Eagle Asset Management Begins Distributing CITs

Eagle Asset Management has initiated distribution of collective investment trusts (CITs).

Through its affiliate, San Diego, California-based ClariVest Asset Management LLC, Eagle joins a number of defined contribution investment only (DCIO) fund distributors in the fast-growing CIT market. “If you are going to look for a lower-cost vehicle, collective trust funds make a lot of sense,” says Ran Gimeno, senior vice president and head of DCIO Sales at Eagle. 

The firm is offering active strategies in a daily-valued investment vehicle, seeking to attract large plan sponsors as well as consultants and financial advisers that cater to the DC market. The new funds sponsored by Hand Benefits & Trust Company, a BPAS company, include the following strategies: Small Cap Value; Emerging Markets Equity; and International Equity.

Eagle notes that historically, collective funds have been heavily used within fixed income products including stable value; however, today more than 70% of total dollar volume in collective funds come from non-stable value products.

The use of these investment vehicles is rising among DC plans, largely because of regulatory changes that favor lower-cost investments in retirement plan menus (see “Time to Consider a Collective Trust?”). “The industry expects CITs to play an increasingly important role in the DC market as large plan sponsors have a fiduciary obligation to explore their investment options,” says Gimeno.

St. Petersburg, Florida-based Eagle Asset Management, Inc. provides institutional and individual investors with an array of equity and fixed income products through autonomous investment teams located around the country, and acts as a provider of client service and sales distribution on behalf of ClariVest. Eagle has more than $31.5 billion in assets under advisement as of March 31, 2014.

More information is at http://eagleasset.com/.