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Rating:Study Spotlights Fund Shops' Web Offerings For Small Retirement Plans Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Study Spotlights Fund Shops' Web Offerings For Small Retirement Plans

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Are your online retirement resources up to snuff? Corporate Insight, a consulting shop based in New York, recently examined the Web sites of 15 mutual fund firms and its findings confirm common knowledge: firms that sell direct to clients tend to be better at providing online retirement resources for small businesses than fund shops that sell through intermediaries.

Among the firms that garnered an "A" is Vanguard, said Joseph Gittens, senior analyst at Corporate Insight and author of the report, " Public Site Small Businesses Retirement Sections," in an interview.

Gittens studied the public Web sites of seven direct and eight wholesale firms based on criteria such as accessibility, investment choices and marketing value, educational content and specialized features.

"Direct firms seem to do a better job of showcasing their products to potential small business plan sponsors," said Gittens said, pointing out that direct firms have devoted a section on their site for retirement resources aimed at small businesses.

That's not suprising, given that wholesale firms use intermediaries and therefore don't have the incentive to have make their Web site more client-friendly. Indeed, beefing up their online resources might have the effect of undermining the value of the intermediaries.  

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