Ray Dalio's Power Branding

A report released earlier this month by Peregrine Communications shows that Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio is mentioned more often in the media than State Street Global Advisors and Natixis Investment Managers combined. This according to a recent article in Institutional Investor.

At $150 billion in assets, Bridgewater is smaller than many traditional investment companies, the article reports, yet the firm earns “high scores in almost every marketing category that Peregrine measured—except media sentiment.” The report related to the study, which analyzed social media mentions and Google searches of the 100 largest global asset managers, says this “illustrates the challenge of maintaining the quality of media coverage when a firm has a superstar spokesperson.”

The Peregrine study –which ranks firms against peers on 10 measures including brand awareness, media sentiment, first-page Google results and paid search–reports that firms with high media sentiment scores typically adopt a more restrained approach to press: “As it becomes harder for investors to differentiate between managers, negative news flow only makes it easier for investors not to choose a firm that has been in the news for the wrong reasons.”

According to the study, the top 10 asset managers based on marketing are also among the largest managers (BlackRock tops the list) but, after the top 10, the best marketed firms are not necessarily the largest. The study found that nearly two-thirds of asset managers are suffering from investors’ declining interest in their brands.