisor, institutional) will help you get prepared for the next run, including your staffing and training needs.
Speaking of staffing
It’s a good idea to know exactly how many people you’re going to need to help get things done. This can include internal and external writers, editors and project managers, as well as anyone you’ll need for reviews and approvals.
Prepare a well-thought-out and achievable workback schedule
This is a key component to ensuring requests go out, due dates are maintained and required approvals can be managed.
Notify the portfolio manager or sub-advisor of dates/needs
They may have a vacation coming up and/or manage a number of different mandates. Let them know exactly what you’ll need from them and when, as early as possible so they can manage all their deliverables.
Keep a running style guide that includes grammatical & wording preferences
Make sure the entire team has access to this style guide so they can refer back to it often. This ensures that no matter how many people are working on your commentaries, everyone is singing from the same song sheet.
Know what compliance is looking for
This knowledge will help you avoid having to spend lots of time adding required content and/or removing offending language. Any feedback or direction you receive can be added into your running style guide.
Find common ground
When allowable, it can help to recycle information within different fund commentaries. A good example is reusing some macroeconomic information for similar geographic regions, asset classes, etc. You can save time and money by not having five different writers say that the Fed raised interest rates during the period.
Ext. Marketing Inc. is the global leader in the production of portfolio manager commentaries. In fact, the ext. team produced over 1,500 unique monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual portfolio manager commentaries for our global clients in the financials space in July 2018 alone.