Build a Fiduciary Vault

Your clients, as fiduciaries, have important responsibilities and are subject to specific standards of conduct because they provide their employees with a retirement plan. These responsibilities include carrying out their duties prudently and diversifying plan investments. The duty to act prudently is one of a fiduciary's central responsibilities under ERISA. It requires expertise in a variety of areas, including investment selection, monitoring and due diligence.

With that in mind, Mesirow Financial offers you a number of tools and best practices to help you build your Fiduciary Vault

Investment Committee Best Practices

An Investment Committee helps provide a clear, investment decision-making process that is documented, repeatable and sustainable. This guide is intended to help you and your clients with the most important aspects to consider when setting up an Investment Committee.

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Investment Policy Statement (IPS) Template

An IPS is a blueprint for a retirement plan's investment selection and monitoring process. This document also serves to outline the goals of the Investment Committee in selecting an investment lineup. Here is a sample Mesirow Financial IPS template for a plan sponsor using our 3(38) fiduciary services, which can serve as a great reference tool.

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Investment Committee Meeting Agenda Template

It is important to have an agenda for each Investment Committee meeting, even when there are no changes that have been made. Download the template to see what a sample meeting agenda might look like.

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Investment Committee Meeting Minutes Template

In addition to an agenda, each Investment Committee meeting should also be accompanied by a detailed set of meeting minutes. Here is a template that can serve as a guideline for what meeting minutes could look like.

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Additional Documents

Investment Management Agreement

When engaging a third party fiduciary, it is important to have an Investment Management Agreement (IMA) that clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved. The IMA should also provide fee and indemnification information. If you would like to see a copy of a Mesirow Financial IMA, please contact us below.

Quarterly Reports

When you outsource 3(21) and/or 3(38) fiduciary services, a best practice is to review investments quarterly and include that review in your fiduciary vault. With Mesirow Financial's 3(21) or 3(38) fiduciary services, you will receive a number of critical reports delivered quarterly that will assist in the ongoing monitoring of investments. Here is a brief description of the communications that are sent to our clients:

Ongoing communications may include memos related to specific plan actions taken based on our fund due diligence.

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Mesirow Financial POLICE Report®

Mesirow Financial's proprietary screening and evaluation process of the funds in your lineup is detailed in this quarterly report.

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Market Commentary

Mesirow Financial's comprehensive market commentary provides valuable insights into recent performance and trends in the economy and capital markets.

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Why Outsource Your Fiduciary Role

Advisors choose to partner with us to help alleviate the responsibility associated with being a plan fiduciary as well as to create time and capacity to focus on (1) building their practice and (2) partnering with the plan sponsor to address important concerns such as plan design, plan participant education, increasing participation levels, and helping to ensure retirement readiness. In addition to allowing you to focus on your practice, there are other benefits to outsourcing to Mesirow Financial:

  • You remain plan expert and key contact ― You retain the position of the expert and key business contact for the plan sponsor.  
  • Legal protection ― Mesirow Financial is well capitalized to defend all claims within the scope of its fiduciary duty and provides indemnification for advisors and plan sponsors.
  • Extra layer of independent fund due diligence ― Our proprietary PrecisionAlpha® process can effectively evaluate a manager’s true potential for success and active level of risk.
  • Simplicity ― Mesirow Financial offers an easy, flexible, consultative approach that is focused on helping advisors focus on key aspects of the plan, while we focus on the investments. 
  • Expertise ― As the industry pioneer of outsourced fiduciary services, Mesirow Financial has been providing fiduciary services since 2006; our investment team of PhDs, CFAs, and MBAs have developed a prudent, tested process for supporting the investment selection and ongoing monitoring and due diligence of retirement plan investments.
four steps to being a better fiduciary

Advisory services offered by Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc., an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Mesirow Financial, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC. Advisory Fees are described in Mesirow Financial Investment Management Inc.’s Part 2A of the Form ADV. Mesirow Financial refers to Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. and its divisions, subsidiaries and affiliates. The Mesirow Financial name and logo are registered service marks of Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc., © 2019, Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.