Marco Consulting rang in the New Year by taking over as independent fiduciary for one of its Taft-Hartley clients, a first for the Chicago-based firm.
The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Washington — which has been a Marco Consulting client for 17 years — hired the firm as fiduciary for its $1.2 international pension fund, said David Stupar, executive director for the fund. The union will hire another consultant, but Mr. Stupar did not provide details.
Jack Marco, chairman of Marco Consulting, said the firm will make managerial decisions for the fund, which will ease the burden on the board of trustees and give trustees more time at board meetings to deal with other issues requiring their attention.
Mr. Marco added that the manager selection process, which normally takes the fund six to nine months, can now be shaved down to four to six weeks. The firm will also manage the plan's asset mix.
Michael Cagnina, managing director of Taft-Hartley plans at SEI Investments, Oaks, Pa., said several Taft-Hartley plans are moving to strategies that are "expanding the consulting arrangement." He wouldn't identify the plans.
He said trustees are "more open minded" to new approaches because many Taft-Hartley plans are less healthy than they were several years ago.
Mr. Cagnina noted that even in a co-fiduciary relationship, trustees still must take some responsibility and perform due diligence.