TIAA-CREF has collaborated with the CFDD and PlanTools to create a due diligence standard to qualify advisers to participate in the TIAA-CREF Advisor Network who can work with plan sponsors and their participants. An annual fee paid by advisers to the CFDD for managing the program allows advisers to benefit from an increased level of support from TIAA-CREF, including personalized marketing materials, exclusive plan level arrangements, special training sessions, and participation in a new referral program.
According to the announcement, the Advisor Network’s minimum standards and adviser review will assist plan sponsors in meeting their fiduciary responsibilities. It will also provide participants with access to a pre-screened network of qualified investment advisers who provide participant level advice at an investment advisory fiduciary standard of care.
Phil Chiricotti, President, CFDD, said in the announcement that “participant advice provided by qualified, competent and compliant advisers is a proven path to successful retirement outcomes for participants. TIAA-CREF’s decision to adopt and share the CFDD/Plan Tools documented prudent process for selecting qualified advisers with their clients will accelerate the distribution of meaningful advice to participants in need of expert guidance.”TIAA-CREF is currently selecting a limited number of advisers for a controlled launch of the Network over the next six months. This group will be the Network’s charter membersand will provide feedback on the minimum standards and process for applying to the Network. The Network will be introduced nationally in early 2012.