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Friday, February 22, 2019

The Fundster 401k Roundup, February 16-22

News summary by MFWire's editors

This is MFWire's second Fundster 401k Roundup, a new column to help fundsters keep an eye on a key distribution channel: defined contribution retirement plans.

Robert W. Guillocheau
Ascensus
Chairman, CEO
This week's big 401(k) news is that new private equity is leading a new round of investment in Ascensus, a big independent 401(k) recordkeeper and TPA (and Vanguard ally) that also handles 529 college savings plans and IRAs. Last year Ascensus' current PE backers reportedly put it on the block, yet the new deal (expected to close by the end of next month) keeps both existing PE backers on board while selling just shy of 25 percent of Ascensus to the new round's investors. Ascensus' longtime chief expects that, with even more dry powder behind them now, they will keep up the fast M&A pace; Ascensus has made a host of acquisitions (mostly small) over the last couple of years, including 18 in 2018 alone.

For DC I-Os, Ascensus' new PE deal provides an assurance that one of the biggest 401(k) platforms around is not about to get swallowed up by, say, a different provider that bundles in investments (and thus competes with DC I-Os).

This column is powered by our DC-focused sister publication, 401kWire, so be sure to check out the links for a deeper dive into 401(k) news that catches your eye. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor


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