The Department of Labor (DOL) delivered a surprise holiday gift on December 21, 2021 to fiduciaries of participant-directed 401(k) plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended—issuing a supplemental statement (Supplement) to a June 2020 Information Letter (Letter) regarding the use of private equity investments in investment options. The thrust of the Supplement is that fiduciaries should not read the Letter as endorsing or recommending private equity investments in such plans and should proceed with caution in the use of such investments in a participant-directed 401(k) plan.
We have recently seen a rise in the number of retirement plans exiting mutual funds in favor of collective investment trusts (CITs). Often the transition is simply a change in structure—that is, moving from the same investment manager’s mutual fund to its CIT counterpart. This post explores some potential reasons for this trend by comparing some key differences in the two investment fund structures.
Keeping up the steady stream of new and proposed guidance coming from the US Department of Labor (DOL), the Employee Benefits Security Administration issued a proposed regulation on September 4, 2020 that would require significant changes in how ERISA fiduciaries consider and approach proxy voting and the exercise of other shareholder rights.
As environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations continue to gain traction with investors, asset managers are confronted with varying levels of regulation that they must balance with the wide array of ESG demands being made by investors. Our global investment funds team has prepared a White Paper as a regulatory framework to navigate such considerations across the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Hong Kong, and Singapore.