Pershing, a leader in the financial services industry, has a 70-year record of stability and success. However, due to its lack of retail presence, the full scope of Pershing’s value was not apparent to many stakeholders, particularly wealth managers and financial advisors. Pershing saw several PR obstacles to overcome. Misperceptions of Pershing’s value offering among clients and prospects often distorted the company’s market position. A reliance on standard communications channels meant that Pershing’s service-focused approach and thought leadership was lost or overlooked. In addition, Pershing’s technology leadership was in question. The challenge required a change in the organization’s approach to communications and how Pershing communicated its value.
Through an incisive perception audit of market pain points, internal and external perceptions, and a competitive analysis, we determined the “white space” opportunities for Pershing. The next phase involved identifying high-level initiatives and events in support of each area of the business. Together, these findings drove a major planning effort that culminated in Pershing’s first-ever organization-wide, integrated communications plan.
A key part of the communications plan was building Pershing’s reputation as a leader in advisor technology. Through a series of focused, one-on-one meetings with influential technology reporters across the advisor space, and giving them access to the real world experience of how Pershing used its technology lab to tailor its technology to advisors’ (and investors’) individual needs, we were able to break through. The program resulted in glowing coverage, with one influential reporter hailing CTO Ram Nagappan as a “tech visionary.”
“Ram Nagappan, Pershing LLC’s chief information officer, is something of a visionary. Not only does he love technology for technology’s sake — he gets positively giddy showing off new things — he loves applying it to improve business processes.”