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TIAA Global Asset Management, Like Its Parent Company, Says Goodbye to CREF

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TIAA-CREF Global Asset Management, one of the world’s largest asset management firms, has shortened its name to TIAA Global Asset Management, following a similar move last month by its parent company, which was renamed TIAA.

“This announcement underscores our objective of bringing more investment opportunities to more clients in more places than ever before,” said Rob Leary, CEO of TIAA Global Asset Management, in a statement.  “The new brand recognizes that we serve a wide range of investors around the world, from retirement plan sponsors and participants to high net worth individuals, financial advisors and some of the world’s largest institutional investors. It also speaks to our commitment to continue growing the business across geographies in order to better serve our clients’ needs and goals.”

When ThinkAdvisor asked about the impact of the change for financial advisors, TIAA responded that “financial advisors, many of whom are familiar with our Nuveen brand and highly regarded funds, will have greater access to these investment strategies going forward.”

Traditionally, the people that TIAA serves have been college educators saving for retirement, but the firm, founded in 1918 as the successor to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has expanded well beyond that client base, serving more than five million individuals and more than 16,000 institutions.

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO at TIAA, said, “While the new name reflects a broadening of scope for TIAA Global Asset Management, its mission remains the same – to deliver competitive returns through market cycles while staying true to our core values and helping improve the financial well-being of our clients.” 

The firm, once known as the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund, now offers mutual funds, ETFs, annuities, insurance and a 529 College Savings Plan as well as brokerage accounts and IRAs that are available to all investors. It manages a total $854 billion in assets for individuals and defined contribution plans in more than 40 countries.

Over the past two decades, TIAA Global Asset Management has developed capabilities in responsible investing, traditional equity and fixed income, and alternative investments that are increasingly  used by sovereign wealth funds, pension systems, insurance companies and other sophisticated institutional investors, according to a company statement. The announcement today is part of the firm’s ongoing strategy to expand its capabilities to better serve the diverse needs of its client base. 

In 2011 TIAA established an Advisor Network. Three years later, in October 2014, the firm finalized its acquisition of Nuveen Investments, known for its fixed income portfolios, and last April it purchased the 40% of Henderson Real Estate, a European real estate firm, that it didn’t already own. That same year, TIAA won Lipper’s Best Overall Large Fund Group award for the third year in a row in recognition of its three-year risk-adjusted investment track record.

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