March 4, 2019
Target-Date AUM Expand Again in 2018, Despite Stock Market Turmoil
Gains Made in Collective Trust-based Vehicles, While Mutual Fund Solutions Declined
Assets in Target-Date funds grew again in 2018, though growth was somewhat muted thanks to a down market for U.S. stocks. Mutual fund and CIT-based Target-Date solutions reached $1.77 trillion at year-end, up from $1.75 trillion at the end of 2017 — a year-over-year gain of 1.1%. CIT-based solutions began 2018 with $638 billion in assets and ended the year at $677 billion for a gain of 6.1%. Mutual fund-based solutions declined 1.9% — from $1.11 trillion to $1.09 trillion — amid the stock market dip and a trend of Target-Date assets being shifted from mutual funds to lower-cost CITs. These are just a few of the findings featured in the latest in-depth research report from Sway Research—The State of the Target-Date Market: 2019, Examining Asset Trends Across Providers, Products, Vehicles, Management Styles, and Glide Path Structures. Read more.
October 23, 2018
DCIO Units Under Pressure as Leading Distributors Consolidate Assets
Aggregators and Large Recordkeepers Increase Demands on DCIOs, While a Growing Share of Assets Flow to Passive and Target-Date Offerings
The latest in-depth research report from retirement and defined contribution investment-only (DCIO) distribution consultancy, Sway Research, finds many asset managers fighting to maintain positive net inflows of DCIO assets in 2018. The retail DCIO market (i.e., small and mid-size plans sold via advisors and mid-tier consultants) is in a period of transition as the traditional wholesale model remains vital to sales, but new groups are growing in influence, including third-party fiduciaries, distributor 3(38) modelers and investment scorecard providers, and they also need service and support. Read more.
March 5, 2018
Strong Stock Market Returns Push Target-Date Assets Over $1.7 Tr. in 2017
Passive Strategies Still Gaining Market Share, but Active Managers See Solid Growth Too
The strong performing stock market in 2017 helped assets in mutual fund and CIT-based Target-Date solutions reach $1.73 trillion at year-end, up from $1.34 trillion at the end of 2016, as net sales estimates suggest about two-thirds of the gain was due to appreciation. CIT-based solutions began 2017 with $463 billion in assets and ended the year at $621 billion for a 36% gain. Mutual fund solutions rose 26%, from $883 billion to $1.11 trillion at year-end. These are just a few of the findings featured in the latest in-depth research report from Sway Research. Read more.
October 17, 2017
DCIO Units Seeing Strong Asset Growth, Net Sales Back to Black
Though Key Challenges Remain, DCIO Efforts Are on an Upswing Heading into 2018
The latest study from Sway Research, finds conditions improving for defined contribution investment-only (DCIO) sales and marketing units within asset management organizations. Managers are benefiting from stronger asset growth and improving sales. The study, which is based on interviews and surveys of DCIO sales leaders and employer benefits-focused intermediaries, shows that even though target-dates and passive management are still growing in market share, asset managers are adapting and finding ways to generate sales from within, as well as outside, these types of vehicles. Read more.
March 8, 2017
Vanguard Adds $96 Billion in Target-Date Assets in 2016
Target-Date Assets Grow 20% in 2016 as Demand Grows for Collective Trusts and Passive Management
Vanguard Group grew assets under management in Target-Date portfolios by $96 billion in 2016, as assets in the firm’s Target-Date mutual funds and collective investment trusts (CITs) swelled to $450 billion. This left Vanguard in control of 34% of the $1.3 trillion invested in Target-Date mutual funds and CITs at the end of 2016. These findings and many more are from Sway Research's latest in-depth study—The State of the Target-Date Market: 2017, Examining Asset Trends Across Providers, Products, Vehicles, Management Styles, and Key Features. Read more.
October 12, 2016
DCIO Assets Still Growing Strong, Reach $3.5T in 2016
Asset Managers Experiencing Growth, Despite Sales Challenges
The tenth edition of Sway Research's annual in-depth study of DCIO distribution finds that asset managers remain committed to the growing DCIO market, despite pressure from passive management, as well as uncertainty brought on by the looming implementation of the DOL fiduciary rule. Of course, it's easier to stay committed to a market when assets are rising, and that's the case for DCIO. Sway estimates DC investment-only (DCIO) assets now total $3.5T and make up 48% of the DC market. Sway projects IO assets will grow at more than twice the rate of proprietary assets through the remainder of this decade to produce total DCIO AUM of $4.4T in 2020, at which point IO will make up 52% of DC assets. Read more.
March 22, 2016
Target-Dates Top $1 Trillion, Yet Remain Largely Out of Reach for Most Asset Managers
Capturing Substantial Target-Date Market Share Remains an Unrealized Goal for All But a Few Financial Services Firms
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), which drove adoption of auto-enrollment and auto-escalation policies across much of the defined contribution (DC) plan market. The PPA also introduced QDIAs (Qualified Deferred Investment Alternatives)—the investments through which many new participant investment dollars now flow into the DC marketplace. Sway Research's latest in-depth research report—The State of the Target-Date Market: 2016 - Assessing the QDIA Behemoth a Decade After Passage of the Pension Protection Act—examines this most popular form of QDIA. Read more.
December 30, 2015
Sway Research Relaunches with DCIO focus, after several years as part of Hearts & Wallets
New Organizational Structure in Response to Growth and Needs of Distinct Client Bases
Founder Chris J. Brown will resume his singular focus on best practices in intermediary distribution through Sway Research, the research and consulting firm he founded in 2007, which quickly became the primary source of distribution benchmarks and insights for DCIO sales and marketing executives. Hearts & Wallets, led by Laura Varas, will continue its focus on the consumer and competitive data platform for the retail investing industry. Read more.
October 29, 2015
Most Asset Managers Still Generating Positive DCIO Net Sales Amid Mounting Obstacles to Growth and Profits
Target-Dates, Intense Fee Focus Create Tough Environment for Active Managers
Published in partnership with Hearts & Wallets LLC, the latest The State of DCIO Distribution in-depth research study reveals a Defined Contribution market that is strong and growing on its surface, with positive net sales for the majority of firms surveyed, but considerable turmoil lurking just underneath. In the first half of 2015, 70 percent of the 30 asset managers surveyed recorded positive net sales. This is a marked improvement over full-year 2014, when only 54 percent of managers had positive net flows, but 2014 was a historically bad year. Defined Contribution Investment-Only (DCIO) sales improvements have not reached levels seen prior to 2013, when 80 percent or more of managers regularly produced net sales “in the black.” Read more.