News & Views

Chatham Partners has a deep and thorough understanding of the financial services industry, including issues affecting institutional asset managers, retirement service providers, global securities servicing firms, intermediaries, and other related groups. As such, we are often called upon by leading financial publications to comment on important industry research and trends. Here are links to some of our recent media coverage:

Plan Sponsors Loyal to Defined Contribution Plan Vendors

Institutional Investor, August 13, 2012
An increased focus on customer service is the most important reason for improved vendor loyalty when it comes to retirement plan providers, according to a recent article by Fran Hawthorne that cites Chatham Partners' 2012 loyalty study. According to Chatham's survey, the share of "loyal" clients rose 6 percentage points to 58 percent versus a 4 percentage point drop in "at-risk" clients to 16 percent.
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Institutional Marketing Touts Process, Not Performance

FundFire, August 7, 2012
FundFire's Danielle Sottosanti summarizes results of a recent survey of 43 institutional marketing professionals from more than 35 firms about their careers, working relationships within their firms and the marketing collateral they create.  In the article, Chatham CEO Peter Starr discusses various drivers of win/loss performance.
Read more (You may need a FundFire account to access the full article.)

Are Plan Sponsors Satisfied?, August 2, 2012
Chatham Partners has released the results of a new survey of plan sponsor attitudes, which shows that sponsors are significantly more loyal to their providers and satisfied with their service than they were in 2011. According to Chatham CEO Peter Starr, however, there is more work to be done. "Providers must remain vigilant in creating differentiation in the crucial areas of efficient partnerships, investment services, and helping participants achieve better outcomes if they are to reap the strategic benefits of a more satisfied and loyal client base."
Read more (You may need a 401kWire account to access the full article.)

Loyalty to Retirement Service Providers Grows

PLANSPONSOR, July 31, 2012

Plan sponsors' loyalty to their retirement service providers has shown a marked increase from last year, according to Chatham Partners' annual Provider Loyalty Index scores. A more detailed analysis of attributes that are highly correlated to satisfaction and loyalty suggests that retirement plan providers are excelling at key aspects of relationship management, including plan sponsor administrative services and client service personnel.
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Variety of Investment Oursourcing Options Emerge

Pensions & Investments, July 9, 2012
Institutional demand for investment outsourcing is accelerating, according to an article by Douglas Appell of Pensions & Investments, despite a lack of consensus on best practices.  Chatham Partners CEO Peter Starr states that investment oursourcing firms still need to make considerable efforts to translate growing interest in new governance structures into new business.
Read more  (You may need a P&I account to access the full article.)

Investment Complexity Driving Outsourcing

FundFire, July 9, 2012
According to FundFire, market volatility and the growing complexity of investment portfolios are driving more institutional investors to consider investment outsourcing.  According to Chatham Partners CEO Peter Starr, who references a recent Chatham study on outsourcing in the article,  demand for outsourcing services will pick up, but will not experience exponential growth. 
Read more (You may need a FundFire account to access the full article.)

Many Managers Drop Ball on Reporting

FundFire, June 13, 2012
A survey of 120 institutional investors conducted by Chatham Partners and Investment Metrics found that performance only accounts for 60% of overall client satisfaction with investment managers, while 40% hinges on client service including the quality of reporting.  Less than half of the respondents said they were "very satisfied" with the reporting documentation they receive from managers. 
Read more (You may need a FundFire account to access the full article.)

Transamerica Cites "Best in Class" Ratings in Chatham Survey

YAHOO! Finance, May 7, 2012
Transamerica Retirement Services announced that it received 27 "Best in Class" ratings by retirement plan sponsors in Chatham Partners' fourth quarter post-conversion customer satisfaction survey.  The survey measures the overall quality and management of plan providers' plan installation process according to the first-hand experiences of retirement plan sponsors.
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Chatham Partners Cited in Satisfaction Gains Achieved by Principal

YAHOO! Finance, April 30, 2012
Principal Financial Group cited Chatham Partners' survey of medium-to-large defined benefit and defined contribution plans in achieving a 97% overall satisfaction score among clients and quotes Chatham Managing Director Joshua Dietch.
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Almost Half of Plan Sponsors Don't Go TRO

401kWire, April 17, 2012
A Chatham Partners study reveals that almost 50% of plan sponsors are not fully bundled but would be open to bundling their retirement plans if convinced of the benefits.  The study "2011 Trends in DB Bundling and Total Retirement Outsourcing: Evaluating the Opportunity in a Recovering Economy," covers six areas, including TRO and Total Benefits Outsourcing (TBO), changing a plan's management structure, satisfaction with current providers, decision-making procedures for selecting providers, and the role of investment capabilities in bundling.
Read more (you may need a 401kWire account to access the complete article.)

Top Challenges Faces Client Service Professionals

FundFire, April 10, 2012
Chatham Partners Managing Director Joshua Dietch discusses the dual challenges of anticipating and reacting to client needs with a finite level of resources at their disposal. By asking the right questions and conducting appropriate due diligence, says Dietch, client service professionals can be successful despite today's increasingly challenging environment.
Read more (You may need a FundFire account to access the complete article.)

Institutional Appetite for Outsourcing Up But Satisfaction Down

Financial Investment News, March 29, 2012
While institutions have been increasingly showing interest in the outsourced CIO model, those that have already made the move to utilize outsourced providers have not been completely satisfied with the relationships, according to the Chatham Partners study "Trends in CIO/Investment Outsourcing: Evaluating the Opportunity in a Recovering Economy."
Read more (You may need a Financial Investment News account to access the complete article.)

Plan Sponsors Not Sold on Benefits of Bundling, March 21, 2012
According to Chatham Partners CEO Peter Starr, the primary barrier to bundling among both unbundled and semi-bundled plan sponsors is their unwillingness to sacrifice investment flexibility and increase their fiduciary risk in exchange for promised administrative efficiencies and cost savings.  In order to engage a single provider for both administrative and investment services, he says, sponsors must be convinced that investment solutions can stand on their own.
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FundFire Discusses Chatham Study in CIO Article

FundFire, March 16, 2012
A new study released by Chatham Partners, "Trends in Investment Outsourcing: Evaluating the Opportunity in a Recovering Economy," found that most organizations believe that outsourcing their CIO function would not produce better results than they could achieve themselves, is expensive, and fails to mitigate risks facing trustees as fiduciaries.
Read more (You may need a FundFire account to access the complete article.)

Chatham CEO Nominated for "100 Most Influential People in Defined Contribution"

401kWire, February 3, 2012
Peter Starr, CEO of Chatham Partners, a leading market research firm in the retirement services space, was nominated as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Defined Contribution by The 401kWire.
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Transamerica Cites Chatham in 2011 Satisfaction Survey

BusinessWire, January 23, 2012
Transamerica performed as one of the top retirement services providers last year according to research conducted as part of Chatham Partners' 2011 Client Satisfaction Analysis.  According to Chatham CEO Peter Starr, "The survey results exemplify Transamerica's dedication to providing 'Best in Class' client service and product offerings."
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Chatham Director Quoted in "Biggest Stories" on FundFire

Fundfire, December 27, 2011
One of FundFire's biggest stories of 2011, according to their website, was "The Worst Mistakes a Manager Can Make," first published on October 5th.  Revisit this story to read what Chatham Partners Managing Director Joshua Dietch considers "unforgiveable" in a client/manager relationship.
Read more (you may need a FundFire account to access the complete article.)

Top 2012 Priorities for Institutional Client Service

Fundfire, December 12, 2011
Joshua Dietch, Managing Director of Chatham Partners, was asked whether institutional managers should use client service as a way to differentiate themselves from competitors.  He defined three key areas where superior client service is essential to client satisfaction:  1) Understanding your clients' needs and responding with relevant information and outreach; 2) Providing access to the appropriate investment personnel when needed and packaging information in the most effective way; and 3) Arming your client service team with a good grasp of the issues faced by a given client and empowering them to act. 
Read more (you may need a FundFire account to access the complete article.)

Chatham Partners Cited in 2011 Client Survey by Lincoln Financial

MarketWatch, November 16, 2011
Lincoln Financial Group announced that it earned outstanding satisfaction scores from new mid-to-large market plan sponsor clients in a post-implementation survey conducted by Chatham Partners.  According to Lincoln Financial Group, the 2011 study showed that Lincoln exceeded the proprietary Chatham Partners implementation benchmark in numerous categories, including overall satisfaction, management of installation, flexibility, frequency and quality of contact, responsiveness, and their proactive approach.  
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Chatham Partners Survey Shows Satisfaction Gains for MassMutual

PRNewswire, November 15, 2011
According to 2011 survey data compiled by Chatham Partners, MassMutual's Retirement Services Division showed year-over-year improvement in areas critical to sponsor retention and included best-in-class sponsor satisfaction ratings in key categories like relationship and account management as well as accuracy of plan level financial reports.  "We believe the data we extract from our ongoing client satisfaction survey program - and our willingness to respond to the information - are significant reasons why MassMutual continues to achieve new record levels of sales and customer satisfaction year-over-year," said MassMutual executive Elaine Sarsynski.
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Defined Benefit Closures Lead to Pension Outsourcing

Professional Pensions, October 24, 2011

A recent survey conducted by Mercer and Chatham Partners found that 27% of plans in the UK expected to outsource administration in the next three years due to closure of defined benefits plans, along with escalating costs and regulatory changes.
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Managers Strain to Define Client Service

Fundfire, October 18, 2011

For an institutional investor, a good client service professional can often be the difference between retaining a mandate or getting the boot, according to this FundFire article. Chatham Partners' Managing Director Joshua Dietch spoke at length about the importance of good client service with FundFire's Mariah Summers.
Read more (you may need a FundFire account to access the complete article.)

The Worst Mistakes a Manager Can Make

Fundfire, October 5, 2011

Not being honest about a product's performance is one of several potentially damning client service mistakes managers can make, according to speakers at this week's Financial Research Associates' "Client Servicing for Institutional Asset Managers" conference in New York.  Joshua Dietch, Managing Director of Chatham Partners, was a panelist at the conference and is one of the speakers quoted in the article.
Read more (you may need a FundFire account to access the complete article.)

Tracking DCIO Sales a Guessing Game

Ignites, August 22, 2011

Capturing DCIO sales is extremely important in determining wholesaler compensation, resource allocation and client prospecting, but is one of the biggest challenges of the DCIO business, according to a new industry study by Chatham Partners authored by Luis Fleites. Although determining where new business comes from is critical for a number of reasons, it is difficult because asset managers are typically at the mercy of intermediaries.
Read more (you may need an Ignites account to access the complete article).

QDIA Study Finds Room For Improvement

PlanSponsor, August 17, 2011

While Defined Contribution plan sponsors report high satisfaction levels with their current QDIA investment managers, opportunities exist for aspiring QDIA (Qualified Default Investment Alternatives) managers to differentiate themselves, according to a new research study released by Chatham Partners. The study illustrates how plan sponsors are evaluating, assessing and selecting QDIA investment options and the role that intermediaries play in this process.
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Chatham Study: DCIO Reaching Maturity, Still Holds Allure

Ignites, August 5, 2011

New entrants and established competitors are honing their focus on the defined contribution investment only space, which may be crucial since the segment is showing signs of having reach early maturity, according to a new Chatham Partners research study directed by Chatham Vice President Luis Fleites. However, even though the space is now more crowded, tremendous growth opportunities still exist.
Read more (you may need an Ignites account to access the complete article). 

Franklin Bulks Up DCIO Team; Partners With Chatham

Ignites, July 25, 2011

Chatham Partners will conduct a new value-add program for Franklin Templeton,focusing on the $5 million and larger plan segment, that will examine how plan sponsors select their retirement plan intermediaries.  The program will use Chatham's "win-loss" research methodology to learn how and why plan sponsors select or do not select intermediaries for retirement plan consultation, according to Yaqub Ahmed, head of investment-only distribution at Franklin Templeton.
Read more(you may need an Ignites account to access the complete article).

Poll: Differentiating in Finals is Crucial

FundFire, July 7, 2011

A majority of FundFire poll respondents say that differentiating oneself from the competition can make or break a manager's finals presentation.  Peter Starr, CEO of Chatham Partners, says that "clarity, concision and differentiation are all factors influencing a prospect's decision."
Read more (you may need a FundFire account to access the complete article).

Managers Step Up Outsourcing

Financial News, June 13, 2011

Reporter Giles Turner writes about the increasing trend toward middle and back-office function outsourcing in an effort to boost revenues and focus more fully on asset management responsibilities.  A Chatham Partners survey is cited in the article, in which 50% of managers said that they believed the most important role for the middle office was to provide the fund managers with timely and accurate data.
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Key Factors in Selection Process

FundFire June 6, 2011

Chatham Partners' Managing Director Joshua Dietch was featured in today's FundFire Q&A. Josh answered the question, "What main factors drive institutional investors' manager-selection process?," citing numerous factors - in addition to investment performance - that drive investment decisions. 
Read more (you may need a FundFire account to access the complete article).

Managers Frustrated by Busy Consultants

FundFire May 2, 2011

Joshua Dietch,Managing Director of Chatham Partners,comments on the difficulty in getting face time with investment consultants, who can greatly influence potential clients, in this FundFire article.
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Giving Plan Sponsors a Voice Makes Them Loyal, March 14, 2011

Providers who consistently reach out to their plan sponsors to gauge satisfaction and loyalty end up putting that knowledge to good use in driving up sponsor satisfaction and loyalty, according to data recently released by Chatham Partners.  Conducting ongoing Voice of the Customer research is critical, says company CEO Peter Starr.
Read more (you may need a 401kwire account to access the complete article). 

Chatham Partners Links Customer Research to Loyalty

Loyalty360, March 12, 2011

A recent analysis conducted by Chatham Partners demonstrated that incorporating "The Voice of the Customer" into a company's products and processes can be a strong competitive advantage.  Increases in both customer loyalty and customer satisfaction were recorded by Retirement Services providers engaging in an ongoing market research program.
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Customer Service, Intel Pays Off for Retirement Services Providers

Financial Planning, March 10, 2011

Peter Starr, CEO of Chatham Partners,talks with Larry Barrett about a recent analysis conducted by Chatham showing the importance of conducting and implementing Voice of the Customer research. The analysis compares client satisfaction and loyalty rates among retirement service providers against various benchmarks.
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What Role Does Client Service Play in Finals Presentations?

FundFire Q&A, December 28, 2010

Michelle Harris, Director of Marketing at Chatham Partners, describes how facets of the client experience, including frequency of contact, performance reporting, client team make-up and other factors, can all greatly influence the selection process.
Read more (you may need a FundFire account to access the complete article). 

Client Service More Crucial Than Ever

FundFire, November 8, 2010

A new study, conducted jointly by Chatham Partners and Investment Metrics, found that 60% of overall satisfaction can be attributed to investment performance, but this can often be cyclical and unpredictable. On the other hand, 40% of client satisfaction is attributable to service-related factors that can be consistently delivered.
Read more (you may need a FundFire account to access the complete article). 

How to Keep Clients Happy Despite a Poor-Performing Portfolio

AdvisorOne, November 8, 2010

Chatham Partners Managing Director Josh Dietch talks about the huge opportunity for investment managers to seek differentiation through client service.
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Protection from the Storm

PlanSponsor, September 10, 2010

Some employers, such as those who sponsor underfunded defined benefit plans, are looking to the expertise of investment manement outsourcers for help. Seven myths are uncovered.
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Chatham Partners Launches QDIA and DCIO Studies, September 8, 2010

Chatham Partners will launch two syndicated studies on issues of critical interest to the investment management and retirement fund communities: "Strategic Growth Opportunities in a Competitive Marketplace," and "2010/2011 QDIA Update: An Assessment of Selection and Evaluation Criteria by Plan Sponsors and Intermediaries.
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Chatham Partners Names New Research VP 

Pensions & Investments, August 23, 2010

Luis Fleites, an expert in retirement markets, joins Chatham Partners as Vice President and Director of Multi-Client Research.   Fleites previously held senior positions with Financial Research Corporation and Cerulli Associates, and has authored more than a dozen studies on retirement topics. 
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Bundled “Up”?, July 22, 2009

Providers have made some progress confincing plan sponsors who were already receptive to bundling of certain benefits associated with bundling, according to a Chatham Partners study.
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Bundling Trend Running Out of Steam?, May 8, 2009

According to a new Chatham Partners survey, the move toward bundling of defined benefit plan services may have run its course.
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U.S. Pension Funds Rethinking Investment Management

PlanSponsor, October 3, 2008
Chatham research results support claims that senior investment executives of some of the largest pension programs worry about how current market conditions will affect their programs.
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Plan Sponsors Quick to Make QDIA Selection

PlanSponsor, September 2, 2008

Chatham Partners’ research finds that two-thirds of plan sponsors have selected a qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) despite limited understanding of QDIA regulations and alternatives.
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House Committee to Vote on Fee Disclosure Bill

PlanSponsor, April 11, 2008

Proposed legislation supports Chatham Partners research showing that only 58% of plan sponsors feel confident about their understanding of plan costs.
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