The site is part of the ongoing growth of Putnam’s DCIO, according to Peter Whitman, the head of DCIO for Putnam. “I don’t see a lot of dedicated DCIO websites,” Whitman told PLANADVISER, “and this is a way to better serve the advisers and consultants we work with daily.”
Because advisers are looking for a single point of contact, Whitman said, “the site puts them in touch with investment specialists that are focused on DCIO specifically. It takes the best of what we’ve done on the retail side and makes it relevant to advisers.”
Educational materials on the site include:
- Product profiles, commentaries and fact sheets on more than 30 funds and Putnam’s collective trusts, including Putnam Stable Value and Putnam Retirement Advantage target-date series;
- Putnam’s quarterly market trends book, which brings charts and graphs for investment professionals to use with clients;
- Vision papers and white papers;
- Insights and commentary on industries and market sectors by Putnam’s investment managers and research analysts; and
- Weekly economic updates and monthly market summaries.
Putnam’s FundVisualizer, a comparison tool for funds and model portfolios, is slated to be linked to the site early next year. FundVisualizer is a proprietary screening software that was introduced on the retail side to compare Putnam as well as non-Putnam funds. More than 11,000 funds, including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, can be accessed.
“There is an enormous opportunity to provide investment-only services and thought leadership to the retirement market in the coming years, given demographic trends, changing regulatory environment and demand for new solutions,” said Edmund Murphy, head of defined contribution (DC) at Putnam.
Murphy pointed to research reported earlier this year by Strategic Insight, an Asset International company, which indicated that the DCIO market is set to grow to 60% of total DC assets by 2017, up from an estimated 52% at year-end 2011.
In anticipation of this growth, Whitman said, Putnam plans to double its staff in 2013, hiring three investment specialists to work with DC-focused advisers.
According to Murphy, Putnam is in a good position to serve this market. The firm has a solid DCIO foundation because of its investment specialists and product range suited for 401(k) plans. The website and its analytic tools are a logical extension of Putnam’s efforts to expand its concentration in DCIO, he said. (Earlier this year, Putnam launched two retirement share classes.)
“We want this to be a portal for DC information, Whitman said, so we’ve filtered relevant information for advisers, which we can use to communicate directly with clients and prospects.”
Putnam, an asset management firm, manages approximately $11 billion for DCIO clients.
More information is available Putnam’s site.