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Which Asset Managers Dominate in 401k DC Space?

There is 'tremendous opportunity for asset managers to expand plan advisor consideration'

401k, target date fiunds, retirementBig disparities between consumer and DCIO leaders.

Retirement expertise and offering target-date funds give a handful of asset managers an edge among plan advisors, according to Cogent Reports.

Firms that specialize in these products, like John Hancock Financial Services, Principal Funds, Nationwide, Charles Schwab Investment Management and Wells Fargo have a “more formidable brand presence in the DCIO market than in the broader retail advisory market.”

While John Hancock, Principal and Nationwide respectively rank 13th, 23rd and 28th in brand equity in the mutual fund retail market, they rank in the top 10 among DC advisors.

Charles Schwab and Wells Fargo also make notable gains, jumping from 26th and 24th, respectively, in brand equity in the retail market to 13th and 15th among DC advisors.

“Instead of striving to be all things to all advisors, these five firms are doing an excellent job playing to their strengths and offering competitive solutions for the workplace retirement market,” Sonia Sharigian, product director at Market Strategies and author of the report, said in a statement.

“A closer look at consideration by product reveals these firms are carving out a distinct advantage within the target date funds and retirement income categories.”

She notes that one way for firms to boost their brand equity rank among plan advisors is to focus on brand consideration, one of three components used to calculate the brand equity score.

The report found that only a few firms are able to differentiate themselves beyond actively managed mutual funds and target date funds to earn broader product consideration.

“There is tremendous opportunity for asset managers to expand plan advisor consideration for other important DC offerings such as retirement income products and target risk funds,” added Meredith Lloyd Rice, vice president at Market Strategies. “Above all, industry leaders can’t afford to be timid and should tout their DC market expertise and ability to provide innovative retirement income solutions to boost their brands in the DCIO market.”

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