The advisory channel is becoming important enough to the big load-bearing fund complexes that Franklin Templeton, for example, is beefing up its RIA sales force.
Presumably Franklin Templeton is hoping to boost its profile among hybrid or fee-"based" RIAs by moving Pierre Caramazza over from fixed income to run RIA sales and creating a three-man team of regional sales directors under him.
The $700 billion fund family is about 2/3 composed of load-bearing advisor-sold funds, many of which carry relatively rich sales fees as a way to compensate those who recommend them to investors.
While the other 1/3 of the Franklin Templeton shelf is still no-load, it's an open question what fee-only planners would do with the rest.
One hint toward the company's strategy toward RIAs: Tom Johnson will keep handling key accounts and internal sales on the RIA side, but will now also be responsible for marketing SMAs.
Michael Wasz, newly minted director for sales for RIAs located in the middle of the country, also comes from the SMA unit.
We may see Franklin Templeton get even more serious about SMAs in the near future, in which case Caramazza's ability to reach out to the RIA channel will become critical.