Putnam, A Work in Progress

With the announcement of a retirement research center, Putnam Investments joins the "thought-leadership" game. It's all part of CEO Bob Reynolds' campaign to rebuild a tarnished brand--and to change the way America saves.

What’s Your Competition Doing? E&Y Knows

Launched five years ago, Ernst & Young's Retirement Income Knowledge Bank has become a useful map of the competitive landscape for insurers and broker-dealers.

At SPARK conference, a Plug for In-Plan Annuities

In touting his firm's LifePath TDF-based deferred income option, Chip Castille of BlackRock emphasized that insurers should position in-plan annuities as retirement income enhancers rather than longevity risk mitigators. (I.e., appeal to greed, not fear.)

At Your Service: Courting the Affluent Tennis Fan

Prudential Financial, Raymond James, ING, Fidelity Investments and E*Trade all advertised during the French Open final between Rafael Nadal (above) and Roger Federer on NBC TV last Sunday--all vying for the "elite demographic" that follows tennis.

Eleven Million Millionaires Worldwide

About 40,000 Americans have investable assets of $30 million or more, according to the 15th annual World Wealth Report from Merrill Lynch and Capgemini.

SEC “starved of resources”: New Yorker

"The market has become more of an exclusive gambling club for the very rich than a level playing field open to the ordinary investor," wrote journalist George Packer.

Mind the [Retirement] Gap

Of those who expect to need 75%-100% of their pre-retirement salary in retirement, less than a third had enough savings to generate this income, according to J. P. Morgan's .

Things Heard and Overheard

Here's a follow-up on our earlier report on the recent SPARK conference, with more news and comment about DoL enforcement strategy, the threat to the tax deferral for savings, and what might happen when participants see how much their plans cost.