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Unfazed by its misfire, BlackRock is taking a second shot at the 401(k) market, this time with a whiter hat

Skeptics abound but the world's largest asset manager aims to fill a mega-void by bringing payout precision of DC plans to the best-guess 401(k) business

Author Lisa Shidler October 3, 2013 at 5:15 PM
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Stephen Bozeman: There were some problems.

401(k) Stories

Elmer Rich III

Elmer Rich III

October 3, 2013 — 9:46 PM

We are an industry, apparently like tech, car business, etc (industries where product/sales priorities rule), where a sales strategy is mistaken for a business and marketing strategy. Sales is about closing qualified prospects; marketing is creating points of sale/distribution to specific target markets of potential prospects.

It is hard to believe a firm with as much money as BR wouldn’t have done business and marketing research and review before “firing” but it appears so. Ready, fire…..(maybe) aim is the industry pattern.

The retirement business is highly mature, highly concentrated and barriers to entry are insurmountable. There is simply no growth left. Since captive distribution, as in most business is the core asset, the hope for rollovers is misplaced. It’s like standing outside a McDonald’s selling deserts.

Besides, any investment offering is instantly commodified and there are no real differences in investment products anymore.

Not quite sure where any large FS firms or BR will find growth. We don’t see any data suggesting opportunities. Well, the data we see, we don’t share.



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