Financial Services Firms In Fierce Competition For Retirement Savings: Conning

  • $11 Trillion in Retirement Assets Up for Grabs
  • Mutual Funds Could Lose Stranglehold on IRA Market

April 25, 2003 (New York, NY) – As retiring Baby Boomers make complex choices about where to keep their nest-egg assets, fierce competition for a share of retirement savings assets may profoundly alter the market’s leaders and the followers, according to a new study by Conning Research and Consulting, Inc.

“Institutions which service retirement plans today may not necessarily be the same players tomorrow,” said David Montgomery, Vice President at Conning. “What’s fascinating about the retirement market today is that even the market leaders, the leading mutual fund companies, are not capable of meeting the entire product and advice needs of retirees-this lays the groundwork for a dramatic change in the competitive landscape.”

The study, “Winning the Coming Battle for Retirement Assets-$11 Trillion Up for Grabs,” identifies the opportunities and issues facing retirement market participants. Attracting and retaining retirement assets continues to be a top priority across the spectrum of financial service institutions: mutual fund companies, insurers, brokerage companies, banks, and financial planners.

“The stakes are quite large regardless of how one views it,” said Montgomery. “The retirement market totals $11 trillion in assets, IRA assets total about $2.4 trillion, and assets transitioning out of qualified plans are approximately $300 billion annually.”

It is this transition asset market that is of greatest importance to institutions in the market place because it drives the IRA market. And the IRA market is where mutual fund companies have traditionally excelled and insurance companies and banks have not. Mutual fund companies controlled nearly half of all IRA assets in 2001 while banks and insurers controlled 11% and 8%, respectively. According to Conning, however, there is a distinct possibility for the tables to turn.

“Retirees want to buy products that will meet their income, insurance and asset protection requirements throughout retirement and typically seek advice to help them with product selection and asset planning,” said Montgomery. “Companies that learn to deliver against these needs will win asset share. But for most firms, this will require improving their ability to manage client information, particularly across their organization, and developing and selling new products and services into retail versus wholesale markets.”

The study also defines a new business model successful firms could exploit to attract and retain assets including required capabilities and key success factors thereby setting the stage for a new basis of competition in the battle for retirement assets.

“Winning the Coming Battle for Retirement Assets-$11 Trillion Up for Grabs,” is available from Conning Research & Consulting, Inc., by calling toll free (888) 707-1177 or (860) 520-1521. A complete listing of all Conning research products can also be found by visiting the company’s web site at

About Conning Research & Consulting

The Conning name has represented excellence in independent insurance industry research for more than 90 years. As a result of its wealth of experience and intimate knowledge of the insurance industry, Conning understands industry challenges and opportunities and can provide in-depth insights and analyses. Conning provides both public and proprietary research as well as consulting services to the financial services industry. Conning has offices in New York and Hartford.