Sentinel Investments – a digitally integrated success story

Sentinel, an active asset manager headquartered in Vermont, has deep roots as part of the 167-year old National Life Group, a mutually held family of financial service companies. Its flagship investment, the ‘Sentinel Common Stock Fund,’ was created in 1934 and has lived through multiple wars, market catastrophes as well as periods of strong economic growth.

The Sentinel investment approach is based upon careful analysis, fundamental research and unique perspectives that aim to serve investors better. To this end, Sentinel’s website and digital footprint became a priority for the Sentinel marketing team to improve – with two core objectives: improving the user experience for investors; and increasing efficiency for the marketing team, freeing up time and resources.

The Challenge

The main business problem Sentinel faced was centered around their data and the flow of that data. Multiple vendors also meant they were spending time dealing with different processes for their website updates, fund data and fund factsheet production.

Sentinel needed a more integrated solution which would put the controls in the hands of their marketing team, and one that would negate the need for the firm to go through a third party for simple updates. Their website also needed an updated design and ‘responsive’ architecture, so that it could work across mobile devices seamlessly.

Kurtosys in our research became a very clear choice in terms of having one vendor to go to with data. It allowed us to streamline our processes which created efficiencies which ultimately saved us money.

John Haase, Head of Marketing

The Solution

Kurtosys designed and built a responsive WordPress website that enabled the Sentinel marketing team to perform updates easily with minimal training. Part of the website solution includes a ‘snapshot’ function that maintains an audit trail of all website changes for seven years, to fulfill compliance regulations. This additional functionality reduced the need for a dedicated vendor that Sentinel previously required for this process.

The audit function adds another layer of confidence for our compliance team, that any changes we make to the website are being captured and stored appropriately for regulation, by the same vendor.

John Haase, Head of Marketing

The custom built fund pages include Kurtosys Fund Tools with fully responsive dynamic growth charts. Sentinel’s fund pages include an S&P 500 benchmark, Morningstar and Lipper ratings as well as fund philosophy and portfolio manager details.

The fund factsheets and reports are produced exactly to Sentinel’s design and the hi-res PDFs are created via industry standard Adobe InDesign software. An integrated workflow allows Sentinel to approve documents before they are generated.

The fact that Kurtosys partners with Morningstar certainly helps us, since Kurtosys ports in the market data directly (into our website and factsheets), it saves us having to provide that data separately.

John Haase, Head of Marketing

The Results

The new Sentinel website can be viewed at https://www.sentinelinvestments.com

Here’s a breakdown of the some of the core features integrated into the Sentinel project:

Website & Fund Data Tools:

  • Fully responsive WordPress website where content can be directly managed by Sentinel
  • Audit snapshot functionality to maintain an audit trail of any content changes
  • Secure gated microsite exclusively for Sentinel board of directors
  • Fund pages for 10 funds featuring the following components:
  • Dynamic growth of 10K chart
  • Philosophy, process and investment professional content
  • Morningstar ratings and style box
  • Lipper rankings
  • Fund details including Top 10 holdings
  • PDF downloads: factsheets, prospectus, manager insights

Document Generation:

  • 10 factsheets showing both retail and institutional data
  • 5 holdings and performance reports
  • Integrated workflow for reviewing and approving factsheets prior to submission