Bricker & Eckler LLP, Columbus, Ohio, hired Merrill Lynch as bundled provider of its $40 million 401(k) plan, said Richard Kane, partner and retirement committee chairman. Merrill will offer three investment choices: a self-directed brokerage account; a core group of mutual funds yet to be chosen; and a managed account, in which participants will meet with an Ibbotson Associates representative to determine individual allocations among the core group of mutual funds.
Plan participants now choose between a common investment pool, run by four external managers, and a self-directed brokerage account, Mr. Kane said. He would not name the outside firms. The retirement committee decided the common pool approach did not meet the needs of participants of a variety of ages, Mr. Kane said, and the internal administration for the plan was becoming a burden.
The committee hopes to complete the transition by the beginning of the fourth quarter, he said.