The FT 401 aims to provide a list of elite professionals who specialize in advising US employers on their defined contribution plans. The advisers were assessed according to quantifiable data, considering the following factors:
- DC assets under management (AUM). This signals experience and success in managing money in 401(k) programs and other DC plans.
- Growth rate in DC plan business. Measured by changes in both DC plan clients and assets, growth is a proxy for performance, client retention and ability to draw new clients.
- Specialization in the DC business. This is measured by what percentage of the overall assets managed by the adviser are in DC plans and how that concentration has changed.
- Experience advising on DC plans. This tracks years spent managing DC plan assets through different economic and market environments.
- Industry certifications. These show technical knowledge that is particularly important in the complicated DC plan industry.
- Compliance record. A string of client complaints can signal potential problems.
The full criteria and list can be found HERE.