NY Replaces TIAA-CREF As 529 Manager

August 1, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - TIAA-CREF is out as the manager of New York State's 529 College Savings program.

Instead the Empire State has elected to go with a group led by Upromise Investments, after conducting a bidding process that came at the conclusion of the five-year contract TIAA-CREF had with the college savings program.   TIAA-CREF lost out to the Upromise group, according to a Reuters report.

The new managerial group is set to take over after November 14, 2003 after TIAA-CREF’s contract officially runs out.   Included in the group selected to oversee the $1.8-billion plan are fund companies Vanguard Group and Columbia Management Group – a member of the Fleet Boston Financial Corp. family.

The change represents the first fresh face in the fund’s management since its launch in 1988 and will apparently come on relatively good terms.   A spokesman for the New York State Higher Education Services Corp – a state agency that oversees college tuition assistance – said the change in managers was due to the expiration of the contract with TIAA-CREF, not performance of the plan’s investments.

TIAA-CREF said in a statement that while “we would like to have won,” and that the company “priced our bid in a way that would enable us to provide a high level of service to New Yorkers and to return value” to TIAA-CREF.

A final agreement on the new managers depends on final negotiations with Upromise, Vanguard and FleetBoston, state officials said.The New York college savings plan, one of the country’s largest, has about 300,000 account holders.