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Friday, October 08, 2010

Franklin Realigns its I-O Sales Team

Reported by Hung Tran

As reported by The MFWire.com's sister publication The 401kWire.com on Wednesday [see story], Franklin Templeton [view profile] has expanded and realigned its investment-only sales team to better capture opportunities in the advisor-sold retirement space.

Yaqub Ahmed
Franklin Templeton
Head of Investment-Only
Franklin tapped Tyler Johnson as for the newly created position of DC-IO account manager. Johnson previously served as key accounts manager in the firm’s retail sales division.

Franklin said it plans to fill another VP, investment-only sales position, covering the mid-Atlantic region, before the end of the year.

"In looking at the future of the investment-only market, we are realigning the structure of our IO sales team to serve the unique needs of each of these divergent groups of advisors and best support their chosen business models," said Yaqub Ahmed, head of Franklin's investment-only division, in a press release.

He noted the continuing consolidation of advisors " who have reshaped their practices to compete effectively with traditional consultants for retirement plan business. And at the same time, there continues to be a large but fragmented financial advisor population that does occasional to moderate business with retirement plans and requires assistance in selling and servicing these plans."
Company Press Release

Franklin Templeton Expands Investment-Only Team

Tyler Johnson Joins as Dedicated DCIO Key Account Manager

San Mateo, CA, October 5, 2010 – Franklin Templeton Investments today announced that it has expanded and realigned its investment-only (IO) sales team to address growing and distinct opportunities in the advisor-sold retirement marketplace.

“As the advisor-sold market has evolved over the last several years, we have seen a continuing consolidation of financial advisors who have reshaped their practices to compete effectively with traditional consultants for retirement plan business. And at the same time, there continues to be a large but fragmented financial advisor population that does occasional to moderate business with retirement plans and requires assistance in selling and servicing these plans,” said Franklin Templeton’s Investment-Only Division Head Yaqub Ahmed. “In looking at the future of the investment-only market, we are realigning the structure of our IO sales team to serve the unique needs of each of these divergent groups of advisors and best support their chosen business models.”

Franklin Templeton has built its presence in the IO business over two decades. Ahmed, who joined the company in 2009, heads a team of more than a dozen sales professionals supporting both the defined contribution (DC) and variable annuity (VA) IO markets.

A new addition to Ahmed’s team is Tyler Johnson, who is transferring from Franklin Templeton’s retail sales division to serve as DCIO Key Account Manager, dedicated to supporting Franklin Templeton’s key platform partners.

Johnson will work closely with the team’s three existing senior DCIO specialists who, with the new IO structure, will have the ability to better serve financial advisors who have a deep focus on the retirement plan space, as well as financial advisors and record keepers who serve the mid and large DC market.

The IO team also includes a five-member IO sales specialist group, headed by IO Sales Manager Peter Conneely, which serves both the DC and VA markets and is currently seeking an additional IO sales specialist to cover the mid-Atlantic region. This group focuses on partnering with record keepers and VA providers, as well as providing value-added support to financial advisors whose practices include a retirement plan component. They deliver practice management resources, including the recently launched 401(k) Alchemy program, which has helped advisors expand and retain their retirement business.

Supporting these DCIO and IO sales specialist groups are three IO hybrid specialists, serving primarily as internal sales support. In addition to these teams dedicated to the IO business, Franklin Templeton’s 90 retail wholesalers educate the broad network of financial advisors they work with on the resources Franklin Templeton has to support them in their pursuit of retirement plan business.

“Franklin Templeton is committed to strengthening its presence in the DC and VA investment-only markets,” said Peter Jones, president of Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. “We want to be a trusted business partner and reliable source of value-added support for financial advisors serving this marketplace at all levels.”

Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Fiduciary Trust, Darby and Bissett investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 60 years of investment experience and over $600 billion in assets under management as of August 31, 2010. For more information, please call (800) DIAL BEN® or visit franklintempleton.com.

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