Bringing a financial legacy into the digital age

Since its founding in 1964, First Manhattan Co. has been a formidable New York City investment advisory firm, providing high net worth investors with individual portfolio management for assets that today total more than $15 billion. And their success has come without any formal marketing or advertising. But with the changing times and the next generation of portfolio managers and clients ascending, the firm decided it was time to establish a more updated online presence. To that end, Thinkso created an external website that highlights the firm’s differentiators — portfolio manager accessibility, in-house primary research, and the sharing of institutional knowledge — while creating an engaging user experience for existing and prospective clients. The result is a website that celebrates First Manhattan’s storied legacy as well as its best assets: its people.

“Thinkso did a remarkable job capturing the essence of First Manhattan and building consensus among the several different generations who lead our firm. We couldn’t be happier with our new website. ” Adam Schwartz, Senior Managing Director, First Manhattan Co.

While the website needed to reflect First Manhattan as a unified firm, it was also important to provide a mechanism for each portfolio manager to individually market his or her strengths. Therefore, we developed the portfolio manager section to present the team as a whole, but with drilldowns into individual marketing pages where the managers could explain their unique approaches and present their tailored materials. Custom photography differentiates the website from most of First Manhattan’s peers. It gave us the opportunity to feature the firm’s actual team in a fresh, natural way, rather than relying on cliché stock photography.

A small but important challenge to overcome was how to represent team members who had more than one role at the firm without creating a confusing user experience or duplicate text to maintain. For example, Robert Haley is both a research analyst and portfolio manager at First Manhattan. It could be confusing for a site visitor to click on Rob's photo on the research team page but be taken to his bio in the portfolio manager section, or vice versa. We solved this by putting each team member’s biography and contact information into a pop-up window that can come up anywhere they appear, rather than limiting their bio to a particular section.

Thinkso also designed First Manhattan’s private client portal to provide a more user-friendly, mobile-friendly experience for those clients who want to view their account details online. Built and powered by SS&C, the portal is not shown here in order to protect client and firm confidentiality.