When DC plan executives learn that their record keeper is being acquired, their response tends to be more "oh, no" and less "thank goodness."
Some sponsors will take a wait-and-see attitude about a record-keeping change, "but if they are on the fence, it could be an impetus to go out and look," said Martin Schmidt, principal of the DC consulting firm MAS Advisors, Chicago.
He defined an "on-the-fence" sponsor as one whose record-keeping contract is expiring soon. "I'd say any plan sponsor that is in the last year of a contract would probably be looking," he said. "Other plan sponsors that are early in their contract probably won't look."
Mr. Schmidt estimated that half the sponsors wouldn't be looking to change, "but there could be a number of other factors that could influence their decision." In any case, when other record keepers hear about an impending acquisition or merger, "they will be on them (sponsors) like hawks," he said.