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Pensionmark Introduces SmartLifecycle Minimum Volatility Custom Target-Date Solution


Pensionmark Financial Group finalized the implementation of their custom target-date solution, the SmartLifeCycle, went live on plans’ platforms on May 1, 2015. The funds were created by Wilmington Trust, the trustee of the funds. BlackRock will manage the glidepath and underlying strategies of the portfolios.

The goal is to provide returns in line with market indexes, with a significantly lower risk profile.If we can achieve that,” stated Mike Woods, Executive Vice President, “we believe we can curb participant tendencies to move to cash during the bottom of a cycle and then to re-invest at the top. Keeping people invested may be one of the most substantial influences we can have on the retirement savings of Americans.

“At BlackRock we have been focused on innovating new ideas on how to close the retirement gap. It is this like-minded goal that has brought together our firms as innovators in the space to create a product that works towards this higher purpose. We collaborated to design SmartLifeCycle as a solution to help close the behavior gap among participants by keeping them invested. We worked with Troy and his team at Pensionmark, to develop a product that focuses on reducing fiduciary risk through the implementation of minimum volatility strategies. At the end of the day, we’re striving to keep pre-retirees invested for the long term by helping to manage downside risk and make their investment journey less volatile,” comments Ralph Haberli, Managing Director, Head of Distribution and Business Development for BlackRock U.S. and Canada Defined Contribution.

The funds will include exposure to strategies that seek to track minimum volatility domestic and international equity indexes designed to help reduce portfolio losses during declining markets, while still participating in potential gains during rising markets. Minimum volatility strategies invest in stocks that generally have lower volatility characteristics during times of market stress, relative to standard indexes.

“We’ve been working with Pensionmark for the last 2 years on SmartLifeCycle and what we’re able to showcase today represents a huge innovation in the space right now. It uses our time tested LifePath strategies and merges that with Pensionmark’s invaluable experience and knowledge in retirement plan and investment consulting. We created a product that plays to the strengths of the Pensionmark advisor, which is giving their plan sponsor and plan participant clients the best personalized servicing, and of our firm by our ability to incorporate that advisor knowledge into a risk appropriate investment structure,” states Dick Darian, Director, Head of Advisor Sold Distribution for BlackRock U.S. and Canada Defined Contribution.

Participants are most concerned about loss and plan sponsors about the appropriateness and cost of their target-date solution. By utilizing minimum volatility strategies, a collective trust chassis, and the ability for participants to engage with us to adjust their position along the glidepath, we have sought to effectively address all of these needs in a way that has never been seen before,” comments Pensionmark’s President and CEO, Troy Hammond.

About BlackRock
BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At March 31, 2015, BlackRock’s AUM was $4.774 trillion. BlackRock helps clients meet their goals and overcome challenges with a range of products that include separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, as of March 31, 2015, the firm had approximately 12,300 employees in more than 30 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa.

About Wilmington Trust
Wilmington Trust is a leader in the collective trust fund market, with over $12B AUM in funds managed by over 35 subadvisors and available on over 35 trading platforms (as of June 30, 2014).