Reflections on a year of change

As my first anniversary with InvestmentNews approaches, I find myself unable to avoid a bit of retrospection. The past year has seen tremendous change at InvestmentNews and reflecting on it puts in perspective the shifting sands of the industry, as well as a great deal of accomplishment that should make the team here exceptionally proud.  

When I joined the company, my conversations with CEO Christine Shaw focused on the need for the new role of Chief Content Officer to link all the content under the InvestmentNews umbrella. We both recognized the great depth and talent on hand and knew that there was an opportunity to surface more of our talented team’s efforts to help the industry succeed.

So what have we done to achieve this goal? In wildly unanticipated times, we have executed lightning-fast changes in our practices across the board to better show the market the scope and reach of our unique product set.   

Events are a key component of the InvestmentNews business model and as COVID-19 broke out in February and March, we quickly launched our Navigating 2020 series of webcasts. Intended to address the rapidly changing series of new realities, this webcast series grew to cover the issues facing the advice community.

At the same time, our events team had to quickly pivot a full slate of in-person events to virtual due to the shuttering of locations and massive change. The team — Dan Rubinetti, Tara Means, Sasha Burgansky, Natalie Taylor and Letitia Bow — adapted to this new framework, and they did it with exceptional aplomb. The skill set needed to run a virtual show is akin to television production, and these folks made the shift with grace. The innumerable hours spent benefited everyone who has attended or will attend these 22 events and created opportunities for unique cohesion across our platforms.    

KEY COMPONENT 

A key component of our events has been our video setups where we establish our “Gameday” format that attracts big names in the industry to sit down and talk shop. Absent those in-person events, we focused on the network we’ve built to develop three video series — Triple Play, starring Jeff Benjamin; By the Numbers, featuring yours truly; and 3 Questions, hosted by a subject matter expert. And we have launched two marquee podcasts: Her Success Matters, hosted by Christine Shaw, and The InvestmentNews Podcast, with Jeff Benjamin and Bruce Kelly. They’ve drawn the biggest names in the industry, and we have great plans for the year ahead.

In research we delivered our special studies — Elite RIA, Outsourcing, Beyond Finances, updated Comp & Staffing, Pricing & Profitability and the Adviser Tech — and launched several new surveys that provide the unique industry insights people have long relied on IN to deliver. Currently, we have a six-part series in progress; the Adviser Pulse, sponsored by Transamerica, assesses how the market has adapted to “the new normal.” Look for more of this real-time research in the year ahead.   

And what about InvestmentNews.com? Well, the website has seen a full revamp, which includes a significantly enhanced CMS that powers the site. Thanks to that enhanced functionality, visitors to the site find our content organized by primary topics, and whether you’re looking for video, research, news or advisers on the move, it’s all available from the top navigation or a simple scroll down the page. 

We know that you’re all looking for advisers on the move, every day. This flexible new design represents the culmination of extremely long hours and meetings with our new technology team. It’s one of many investments the company has made this year for the long term.   

EXPANDING OUR REACH 

Our flagship magazine hasn’t escaped this year of change either. At the start of the year, we redesigned the magazine, and then in March, we launched our digital edition. Done in response to the need to reach our readers at home, this has proved to be a great addition. Many users have told us that having access to the weekly magazine on a desktop has increased their time spent and the depth of engagement. And in response to the pandemic, Managing Editor Paul Curcio and team constructed two special editions — March 30 and Sept. 14 — that addressed the challenges and solutions advisers discovered as they sought to manage this unprecedented time.  

Finally, we have added two exciting new sites dedicated to important sectors of the marketplace where our readers have indicated keen interest. ESG Clarity US provides an Americas-centric focus on the booming ESG market, and RPA Convergence represents a home where retirement plan specialists can find the research and analysis they need to succeed. 

In the year ahead, we will continue to expand into areas where you tell us you need more content that ultimately helps you, the adviser, do your job better.   

All told, a full and amazing year is now behind us and I want to thank you all for your support and loyalty. As always, let me know what you need and what we can do for you in 2021 and beyond.

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