Research Affiliates

Research Affiliates Replaces with Dynamics CRM to Build Stronger Connections with Clients and Clear a Path for Growth

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About The Client

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Research Affiliates is a global leader in innovative indexing and asset allocation strategies. Built on a strong research base and led by industry experts, this dynamic firm delivers solutions in partnership with some of the world’s foremost financial insti- tutions that offer mutual funds, ETFs, separately managed and commingled accounts.


Find a CRM solution that would improve usability, visibility, reporting, and security while lowering TCO through an extensible platform that could be supported internally.

Research Affiliates is a global leader innovative indexing and asset allocation strategies, delivering solutions in partnership with some of the world’s foremost financial institutions. Their competitive edge lies in the way they do business—from their entrepreneurial culture that continually strives for new ways to help their clients succeed, to their ability to blend deep academic research and real world experience in advising them.

The firm’s Salesforce CRM software was not doing the job, and in their business, not understanding the client to the deepest level means losing business. The decision was made – Salesforce needed to go, and so did the Salesforce partner who had been unwilling to help.

Other Challenges:

  • Salesforce’s rigidity forced Research Affiliates to fit their business to the software
  • Salesforce was becoming too expensive to support
  • Salesforce did not integrate well with other data sources and systems, like Outlook


AKA worked in close collaboration with the Research Affiliates team to analyze their needs and understand their business, culture, and goals and then designed a solution using Microsoft Dynamics CRM that enabled the firm to:

  • Lower the TCO of CRM and dependence on outside IT resources while improving functionality and usability
  • Track and analyze relationships with investors and their interrelationships to provide better advice
  • Provide a clean, user-friendly interface that fit with business processes
  • Track and analyze activities, including the firm’s partners, while keeping that data secure
  • Replace disparate systems with a platform that would eliminate silos of information


The key was to couple Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Research Affiliates’ custom data model to fit and optimize the firm’s business processes. Dynamics CRM’s power and flexibility, combined with AKA's expertise in financial services, produced a solution that achieve their goals, including:

  • More effective marketing and sales opportunity management
  • Better application integration
  • A cleaner, more efficient user interface
  • Better access to intelligent data
  • More control over tracking activities and security.


With a solution built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Research Affiliates improved visibility, efficiency, communication, and reporting, which is helping them build stronger connections and more loyal clients—all while lowering TCO—and paving the way for growth.

  • 30%

    Increased Usage

  • 75%

    More Efficient Reporting

The team did a great job of gathering requirements and understanding our needs from the start. They listened to what we wanted, offering suggestions to streamline the solution technically where it made sense, rather than trying to make it more complex and more expensive, like so many consultants do. They implemented what we wanted and nothing we didn’t need.

Brent Leadbetter, CFA
Vice President of Research Affiliates
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