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401(k) Stories


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The days when RIAs were the outsiders at the 401(k) party are fast coming to a close. What's new is that the mass of 401(k) assets is getting critical at about $3 trillion; fiduciary advisors are getting appreciated; fat fees and questionable kickbacks are getting exposed and stepping out of line is getting dicier as the Department of Labor tightens the regulatory screws.

The old reasons why the 401(k) business is attractive are still in place: there are fresh assets pouring in every month and when employees leave jobs or retire, they produce rollovers that build up IRA accounts for financial advisors. The drawbacks of getting into the 401(k) business are still in place, too. Dealing with retirement assets is really a second line of business and it remains -- unless you overcharge with hidden fees -- a low margin business with high potential fiduciary liabilities.

Still, the outsourcers, infrastructure and accumulated knowledge for RIAs to capitalize on is growing daily and a the mega-shift of assets away from brokers is making the 401(k) business riskier and riskier -- to ignore.

How Mariner Holdings is angling to become a $3-billion 401(k) company overnight by co-opting a local SageView office



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What's behind the sudden exit of Voya's top 401(k) exec, Maliz Beams, and her replacement by the firm's CEO, Rod Martin



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Bob Reynolds delegates the Great-West 401(k) business to old Fidelity mate after excruciating three-way choice



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How exactly Fidelity Investments extracted itself from a legal and HR quagmire and why it'll cost far more than the public $12-million amount



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Bill Chetney is back to compete with LPL (among others) and Mark Casady is very much on board



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