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Friday, February 15, 2019

The Fundster 401k Roundup

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Welcome to MFWire's first Fundster 401k Roundup, a new column to help fundsters in the advisor-sold asset management business keep in touch with another key distribution channel: 401(k)s and other defined contribution retirement plans, or DC I-O (defined contribution investment-only) in 401(k) speak.

The big 401(k) news this week does not involve asset management at all, at least not directly, but it's too big for any DC I-O players to ignore. Word is that Wells Fargo may be close to selling its bundled retirement plan recordkeeping business to a sister company of Putnam Investments. If the deal does go through, it will make the second biggest recordkeeper even bigger, making it an even more important relationship for any DC I-Os.

Meanwhile, a midwestern bank (much smaller than Wells Fargo) agreed to sell its recordkeeping business to part of private equity-backed EdgeCo, a relatively new serial acquirer in the space. And two TPA acquirers — specifically Group RHI and TRA — sealed acquisitions this week, too.

Among big asset managers, Schroders hired its first U.S. DC chief, while a top DC I-O exec left Allianz. And the second-biggest DC I-O tweaked its focus.

401(k) plan advisors (KPAs, for short) are a key piece of the DC I-O distribution puzzle for all but the biggest 401(k) plans. Two big KPA shops made additions, while a trio of alumni from a recently acquired KPA giant launched their own shop.

This column is powered by our DC-focused sister publication, 401kWire, so be sure to check out the links for a deeper dive into news that catches your eye. 

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