More DB Sponsors Looking for Fiduciary Investment Managers

June 28, 2012 ( – An SEI quick poll of 50 corporate defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors found 26% use a 3(38) fiduciary manager.

By Rebecca Moore | June 28, 2012
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Two-thirds (65%) of respondents currently use a 3(21) investment adviser, and 9% do not use an investment adviser at all. 

Of the poll participants who said they are not currently using a fiduciary manager, 29% said they would likely consider a change to this model within the next five years, potentially more than doubling the use of an outsourced fiduciary manager model by corporate pension plan sponsors by 2017.  

According to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), an investment provider who assumes discretion is considered to be a 3(38) fiduciary manager. Other industry names for this model include investment outsourcing provider and outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO). In contrast, an investment provider who delivers advice only is considered to be an ERISA 3(21) investment adviser. An example of this model would be a traditional investment consultant.  

Poll participants currently using a 3(38) fiduciary manager said this model allows them to focus more on strategic issues, such as aligning investment decisions with corporate financial goals, and delegate tactical decisions, such as improving portfolio diversification.