The financial market downturn has had a tremendous impact upon the retirement industry, and one issue that has come into the spotlight is the increasing need for top-of-the line technology.
As such, experts like Scott Kilgallen, managing director and head of retirement sales at Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM), believe that there will be a much more sophisticated and technical approach to defined contribution (DC) plans. Indeed, the crisis and the heightened volatility have further underscored the need for advisors to help plan sponsors create a well balanced and diversified investment lineup, he says, and this in turn calls for greater specialization using sophisticated research and analysis tools.
Even before the crisis, GSAM had hoped to offer its advisors a comprehensive investment analysis tool to help them build better investment menus for their plan sponsor clients and, ultimately, retirement plan participants, Kilgallen says. Now, the company is in an even better position to do that as a result of its collaboration with data provider Morningstar, to offer the Morningstar Advisor Workstation.
“The Morningstar Advisor Workstation does a great job of not only analyzing investment performance and style, but also fees and expenses–important issues today,” Kilgallen says.
An advisor’s time is very precious and advisors want information that’s but a click or two away, says Richard Mason, president of corporate markets for ING U.S. Retirement Services. The ING Institute for Retirement Research recently conducted a survey to determine which services are important to advisors, and technology scored high on the list, Mason says.
ING continues to invest significantly in technology, and has a particular focus on developing tools such as the Benchmark Wizard, which allows advisors and sponsors the opportunity to compare their plans to other plans.