MassMutual to Offer Mesirow Financial Fiduciary Partnership Service
CHICAGO, August 25, 2011 – MassMutual's Retirement Services Division is introducing a new Mesirow Financial Fiduciary Partnership Service to retirement plans on the MassMutual platform. The service is being offered as an option to help retirement plan advisors and plan sponsors manage fiduciary risk.
Mesirow Financial, headquartered in Chicago, developed the service in response to heightened focus on the role of the retirement plan fiduciary and interest among advisors and plan sponsors in mitigating their risks. Under the program being offered by MassMutual, the Investment Strategies group at Mesirow Financial conducts an extensive independent analysis of investment options available for retirement plans on MassMutual's platform and creates a designated Elite List of investment options that are eligible for coverage under the program. The list includes a broad range of funds in asset classes that Mesirow Financial considers appropriate for long-term retirement investing. The service also has the flexibility to allow plans to add funds that are not part of the Elite List, although these would fall outside of the fiduciary coverage.
"Retirement plan advisors can serve a critical role in the selection and monitoring of investments for their retirement plan clients. Our Mesirow Fiduciary Partnership service offers an added layer of due diligence that is performed prior to the selection of the funds for the plan. This delivers a higher level of confidence to both advisors and sponsors," says Michael Annin, senior managing director of the Investment Strategies Group at Mesirow Financial.
For retirement plans administered by MassMutual that elect this option, Mesirow Financial assumes fiduciary responsibility for the selection and monitoring of any and all plan investments that are on the Elite List covered under the program (with plan minimum of five asset classes from the Elite List). As part of the service, Mesirow Financial will also provide a quarterly reporting package that includes market commentary as well as a detailed due diligence report known as the "Mesirow Financial POLICE Report®". Issues monitored in the report include investment performance, organizational changes, legal concerns, investment policy changes, consistency of style and expense for all of the investment options on the Elite List, and it is available to both the plan advisor and the plan sponsor.
"The challenges and liabilities inherent in building and monitoring a retirement plan's investment lineup are a critical part of the overall management of a retirement plan and the role of the retirement advisor. With this service, Mesirow Financial becomes the fiduciary, delivering added peace-of-mind to both advisors and plan sponsors," adds Annin.
"MassMutual's goal in offering this optional fiduciary service is to help retirement plan advisors achieve fiduciary protection for their clients and their business. Plan sponsors recognize that there's no substitute for the expertise a retirement advisor delivers on their behalf. Having the option of yet another level of due diligence can be very reassuring for both advisors and sponsors," says Hugh O'Toole, senior vice president and head of sales and client management for MassMutual's Retirement Services Division.
In addition to the new Mesirow Fiduciary Partnership Service, MassMutual plans to introduce new investment options that provide additional pricing flexibility for retirement plans with under $5 million in assets. "We expect these enhancements to be extremely well received by advisors and third-party administrators with a strong focus in the under $5 million retirement plan market," adds O'Toole.
MassMutual's Retirement Services Division has been serving retirement plans for 65 years. It offers a full range of products and services for corporate, union, nonprofit and governmental employers' defined benefit, defined contribution and nonqualified deferred compensation plans. It serves approximately 1.3 million participants.
The Investment Strategies group at Mesirow Financial is an independent, third-party investment consultant that provides robust asset allocation strategies and fund selection to defined contribution providers, insurance companies, broker/dealers and mutual fund companies.
About Mesirow Financial
Mesirow Financial is a diversified financial services firm headquartered in Chicago. Founded in 1937, it is an independent, employee-owned firm with more than 1,200 employees in locations across the country and in London. With expertise in Investment Management, Global Markets, Insurance Services and Consulting, Mesirow Financial strives to meet the financial needs of institutions, public sector entities, corporations and individuals. The firm is well capitalized and has been consistently profitable, with capital of $299 million, revenues totaling $526 million for fiscal 2010 and $57.3 billion in assets under management, of which $28.7 billion are in currency and commodities as of June 30, 2011. For more information about Mesirow Financial, visit its website at mesirowfinancial.com.
The Mesirow Financial name and logo are registered service marks of Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc., © 2011, Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Any opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. It should not be assumed that any recommendations incorporated herein will be profitable or will equal past performance. Nothing contained herein constitutes an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any Mesirow Financial investment vehicle(s).
Securities offered through Mesirow Financial, Inc. member NYSE, SIPC. Insurance services provided through Mesirow Insurance Services, Inc.