Break Through the Defined Contribution Market
Do You Need a Target-Date Product Line to Expand into the 401(k) Market?
The DC market is notoriously fee-sensitive, and the product landscape is dominated by simple, transparent, low-cost investment vehicles. It’s also top-heavy—more than three-quarters (79%) of target-date assets are concentrated among the top-five managers.
As plan sponsors look to consultants and intermediaries to take more control over investment lineups, will opportunities emerge for single-strategy managers in the defined contribution investment-only (DCIO) space? With significant growth in outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) assets in the defined contribution (DC) space over the last three years, we believe the answer is “yes.”
DC Recordkeepers: Plan QDIA Designations, 2020
Source: Cerulli Associates, in partnership with the SPARK Institute and DCII
Target-date funds are by far the most prevalent QDIA in 401(k) plans. Given their favored status as the default and common designation as “Tier 1” investments, these strategies have captured a growing share of DC flows over in recent years. Specifically, target-date series now account for nearly 60% of all new contributions to 401(k) plans (see The Cerulli Report—U.S. Defined Contribution Distribution 2020: Adapting to Changes in the Regulatory Environment). The distinct majority of 401(k) plans specify a default investment account of some kind, although adoption lags somewhat in the “micro” market.
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Learn what it will take to win mandates and participate in flexible asset allocation options, as well as determine what types of plans and intermediaries to influence in the 401(k) market.
Subject Matter Experts
Managing Director, U.S. Research
Bing Waldert leads Cerulli’s U.S. Research team comprising seven research practices that cover all elements of the U.S. asset management, wealth management, and retirement markets. He has authored Cerulli reports on the wealth management industry, high-net-worth market, the annuity industry, and retirement markets. He is a frequent board-level and C-suite speaker and well-regarded industry thought leader. He has spoken in front of the Investment Company Institute (ICI), the Asset Management Association of China (AMAC), the Investments and Wealth Institute (IWI), and the Money Management Institute (MMI).
He has worked on client projects on emerging manager expansion strategies, independent registered investment advisors (RIAs), multi-family offices (MFOs), investment platforms, and the outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) industry. In addition, he has advised multiple private equity firms on acquisitions in the wealth management space.
Full biography here.
Anna specializes in U.S. retirement market trends with a focus on defined contribution (DC) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs), including coverage of 401(k) plan sponsors and plan participants. She is a member of the Retirement practice, where she leads development of Cerulli’s Retirement Lodestar, a web-based interactive business development platform; and quantitative models to forecast market growth. She also contributes to The Cerulli Edge series and provides qualitative and quantitative analysis to support strategic consulting engagements.
Prior to joining Cerulli Associates, Anna was at Wellesley Investment Advisors. In her role, she complied and organized client reports and marketing materials for financial advisors.
Full biography here.
Shawn O'Brien, CFA
As a senior analyst, Shawn is responsible for covering the retirement markets space, focusing specifically on defined contribution (DC) plans, the IRA market, and asset managers’ DCIO strategies. He contributes to The Cerulli Report and The Cerulli Edge series.
Prior to joining Cerulli Associates, Shawn worked as a Research Associate at Harvard Business School, where he co-authored case studies alongside professors focusing on investment management for individual and institutional investors, and innovations in financial technology. Prior to that, he worked in the Currency Management group at State Street Global Markets, employing currency overlay strategies for large asset managers and asset owners.
Full biography here.
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