It's debatable if the fiduciary standard is 'higher' than suitability. But the better question might be, who's holding the bar?
By Cyril Tuohy
Great-West Financial has signed new retirement plan contracts with municipalities in Colorado. In addition, the company has renewed retirement plan contracts with two Southern California counties; the state of Montana; the city of Anchorage, Alaska, and the U.S. territory of Guam.
The announcement is the latest development from the retirement plan company, which is quickly climbing the league tables of the largest retirement plan managers in the United States.
In March, Great-West announced it would combine its retirement plan business with the retirement plan business of Putnam Investments. Great-West Financial and Putnam belong to parent company Great-West Lifeco U.S., the U.S. subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc.
In April, Great-West Financial announced the purchase of J.P. Morgan’s large-plan retirement plan services division.
The combining of the Putnam and J.P. Morgan businesses is expected to be completed later this year, creating a powerhouse retirement asset management company serving small, midsize and large corporate 401(k) accounts, government 457 plans and nonprofit 403(b) plans.
Robert L. Reynolds, president and chief executive officer of Great-West Financial, said adding new public clients to the company’s retirement plan roster will be “an important facet of our broader, integrated Great-West Financial retirement business in the years ahead.”
Great-West Financial administers $243.5 billion in assets for its 5.4 million retirement, insurance and annuity customers.
In Colorado, new retirement plan clients are the City and County of Broomfield, a consolidated city and county government, with $80 million in assets and 600 participants, and the City of Longmont, with $65 million in assets and 780 participants.
Broomfield joined Great-West Financial July 1 and Longmont Aug. 1, the company said.
The company also announced renewals with Los Angeles County’s 457(b) and 401(k) plans, and Orange County’s 457(b) plan. Both deals are five-year contracts that became effective on July 1.
The two Southern California clients have more than $10 billion in assets and nearly 150,000 participants, the company said. Los Angeles County has been with Great-West Financial since 1997 and Orange County since 2001.
The state of Montana renewed its 457(b) and 401(a) plans, also for five years. Montana has over $550 million in assets and more than 14,000 participants in its two defined contribution plans.
Guam, which has been with Great-West for 18 years, signed a new five-year contract with the company to administer its 457(b) and 401(a) plans, the company said. The plan has about $425 million in assets and nearly 14,000 participants.
Anchorage signed a five-year extension to administer its 457(b) plan with nearly $225 million in assets and more than 1,850 participants.
Renewals for all plans were effective July 1. Guam’s plan was effective Aug. 19, the company said.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Entire contents copyright 2014 by InsuranceNewsNet.com Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted without the expressed written consent from InsuranceNewsNet.com.