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On the other side of the spectrum is
SEI Investments Company(SEIC - Get Report), a mid-cap asset manager and back-office outsourcer that helps traditional portfolio managers cut the costs of managing clients' assets. SEIC hasn't been immune to the selling in the financial sector this year; shares are down more than 27% since the start of 2011.
Because SEIC provides middle- and back-office fund management functions (like accounting, record keeping, and compliance), the firm's clients tend to be stickier mid-sized asset managers and financial advisors who just are capable of handling those logistics themselves. Regardless of those benefits, industry headwinds have been a challenge for the firm -- especially considering that SEIC's profitability is effectively tied to its clients' assets under management. A volatile investment scene has meant rough revenue performance since 2008.
The firm has been working to build its own asset management business in recent years, taking the onus off of clients' abilities to draw investors. While those fee-based revenues are welcome, the firm will need to be careful not to grow its own AUM at the expense of its bread-and-butter business. Earlier this month, management increased SEIC's semi-annual dividend by 25% to 15 cents.