VisibleThread – Language Analysis Platform

Customer Experience and Investor Trust Hit Hard by Complexity – 2020 Asset Management Clarity Report Reveals

2 min read

Evelyn Wolf

From MarketWatch

Original Article Here

How will the history books describe 2020? A year of change, a year of uncertainty, and perhaps a year of opportunity. The opportunity to connect with customers on a more human level. The opportunity to lead with transparency. And focus on delivering outstanding CX (customer experience) in extraordinary times.

But the assessment management industry has so far not capitalized on that. This is according to the 2020 Asset Management Clarity Report released this week by VisibleThread. It analyzed the communications of 60 of the largest firms.

2020 Best and Worst Performers

The top performers were:




Federated Hermes


Barclays Wealth Management

Bottom of the table were:




Nomura Asset Management


Wellington Management

Websites remain harder to read than Moby Dick

Only two out of 60 firms communicate at levels understandable by the average consumer. This impacts CX (customer experience) negatively. Whether we look at COVID-19 specific content or more general website content, complexity is rife. And this erodes investor confidence, trust and CX.

Asset management firms can create or lose trust with every experience they provide. From their website and initial investment consultations, to update bulletins and research. Communicating clearly with existing and potential investors is mission-critical for any firm. Yet, the research shows that the average firms’ websites remain harder to read than Moby Dick.

Other key findings include:

  • The average sentence length still at 5x the recommended level
  • 57 out of 60 firms overuse passive voice and are not clear on who needs to take the action
  • There was a slight reduction of complex word density in 2020
  • Overall, firms did not improve trust and CX in 2020

No mention of COVID-19 on 30% of websites sampled

The picture worsened when we analyzed crisis communications. 30% of asset management firms in the sample do not mention COVID-19 on their website. Leaving investors without easily accessible information about the impact of the pandemic on their funds.

Mission-critical investor communications must be transparent

We used VisibleThread’s Language Analysis Platform to analyze all 60 organizations. This is the third year of our research into asset management firms.

“Investor communications are mission-critical to asset management firms. Improving efficiency and clarity reduces risk for these firms. And, firms can achieve this when transparency takes priority,” said Fergal McGovern, CEO, VisibleThread.

“It’s disappointing that our 2020 findings show little change from previous years. More and more organizations focus on CX. It’s a key differentiator and business success factor, especially during the current pandemic. Yet, our analysis shows that firms continue to overuse jargon and complex language. These unclear communications can damage relationships. Each time a customer must contact their firm due to complex language, it has a negative impact.”

VisibleThread provides the Language Analysis Platform that means business. Organizations gain quantifiable improvements to the efficiency of mission-critical business writing across all functional areas. From operations, to HR to marketing. We used the platform to analyze all 60 asset management firms. For a copy of the full report, including methodology, rankings and results, go to

ABOUT: VisibleThread helps organizations make quantifiable improvements to the efficiency, clarity and compliance of mission-critical business writing. We are the Language Analysis Platform that means business.