MassMutual partners with Mesirow's fiduciary service

MassMutual's Retirement Services Division announced Thursday it will provide more help to retirement plan advisors and plan sponsors in their effort manage fiduciary risk.

MassMutual is teaming up with Mesirow Financial Fiduciary Partnership Service, a financial firm based in Chicago.

"MassMutual's goal in offering this optional fiduciary service is to help retirement plan advisors achieve fiduciary protection for their clients and their business. Plan sponsors recognize that there's no substitute for the expertise a retirement advisor delivers on their behalf. Having the option of yet another level of due diligence can be very reassuring for both advisors and sponsors," said Hugh O'Toole, senior vice president and head of sales and client management for MassMutual's Retirement Services Division.

According to a press brief, Mesirow developed its fiduciary service in response to "heightened focus on the role of the retirement plan fiduciary and interest among advisors and plan sponsors in mitigating their risks."

The new program offered under MassMutual will designate the Investment Strategies group at Mesirow Financial to conduct "extensive independent analysis of investment options available for retirement plans on MassMutual's platform" and creates a "designated Elite List of investment options that are eligible for coverage under the program. The list includes a broad range of funds in asset classes that Mesirow Financial considers appropriate for long-term retirement investing. The service also has the flexibility to allow plans to add funds that are not part of the Elite List."

"Retirement plan advisors can serve a critical role in the selection and monitoring of investments for their retirement plan clients. The Mesirow Fiduciary Partnership service offers an added layer of due diligence that is performed prior to the selection of the funds for the plan," said Michael Annin, senior managing director of the Investment Strategies Group at Mesirow Financial.

"The challenges and liabilities inherent in building and monitoring a retirement plan's investment lineup are an integral part of the overall management of a retirement plan and the role of the retirement advisor. With this service, Mesirow Financial becomes the fiduciary, delivering added peace-of-mind to both advisors and plan sponsors."

MassMutual is also planning to introduce new investment options that provide additional pricing flexibility for retirement plans with under $5 million in assets. "We expect these enhancements to be extremely well received by advisors and third-party administrators with a strong focus in the under $5 million retirement plan market," O'Toole said.



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