Nationwide Picks up Dallas Money Manager

April 29, 2005 ( - Nationwide Financial Services has purchased a Dallas-based money manager that will provide advice services to Nationwide's retirement savings program.

According to a news story in Insurance Networking News, the company, Registered Investment Advisors Services Inc. (RIA), had already been providing advice to plans in Nationwide’s Best of America Group Pension Series programs since June 2002. Currently,┬áNationwide facilitates RIA’s offerings to 2,000 plans sponsors with more than 40,000 participants and $1 billion in assets.

Nationwide said the acquisition of RIA will allow it to expand those services to participants in other plans and gives Nationwide technology that manages trades placed by money managers and a data management warehouse that supports plan enrollment and presentations to plan managers, the news story said.

“One reason why we decided to acquire RIA is that it gives us greater control over the services they provide to us – and to provide plan sponsors with additional investment styles from professional money managers,” Steve Grabeless, vice president of business development for private sector accounts at Nationwide, told Insurance Network News.

According to the news story, RIA Services provides the interface for money managers to get access to plan participants’ records outside of Nationwide’s recordkeeping system. Nationwide sends these records to RIA each day and the updated records are sent back to Nationwide at the end of the day.

RIA uses third-party administrators who work with money managers and plan sponsors to make the investment changes requested by plan participants.

The integration of RIA Services also will enable Nationwide to develop more customized defined contribution plans-including a variety of investment styles for participants to choose from-for smaller plans, according to the news story.

Overall, Nationwide’s 401(k) business includes about 25,000 plans with 1.2 million participants and about $22 billion in assets.