NEW YORK, July 17 -- TIAA-CREF issued the following news release:
TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider, today held the CREF annual meeting at the organization's head offices in New York City. CREF is a SEC-registered investment company and the companion organization to TIAA, a New York-based life insurance company. Together, TIAA-CREF provides retirement plans, IRAs, mutual funds, brokerage services, life insurance, college savings plans, trust services and outsourced endowment management services.
This year is an important milestone for TIAA-CREF as it marks the 60th anniversary since CREF was founded. In 1952, CREF was established to give ordinary investors the opportunity to tap into the growth of the stock market. CREF created the first variable annuity, which was a ground-breaking innovation in the financial services sector, and has helped millions of Americans achieve financial security in retirement. TIAA was founded in 1918 by the Carnegie Foundation and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie with the goal of supporting the financial well-being of college teachers.
"Since our founding in 1918, our commitment to help clients achieve financial well-being has not wavered," said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and chief executive officer of TIAA-CREF. "Over the course of the year, we have made significant progress in strengthening our firm's financial position while also expanding and enhancing our products and services. We remain committed to our clients' financial well-being throughout all stages of their lives."
Mr. Ferguson cited the following key indicators of the organization's strong financial position:
Assets under management - TIAA-CREF's assets under management reached an all-time high, ending 2011 with $464 billion of assets under management.
Assets under management have continued to grow in 2012, standing at
approximately $481 billion as of June 30.
Capital reserves - The organization's capital reserves reached record levels in 2011, with TIAA's total adjusted capital surpassing $30 billion at the end of the year. This measure of the organization's financial strength is critically important because it determines the ability to fulfill the promises to provide participants with lifetime income.
Ratings - TIAA continues to receive the highest possible ratings from all four leading insurance company rating agencies - S&P, Moody's, Fitch and AM Best. These ratings recognize TIAA's stability, overall financial strength and ability to fulfill its promises to participants.
Mr. Ferguson reaffirmed TIAA-CREF's commitment to put its clients first and outlined the progress the organization is making to expand and enhance its products and services, including:
Value for participants - Controlling expenses and reducing costs is an important part of TIAA-CREF's strategy, and CREF's average total expense ratio was down to 46.3 basis points, compared to 58 basis points four years ago.
Growing the business - TIAA-CREF continues to move into new markets that offer opportunities for growth, including K-12 education, healthcare and the government sector.
Diversifying revenue streams - TIAA-CREF has seen solid growth in many of the businesses the organization created beyond its core retirement business.
The company's life insurance business, TC Life, and its education savings business, TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., both grew in 2011.
In meeting-related actions, CREF participants:
Elected trustees Forrest Berkley, Nancy A. Eckl, Michael A. Forrester, Howell E. Jackson, Nancy L. Jacob, Thomas J. Kenny, Bridget A. Macaskill, James M. Poterba, Maceo K. Sloan and Laura T. Starks to additional one-year terms; and
Ratified the trustees' selection of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as CREF's independent auditors for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2012, with approximately 94 percent voting in favor of ratification. (Voting results are preliminary but are expected to be within 1 percent of final tallies.)
In addition, TIAA policyholders expressed support for the organization's executive compensation policies through an advisory vote on the compensation of TIAA's named executive officers. Preliminary results of the TIAA advisory vote on executive compensation show that approximately 81 percent of TIAA policyholders who voted approved of the quality of TIAA's executive compensation plan and disclosure, including its connection to performance, achievement of TIAA's business objectives and creation of long-term value for policyholders.
In 2007, TIAA was the first U.S. company to voluntarily adopt and implement an advisory vote on its compensation policies and related disclosure.