DC Plans Increasingly Use Investment Consultants

September 28, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - According to the third quarter issue of The Cerulli Edge - Retirement Edition, 41% of defined contribution assets are currently controlled by consultants, with the majority of these assets in large plans over $500 million in assets.

Cerulli anticipates this figure should continue to increase as plan sponsors look to augment the fiduciary skill associated with their plans, and demand best-of-breed managers and custom target-date funds. According to the report, there has been a continued shift by consultants of client assets into alternatives and long-duration fixed income, as over three-quarters of consultants said they desire a consistent investment performance track record and no surprises.

In a press release, Cerulli said institutional investment consultants have become a critical avenue for asset managers hoping to distribute through a 401(k) platform. The report suggests asset managers should develop the role of the portfolio specialist, as consultants respond positively to this role, and only 57% of consultants feel access to a portfolio manager is very important.

“By understanding how investment consultants operate and effectively meeting their demands, managers can be best poised to take part in custom target-date funds and open-architecture DC platforms,” Cerulli said.

The report can be purchased from www.cerulli.com .