Vanguard Offers Fiduciary Services to Small Plans

March 19, 2013 ( - Mesirow Financial Investment Strategies’ Fiduciary Partnership Services are now available through Vanguard Retirement Plan Access.

Vanguard Retirement Plan Access offers funds, recordkeeping, call center services, participant education and plan consulting and administration services to companies with 401(k) or profit-sharing with plan assets up to $20 million or more. Mesirow Financial’s solution includes monitoring and analysis of a retirement plan’s investment lineup, as well as customized training and marketing programs for sales and client service teams.  

Under its ERISA 3(21) service, Mesirow Financial acts as investment fiduciary along with the plan sponsor, who maintains control over the plan’s investment menu. Plan sponsors and their investment advisers are provided with an “elite list” of investment options from which to choose. Mesirow Financial closely monitors these investment options and provides a quarterly Mesirow Financial POLICE Report of any potential issues with investment options. Plan sponsors can also select from among demographic-based suggested lineups, created by Mesirow Financial, made up of all passive options, or a combination of both active and passive options.  

Under the ERISA 3(38) service, Mesirow Financial assumes discretion for investment option selection, acting as an investment fiduciary and investment manager to the plan, in addition to investment monitoring and quarterly reporting. The 3(38) service is anticipated to become available through Vanguard Retirement Plan Access in the second quarter of 2013.  

“Given the heavy burden of accountability that comes with being a retirement plan sponsor, we’re pleased to be able to expand the audience for the protections that come with having a fiduciary partner,” said Michael Annin, senior managing director and head of Mesirow Financial’s Investment Strategies team.