Lord Abbett Exits Small-401(k) Market

Jersey City, New Jersey-based investment management firm Lord, Abbett & Co. announced Wednesday it is getting out of the small-401(k) market to concentrate on its defined contribution investment-only book of business.

Simultaneously, Lord Abbett and the Hartford announced a plan to transfer assets from the nearly 8,000 bundled small 401(k) plans comprising more than 59,000 participants and more than $1.2 billion in assets from their current Lord Abbett home to Hartford’s platform.
Lord Abbett said it would no longer sell any small-market 401(k) plans to clients effective October 1. The decision was the result of a strategic reassessment of its retirement business, Lord Abbett said.
According to the news releases, the asset-transfer pact with The Hartford calls for Lord Abbett to enable eligible 401(k) plans to access the Hartford’s lineup of Aviator open-architecture 401(k) products.
The Hartford will also waive transfer fees. The offer includes a waiver of all contingent deferred sales charges (CDSCs) on all A- and C-share plans; the waiver of a plan termination fee; and the waiver of a 2010 billing fee for plans that submit account opening paperwork by April 1, 2010.
“The Hartford views its retirement plan business as a significant growth opportunity, and we are actively looking to expand our presence in the marketplace,” said Jim Davey, executive vice president of The Hartford’s Investments and Retirement Division. “We are excited about this strategic alliance and the opportunity for us to provide these retirement plan clients access to our products and new investment opportunities.”