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Thursday, April 01, 2010

ING Wins Big with Kentucky

Reported by Daniel Tovrov

The 401k Round Up is a weekly column aimed at keeping mutual fund industry insiders updated on what's happening in the 401(k) industry. Below are quick takes on stories that originally appeared on The MFWire's sister publication, The 401kWire.

In the spirit of March Madness, ING's US retirement plan business upset Nationwide Financial, winning an administration contact with a $1.6 billion retirement plan. Nationwide had been the plan provider for the Kentucky Deferred Compensation Authority for 27 years, before ING earned the contract thanks to its "competitive prices."

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Other retirement plan providers aren't cutting down the net like ING. The Standard has seen a wave of high-level departures in the past months, including its head of asset management, Kim Ledbetter and its vice president of institutional sales, KC Cannon. Although unrelated, the Standard also suffered the loss of its retirement plan operations chief when Christine Raudonis died in December.

Scott Hibbs took over for Ledbetter as the asset management group leader and insisted that "there is no direct link between [any of the] departures" and that the insurer is "looking to grow its retirement business."

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At least other two companies this week made plans for growth, both in the defined contribution investment-only (DC I-O) space. American Century Investments hired longtime Merrill Lynch financial advisor Kevin Eknaian as a DC I-O wholesaler, while The Hartford vice president of DC I-O sales Joe Eck repositioned three consultants from the DB team to his DC I-O sales team.  

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