Putnam Investments to Win Barclays 401k Plan

According to recent Ignites article, Putnam Investments is being very aggressive in winning new business by locking up the Barclays’s $1 billion 401(k) plan and earning a finalist spot in a search by another massive plan.  Putnam recently won Barclays’s plan with 12,000 participants, according to two sources of Mariana Lemann, Ignites journalist.  The plan was formerly managed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Feeling Lucky?

Putnam is also in the running to win another high profile plan – Google.   Putnam and Aon Hewitt are finalists for the $3 billion plan, currently being served by Vanguard, an industry source says.   Google’s search for a new provider was first reported by Money Management Intelligence. The company had 24,000 plan participants in plan year 2011, according to BrightScope data.  Putnam’s win of Barclays’s plan and its finalist standing in Google’s search may be milestones in the firm’s quest to return to the top tier of retirement plan providers, industry consultants say.  Putnam managed about $20 billion in retirement assets in 2010, according to Plan Sponsor and Cerulli Associates, as reported.   Google’s plan was rated the top plan in 2012 among 25 technology companies’ 401(k) plans by BrightScope, a data firm that rates retirement plans. “They appear to be doing everything they need to do to generate the best outcomes for participants,” says Mike Alfred, CEO and co-founder of BrightScope.

Based on the comments section of the article, presumably by a Putnam insider, the question may be how is Putnam winning these big plans over?   And what challenges will their client services teams face to run these plans profitably in order to keep them over the long haul?

Putnam Comments

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