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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Putnam Wins in Nevada

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Putnam Investments [see profile] has landed a mandate to serve as program manager for Nevada's national advisor-sold 529 College Savings Plan. The contract takes effect October 1.

At this time, the state will have two broker-sold 529 plans, senior deputy treasurer Karen Duddlesten told The MFWire.com.

The other is the Columbia 529 Plan, which Nevada has offered for several years.

On the direct-sold side, the state offers several plans, including the Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan, the USAA College Savings Plan and the Upromise College Fund 529 Plan.
Press Release

Putnam Investments Selected as National Advisor-Sold 529 College Savings Plan Program Manager

Nevada and Putnam committed to developing a "highly innovative, investor-friendly" advisor-sold 529 offering to help Americans bolster college savings

CARSON CITY—State Treasurer Kate Marshall and the Nevada College Savings Plans Board have selected Putnam Investments to serve as program manager for the state’s 529 College Savings Plan sold nationwide through financial advisors, effective October 1, 2010.

Under terms of the contract, the advisor-sold program is expected to break new ground in the college savings industry on a number of fronts. Among other features, the program will offer a comprehensive tuition payment analysis tool to help further engage participation of families and individuals – working with their advisors – in the college savings process, as well as provide financial advisors with a dedicated portal to manage all Putnam 529 client plans with a single login. In addition, the program is expected to incorporate innovative investment strategies into its offerings.

"I am thrilled to be able to provide the people of Nevada and families nationwide with all of the advantages that a long-standing and accomplished company such as Putnam brings to our state," Marshall said. "Putnam is one of the best names in the industry, and their professionalism and enthusiasm for assisting people with saving for college was evident during the selection process. Their focus on client service, successful long-term involvement in the 529 industry, and goal of assisting families nationwide in preparing to meet the financial challenges of a college education make Putnam a perfect partner for Nevada."

"We are honored to be chosen by the State of Nevada to help advisors and their clients – across America – confront the enormous college savings challenge that exists," said Robert L. Reynolds, president and chief executive officer, Putnam Investments. "Given the rising costs of higher education, competing personal financial needs and the unprecedented market volatility we’ve seen recently, families and individuals need advisors’ help and financial services firms' best new ideas to reach their college savings goals."

Reynolds added, "We think the State of Nevada's commitment to helping Americans save for higher education, combined with Putnam's extensive experience in providing investment, service, communications and distribution capabilities to the college savings market will help make this one of the most highly innovative, investor-friendly 529 programs in this country."

Marshall and Reynolds indicated they expect the advisor-sold plan to place a heavy emphasis on advisor and investor understanding of savings needs and to provide innovative investment strategies and tools to help bridge to more successful outcomes.

The State of Nevada, through the Treasurer's Office, currently offers several direct-sold 529 college savings plans, including the Upromise College Fund 529 Plan, Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan and the USAA College Savings Plan. Putnam has spent more than a decade serving the 529 college savings market through advisors in a partnership with the State of Ohio.

For more information about how you can begin to “Save for College, One Step at a Time,” go to nevadatreasurer.gov or call (702) 486-2025 or 1-888-477-2667 (toll free).
Beginning October 1, 2010, the advisor-sold plan will be offered to Nevada residents and to individuals nationwide who are interested in saving for higher education. The new plan is expected to contain a mix of diversified and competitively priced investment choices designed to provide a range of offerings based on risk tolerance, time horizon, and desired investment approach.  

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