DALBAR and PLANSPONSOR to create Fiduciary Adviser Network (FAN)

September 18, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - DALBAR, Inc. and PLANSPONSOR today announced a joint venture to pre-qualify financial professionals to act as fiduciary advisers and to provide the due diligence and documentation required by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA).
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The Fiduciary Adviser Network (FAN) will give plan sponsors and providers a source of advisers to support 401(k) and 403(b) plans with independent advice to plan participants.

FAN is a turnkey solution designed to prepare advisers to meet the standards of prudent selection required by PPA. FAN provides the training, due diligence, and access to employers that advisers need in order to realize the income opportunities of being a Fiduciary Adviser. FAN supports individual practitioners, small and large practices, as well as advisory services of major RIAs, banks, insurance companies, and broker/dealers.

“Our nation’s retirement security is increasingly dependent on defined contribution plans like the 401(k), and the effective use of those programs is increasingly dependent on the skills and expertise of financial advisers,” notes Nevin Adams, Editor-in-Chief of PLANSPONSOR magazine. “Employers are tasked with the responsibility of selecting and monitoring these advisers, but frequently lack the means to do so on an objective and consistent basis.”

For Financial Advisers

Using D albar  ratings, advisers are able to overcome the SEC prohibition against using customer experiences in promotion or other disclosures, a critical distinction in differentiating themselves in the marketplace. This is critically important to the selection of fiduciary advisers by multiple employers. It simply is not practical for every employer to repeat the due diligence process for each fiduciary adviser. Through FAN, the adviser needs to undergo the due diligence only once for all employers.

“The fiduciary adviser defines a new level of responsibility and new opportunities for the financial community,” commented Louis S. Harvey, D albar ‘s President, adding, “The PPA limits the liability of the fiduciary adviser to only the advice he/she gives and, at the same time, it provides access to a potential 100 million working families.”

For Plan Sponsors

PLANSPONSOR will operate the network to support employers that choose to engage fiduciary advisers, and seek to take advantage of the new protections under the PPA for participant-level advice. Employers are relieved of fiduciary liability for the advice given to participants through an “Eligible Investment Advice Arrangement.” FAN simplifies the requirements for prudent selection, periodic review, and audit of the fiduciary adviser required by the PPA.

FAN is also a resource for plan providers to find pre-qualified fiduciary advisers that can be introduced to plans that do not currently have independent advisers. Additionally, providers can screen for advisers that are aligned with their own business profile.

FAN is expected to be operational by the effective date of the PPA advice provisions, January 2007.

You can sign up for updates on the FAN    HERE


About D albar

D albar , Inc., the nation’s leading financial-services market research firm, continues its three-decade commitment to raising the standards of excellence in the industry. With offices in the U.S. and Canada, D albar  develops standards, and provides research, ratings, and rankings of intangible factors that influence the overall customer-service experience in the mutual fund, broker/dealer, managed account, retirement plan, life insurance, and property and casualty insurance industries. Such factors include print communications, Internet, interactive voice response, call center, and financial-professional touch points. www.dalbar.com

About PLANSPONSOR

PLANSPONSOR is a leading provider of information, tools, and services in the institutional retirement space. The company publishes [ITAL]PLANSPONSOR Magazine, PLANSPONSOR.com, PLANSPONSOR’s daily [ITAL]NewsDash, and, in October 2006 will launch [ITAL]PLANADVISER magazine and PLANADVISER.com. The company provides research services, training via the PLANSPONSOR Institute, hosts major conferences and events, and operates PLANSPONSOR Pathfinder, a provider search platform for retirement advisers. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.

Contact information:

D albar     — Courtney O’Leary Lima at 617-624-7285, coleary@dalbar.com

PLANSPONSOR — Nevin Adams at 203-595-3220, nevin.adams@plansponsor.com .

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