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Dawn of a New Era

But now many funds are struggling to differentiate themselves from their competitors because they can no longer market their products on performance. Moreover, shareholders' investable assets are diminishing as rapidly as fund returns. Without the ability to cater strong performance to a client base flush with assets, traditional branding strategies like the ones used by consumer goods manufacturers are more likely to be adopted by fund companies, he said.

The way the market is shaping up, firms will begin competing for market share rather than increasing their assets through new clients, Srere said. That will force many companies to develop brands that resonate with investors and that differentiate their firm from their competitors: the hallmarks of a traditional brand, he said.