DCIO Assets to Grow to 60% of 401(k) Assets by 2017

Assets are slated to expand from $2.3 trillion at the end of 2011 to $3.5 trillion, Strategic Insight projects.

Driven by the increasing interest in open architecture and transparent fees, defined contribution investment only (DCIO) assets are set to expand by more than 52% from $2.3 trillion at the end of 2011 to $3.5 trillion by 2017, according to Strategic Insight, an Asset International company.

The growth of DCIO over the next five years will mean a shift of market share from “proprietary,” or recordkeeper/administrator-run DC assets, to “open architecture” models, according to the Strategic Insight report, “DC Market Sizing and Outlook 2012.”

“Fee disclosure regulations will be a primary driver of investment-only growth, as the new transparency will undoubtedly shed light upon what have often been considered ambiguous fee arrangements,” said Bridget Bearden, a research analyst at Strategic Insight and author of the report. “The availability of external managers on proprietary recordkeeping platforms has already gained in prominence in recent months.”

More than half of DCIO mutual fund managers that Strategic Insight surveyed said that their median number of DCIO-focused salespeople had doubled, from three in 2010, to six by March 2012. Asked what the two best opportunities are in the DCIO market, the managers said custom target-date funds and the growing registered investment adviser (RIA) presence in larger plans, as opposed to the traditional, large employee benefits providers such as Callan and Mercer.

The report also includes an outlook on challenges and opportunities for the DCIO market. More information is at www.sionline.com.