Ohio Tuition Trust Authority, Columbus, hired BlackRock as the sole investment manager and administrator of the $3.5 billion adviser-sold portion of its CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan, effective around Oct. 1.
Putnam Investments had been the sole manager of the portion of the plan distributed through financial advisers until June 2009, when trustees added BlackRock to offer a second investment plan, R. Michael Prescott, the authority’s executive director, confirmed in an interview.
The Ohio plan was Putnam’s sole college savings program client under an exclusive arrangement, said Laura McNamara, a Putnam spokeswoman.
Mr. Prescott said the authority puts the adviser-sold distribution portion of the 529 plan up for bid every five years. Putnam’s contract expires Sept. 30, he said. He didn’t say anything negative about Putnam or explain further.
He said the hiring does not affect the Ohio 529 plan’s $2.5 billion direct-sold investment program, which offers investment options managed by Vanguard Group, PIMCO, Fifth Third Bank, OppenheimerFunds and GE Asset Management.
“We appreciate the experience of working in partnership with the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority and financial advisers to help families save for higher education over the last decade,” Robert L. Reynolds, president and CEO of Putnam, said in a news release.
In the release, Putnam announced that it will seek additional clients for its adviser-sold 529 college savings plan program.