Custom Consulting and Management Presentations

Sway founder, Chris J. Brown, authored the first in-depth research study of Defined Contribution Investment-Only (DCIO) market in 2004, and has published an annual report on the evolution of this space each year since. Throughout the past decade, he has worked with numerous asset managers on DCIO initiatives, from complete start-ups to restructurings of dedicated DCIO sales and marketing units. Sway's annual The State of DCIO Distribution study provide benchmarks for asset management executives to measure their dedicated DCIO sales and marketing efforts versus peers, as well as feedback from defined contribution recordkeepers and plan intermediaries on developing trends and the attributes they desire in DCIO partners and products. Below are just some of the benchmarks tracked in our annual DCIO studies and which also form the foundation of our custom consulting engagements:

Sales & Assets

  • Gross sales and AUM
  • Annual sales goals
  • No. of focus platforms and % of sales
  • Share of firm-wide gross and net sales
  • Share of sales tracked to a rep


  • Gross sales by investment vehicle
  • Top-selling asset classes
  • R-share assets by 12b-1 fee, objective and category
  • Market share passive vs. active
  • Sub T/A payments to DC platforms

Spending and Margins

  • Annual sales and marketing spend and allocations
  • Resources leveraged form other areas
  • Spending relative to gross sales
  • Margins earned on DCIO vs. retail business
  • Priorities for investment


  • Headcounts for sales and marketing
  • Productivity measures and goals
  • AUM/sales per FTE
  • Compensation averages and components
  • Coverage models and time allocations

Plan Intermediaries

  • Menu construction plans and policies
  • Preferred managers in DC plan menus
  • Preferred Target-Date funds and plan providers
  • Key attributes of DCIO managers and products
  • Preferred value adds and events
  • Best-in-class managers – staff, value-ad and website
  • Revenue mix by fee structure
  • AUM by QDIA type
  • 3(21) and 3(38) Fiduciary Status
  • Staff and firm structure
  • Key needs and support services