Our differentiators

What makes us different? More importantly, how do those differences add value to our clients? Here’s what we believe sets us apart.

Retirement focus and expertise

Retirement plans, particularly DC plans, are the sole focus of our retirement benefits consulting team. Comprised of seasoned industry professionals who have worked with retirement plans for decades, we are true experts in our field, which has been demonstrated through various industry accolades. We bring this depth of experience and industry insight to our clients, along with a real passion for promoting better retirement outcomes.

Our consulting practice is based on a foundation of thought leadership that includes research and analysis leading to retirement programs that work better for both the employer and employee. We are dedicated to enhancing the opportunity for participants to have a successful retirement. With this in mind, our retirement benefits consulting team was among the founders of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA), an organization dedicated to bringing institutional solutions to retirement programs.

The R21 difference: “R”etirement plans for the “21”st century

Retirement programs should reflect the realities facing today’s employees and businesses, as well as the changing retirement landscape. Our proprietary diagnostic process—called R21—is designed to re-engineer retirement plans for the 21st century. Powered by our R21 process, plan sponsors can improve participation and contribution levels, enhance participant satisfaction with the plan and ensure better investment choices by participants.

Holistic approach

Unlike most consultancies, we take a holistic approach to retirement plan consulting and offer a deep level of support on a broad array of both investment and non-investment issues. We consider plan design, fees, services and participant behavior in tandem to provide comprehensive, well-thought out strategies. This approach sets us apart from investment consultants who may be familiar with investments, but are not well-versed in the requirements imposed on qualified retirement plans.

Enhanced target date selection through TDAnalyzer™

Target date strategies are being used by millions of participants today who are placed into these solutions by default. However, significant differences exist among target date offerings. Through our research, we found that there are insufficient target date analytical tools in the marketplace so we developed a cutting-edge, propriety tool called TDAnalyzer™. The tool provides clients with valuable insights into the suitability of target date strategies based on plan-specific demographic and participant behavior data, potentially leading to better outcomes.

Discretionary consulting

Outsourcing investment decisions in DC plans is a growing trend, as the investment and regulatory landscapes continue to increase in complexity. Through our discretionary investment management services, we handle the responsibility of selecting and monitoring investments—and investment managers—under a plan. We bring diverse capabilities to the table, such as periodic rebalancing and rules-based tactical allocation of plan investment options, as well as white label and customized discretionary funds.

Prudent governance

Fiduciary governance is the cornerstone of our work: everything we do is in the context of being a good steward of other people’s money. We ensure the oversight process for retirement plans is consistent and well-documented to support effective decision-making.

Dedicated manager research

We undertake extensive due diligence on investment managers, with our work consistently ranked in the top-quartile of firms conducting such research1. More than 1,000 research meetings are held each year with investment managers to ensure we have up-to-date information and assessments. Our market-leading, proprietary database covers over 1,000 investment managers across 40 mandates and 5,000+ products.

Employee ownership

Employee-ownership in the firm helps us attract and retain top-of-their-game professionals who are motivated by client needs. Ownership in the company inspires dedication, creativity and teamwork, which we are proud to promote.


1 Greenwich Associate surveys of Institutional Investors 2014, 2013, 2012