Update: we're pleased to announce that this report was featured in FundFire on December 15! Download your copy here.
1. What percentage of firm revenue comes from institutional consulting activity? Identify other sources (and %) of revenue.
2. What is the average client-to-consultant ratio at the firm, and how is it calculated?
3. Provide comments and suggestions on our current Investment Policy Statement (included with the RFP).
4. How do you ensure best ideas are shared between consulting and research teams?
5. How do you measure your success as a consultant? Provide data as support.
Bonus: Here's one that didn't work
What is the average client to senior consultant ratio for relationships in the following size ranges?
A) Less than $100M
B) $100M to $500M
C) $500M to $1B
D) $1B and greater
Rationale: Where questions are open to interpretation and gamification (such as the client to consultant ratio), we request different data points and ask for the information in different ways. This allows us to cross-reference the responses and ensure that the answers are consistent. We used this question (unsuccessfully) in a recent RFP.
We expected to see a higher client-to-consultant ratio on smaller clients (with AUM representing a crude measure of complexity) and a lower ratio on larger clients. Overall, the measure should be in line with the high-level client-to-consultant ratio.
40% of the firms we asked didn’t track this data and most of the rest didn’t provide consistent information in line with expectations. One firm, for example, came back with 1:1 in every category, which we believe signified one senior consultant assigned to each relationship (i.e. the consultant to client ratio, rather than vice versa).
Rather than try to reengineer this question, we simply removed it and rely on other measures to place the client to consultant ratio in context.