Among asset managers that cater to mega defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors—those with plans of $500 million or more in assets—Vanguard leads the list. Factors that mega sponsors look for narrow the field of the 36 largest DC asset managers, placing Vanguard at the head of the pack. So says a new study by Cogent Research titled “Retirement Planscape 2011.”
The most important traits that mega sponsors look for are consistent investment performance, good value for the money, best-in-class portfolio and risk management, according to Cogent. Vanguard topped each category in the study, followed by PIMCO, Fidelity Investments, and T. Rowe Price. BlackRock was fifth on the list.
Christy White, Cogent principal, said of that particular market, “Of course all plan sponsors want the best investment performance they can get for the least amount of money. Mega plan sponsors are also looking for asset managers that can help manage risk for their DC plan participants.”
Linda York, senior product director at Cogent Research, said in a statement, “The investment management needs of the mega plan sponsors are clearly more precise and sophisticated. They are looking beyond table stakes for asset managers that prove their value and deliver the investment expertise they expect.
The study also offers additional findings about the retirement planning market. Further information on the study, which was conducted across all plan sizes and industries, is available from Cogent.