Asset Managers Staffing Up as They Target Defined Contribution Plan Biz

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Asset managers are focusing on the largest defined contribution plans, and that makes good sense. Employers are quickly shifting away from employer-sponsored defined benefits and making a big move into defined contribution plans.

According to a Towers Watson survey of the Fortune 100, 70 of the 2011 Fortune 100 companies only offered a defined contribution plan to new employees. In 1998, only 10 companies in the Fortune 100 companies provided their new hires with a defined contribution plan. And, retirement plan changes accelerated in 2011.

Given the shift, asset managers are adding staff to relevant products. BlackRock is adding to its bevy of index funds for defined contribution plans. And, reports come of BlackRock's plan to double its UK defined contribution team by the end of 2011.

BlackRock is also adding to their DC administration personnel there.

Russell Investment continued additions to its institutional defined contribution team.

The biggest push is coming from the largest asset managers, so look to additional job opportunities coming from there. Not surprisingly, big plan sponsors favored bigwigs like Vanguard, PIMCO, Fidelity Investments, T. Rowe Price and BlackRock. With the moves in the space come the inevitable additions to sales and business development staff, as well as client services and product development personnel.

For new offerings, look for analyst spots to open as well. Analysts typically hold series 7, 63, and 3 licenses and an MBA and/or CFA. The current job moves show that asset managers are actively poaching from other experienced players, so salaries are expected to rise.

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