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.
The Financial Times 401 Top Retirement Advisors is an independent listing produced annually by the Financial Times (September 2018). The FT 401 is based on data gathered from advisors, regulatory disclosures, and the FT’s research. The listing reflects each advisor’s status in six primary areas: DC plan assets under management, DC plan growth rate, specialization in DC plans, years of experience, advanced industry credentials, and compliance record. Out of 678 applications; about 59% of which (401) received the award. This honor is not indicative of the advisor’s future performance. Neither the advisors nor their parent firms pay a fee to the Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 401.