LOS ANGELES - First Interstate Bank of California's institutional trust services will expand its 401(k) plan services Jan. 15, adding access to 300 mutual funds from outside money managers and investment advisory services at the plan sponsor and participant level from Standard & Poor's Corp., New York.
Within First Interstate's ChoiceMaster bundled 401(k) plan service, plan sponsors may select any of the 300 funds from the bank's mutual fund alliance with companies such as INVESCO Funds Group, Fidelity Institutional Retirement Services, Janus Fund Group and Dreyfus Corp.
S&P also created a "preferred" list of the five top performing funds with a five-year track record in each of 12 investment style classes.
Additionally, S&P created five asset allocation portfolios including a range of funds from the best managers in various asset classes from the mutual fund alliance. Each of the basic, midcap, small-cap domestic, small-cap international and international "baskets" of funds has the elements of a balanced portfolio with an emphasis on a particular investment style, depending on the basket's stated risk/reward objectives.
The most conservative fund basket is the basic option, while the most aggressive is the international option, said Amru A. Khan, senior vice president. Plan sponsors generally will offer just one of the baskets in a 401(k) plan, possibly with separate mutual funds as additional options, said Mr. Khan.
Customized participant level financial planning also is available as an additional service.
BOSTON - State Street Global Advisors developed a series of five global balanced portfolios, the Quantidex Funds, with the help of investment advisers Daniels & Alldredge, Birmingham, Ala.
The five portfolios range from aggressive (100% equity) to conservative (typically 80% cash) on the risk spectrum and invest accordingly in 11 State Street indexed mutual funds in various asset classes. Daniels & Alldredge designed the portfolios to meet specific risk profiles and rebalance the asset allocations depending on market conditions.
The five Quantidex portfolios opened for investment Dec. 30. National Commerce Bank of Birmingham was the fund family's first client, offering the Quantidex funds both on a private-label basis to institutional and retail clients and for its own employee retirement plan.
Daniels & Allredge and Acumen Financial, Cambridge, Mass., will provide investment education to 401(k) plan participants using the Quantidex funds.
NEW YORK - "The Standard & Poor's 401(k) Planning Guide" is one of the few 401(k) guidebooks designed for plan participants available through retail bookstores. The book - written by pension consultant Alan J. Miller and published by McGraw-Hill Inc., New York - provides more in-depth investment education than the average 401(k) plan educational program offers.
The book explains 401(k) plan basics and makes a strong argument for early retirement planning.