Director of Research, Executive V. P., Co-Founder
In 1986, Avi co-founded Strategic Insight (SI), a research and business intelligence firm. In its early days, SI focused on the small, emerging U.S. mutual fund industry. Today, SI's research and technologies are shared throughout the world with companies that collectively manage a majority of the $30 trillion invested in mutual funds globally, including with investment managers overseeing about 90% of the U.S. fund industry's assets. Strategic Insight's research also benefits U.S. insurance companies serving the variable annuity industry, and is used in addition by the S.E.C. and the Investment Company Institute, among others. Internationally, Strategic Insight's data, research, and consulting services assist dynamic asset managers aspiring to benefit from the expanding demand and opportunities for investment management in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Canada, and Australia.
Avi contributes to SI research, which spans how the mutual fund industry is adapting to the changed environment; product innovations; distribution and pricing trends; fee and profitability benchmarking; independent trustees' education; fact-based studies helping in mapping growth opportunities for investment managers globally; income-at-retirement and variable annuity trends; and peer analysis. Avi also advises SI's clients, which, besides fund managers and distributors, include investment banks; M&A, consulting, law, audit, back-office, and hedge fund firms; and U.S. governmental agencies.
Avi presents often to mutual fund board of directors and contributes to SI's Rule 15(c) analytic services produced for dozens of fund firms.
Avi participates in the on-going development of Strategic Insight's Simfund database, a business intelligence tool widely used globally. Simfund integrates a large number of proprietary SI data fields (including actual and estimated fund flows, fee ratios, distribution mapping and share of wallet) with data from the ICI, Morningstar, Lipper, Access Data, and SEC filings. Simfund databases track monthly nearly $30 trillion in mutual fund assets around the world.
As a passionate industry observer and strategist, Avi is widely quoted in the media and is often a panelist or a keynote speaker in investment management industry events. For example, at the June 2007 S.E.C Public Hearing on the need to update, and possibly repeal, Rule 12b-1, Avi suggested that marketplace developments were reducing the use of 12b-1 fees and, therefore, regulatory changes (considering their costs and potential unintended consequences) were not needed; and that radical changes to the Rule would indeed be harmful to small investors. In March 2012, Avi participated in the opening panel of the ICI's Mutual Fund and Investment Management Conference: "Looking Forward, Where Will the Asset Management Business be in 10 Years."
In 2011, Avi co-authored a seminal paper commissioned by the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), which analyzed and benchmarked fund fees in Europe and how they compared to mutual fund fees in the U.S. A similar Strategic Insight study commissioned by the Canadian industry association was published in November 2012 and was shared with regulators in Canada.
Avi was raised in a farming village in Israel, studied Chemistry at Tel Aviv University, and received an MBA, with distinction, from New York University's Stern School of Business in 1985.