The password is the first line of defense in cyber security but it is also the greatest threat to the client experience. Finding the delicate balance between protection and ease of use was the central focus of DALBAR’s 3rd Quarter WebMonitor of participant web sites. This focus was driven by the growing national concern over cyber security that now requires plan fiduciaries take an active interest in how well participants data and assets are being protected.
In 2017, the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule created new pressures for mutual fund contact centers by redefining what constitutes a fiduciary act more broadly. Today, a casual answer to an investor’s question may be considered fiduciary advice, with all the responsibility that comes with it. Representatives are now required to walk an even finer line between education and advice, the details of which remain vague. It is in this context that DALBAR is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Mutual Fund Service Award.
The year 2016 challenged investors’ resolve. Indices flirted with all-time highs while at the same time geopolitical events made fear an ever-present emotion investors had to manage.
Dalbar has been analyzing investor returns for over 20 years and found once again that the average investor did not realize returns that were on par with general market indices. For the 12 months ended December 30, 2016, the S&P 500 index produced an impressive annual return of 11.96%, while the average equity mutual fund investor earned only 7.26%, a gap of 4.70 percentage points. This underperformance is most attributable to January (1.74%) November (1.13%) and December (1.34%).
Dalbar has identified Merrill Lynch, BlackRock, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Prudential, MassMutual and AIG as the #1 ranked statements in each of their respective peer groups.
(Boston, MA. December 8, 2016) Today Dalbar announced the winner of its annual Insurance Service Award. For the second consecutive year The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America’s (Guardian) Individual Disability Income Insurance topped the insurance contact center rankings and earned the Insurance Service Award. Guardian was the only insurance provider to earn this distinction for 2016.
Firms have already spent millions in preparation for the April 10, 2017 date of the Best Interest Contract Exemption (“BICE”) of the DoL’s Fiduciary Rule.
As part of the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE), advisors are prohibited from making recommendations that will cause compensation for their services that is in excess of reasonable compensation.
Dalbar, Inc. released its 18th annual Trends and Best Practices in Investor Statements report which evaluates the statement’s ability to address the needs of both investors and financial advisors.
Today Dalbar released the 2015 winners of its annual Insurance Service Award. Guardian and Genworth emerged as customer service leaders and ranked #1 and #2 respectively in 2015.
Today Dalbar released the 2015 winners of its annual Mutual Fund Service Award. BlackRock, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, JPMorgan Funds, MainStay Investments, Primerica, Putnam Investments and Voya emerged as the superior service providers in customer service in 2015.
In 30 years of monthly investor returns, Dalbar found that equity investors underperformed the S&P 500 to the greatest extent in October, 2008. In this month, equity investors lost 24.21% compared to an S&P loss of 16.80% for a net underperformance of 7.41 percentage points.
Dalbar announced today the 2014 winner of its Total Client Experience Award. For the fourth consecutive year, Putnam Investments was the only firm to emerge as a leader in the combination of quality, accuracy, and security of customer service provided to investors.
Dalbar announced today the 2014 winners of its annual Life & Long Term Care Insurance Service Awards. Genworth ranked first for the high quality of service in long term care and third for the quality of service provided to life insurance policyholders. With this industry leading service, Genworth has earned both the Dalbar Long Term Care and Life Insurance Service Awards in 2014.
Dalbar, Inc. announced today the release of its national evaluation of financial services firms mobile optimized websites. This evaluation included an in-depth study and review of a total of 46 Mobile Web sites across mutual funds, life insurance and annuity and retirement plans.
(Boston, MA. July 16, 2014) Dalbar, Inc. announced today the release of its national study of what investors find important and want to see most on the statement they receive from their financial services company.
(Boston, MA. May 19, 2014) Dalbar, Inc. announced today the release of its first-ever national evaluation of financial services firms mobile optimized websites. This evaluation included an in-depth study and review of a total of 44 Mobile Web sites.
Boston, MA (January 28, 2014) – Dalbar, Inc. announced today that New York Life Retirement Plan Services (New York Life) was awarded the Dalbar Mobile Seal of Excellence for its MYLIFENOW app. Recipients of this award demonstrate excellence in multiple evaluation areas and provide an offering that effectively fulfills a need and proves itself worthy of recurring visits.
(Boston, MA. December 11, 2013) Today Dalbar released the 2013 winners of its annual award for excellence in sales support. For the third consecutive year, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America and JPMorgan Funds emerged as the leaders in sales support in 2013.
(Boston, MA. November 21, 2013) Dalbar, Inc. announced today the release of its first-ever international evaluation of financial services firms mobile apps. This evaluation included an in-depth study and review of a total of 45 applications.
Dalbar released its annual study on investor returns that reports on what individual investors earn from their mutual funds. As in previous years, the 2013 Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (QAIB) study shows the gap between what investors earned over various time periods up to 20 years and the most popular investment indices.
Today Dalbar released the 2012 winners of its annual Financial Intermediary Service Award. Allianz Life Insurance Company, BlackRock, DWS Investments, Goldman Sachs, John Hancock Annuities, Lord Abbett, and Pacific Life emerged as service leaders in 2012.
Global health service company Cigna (NYSE: CI) is the first health plan to be awarded the Dalbar Recognition for Excellence for 2012. Dalbar issued the excellence award to recognize Cigna's My Personal Champion® program that offers specialized support for customers with serious illnesses.
An important consequence of ERISA fee disclosure regulations is the visibility of fiduciaries who will be required to declare their status in writing after July 1, 2012.
Forthcoming fee disclosures for all ERISA plans will challenge service providers to demonstrate the value of their services in financial terms and challenge plan sponsors to demonstrate that the services are worth the money. These challenges could be highly disruptive for the service providers and plan sponsors who fail the challenge
Dalbar released the 2011 winners of its annual Annuity
Service Award. AXA Equitable-Equivest, New York Life, Pacific Life, Prudential Financial and
SunAmerica Annuity and Life Assurance Company emerged as the leaders in customer service in 2011.
Recognizing MetLife’s achievements in Group Employee Benefits, DALBAR Inc. presented two of the company’s customer service processes with the DALBAR Recognition for Excellence Award.
In spite of the recovery of the stock market, a general unease continues as sectors of the economy struggle to gain solid footing. Dalbar’s annual Qualitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (QAIB) continues to present ways to reduce destructive investor behavior.
Dalbar, Inc. announced today the release of its 13th annual Trends and Best Practices in Investor Statements report for Mutual Fund firms. This report evaluates the client statements ability to address the needs of the investor.
Do you believe your company produces cutting-edge Explanation of Benefits statements? If so, why not turn “cutting-edge” into “award-winning” and promote your company’s commitment to high-quality member communications?
Dalbar, Inc. announced today the release of its national study of what investors expect to see in a statement from financial services companies. Dalbar’s Investor Statement Preferences study identifies the importance of certain elements in investment and benefit statements.
After the initial panic in 2008 and early 2009, investors seemed to regain composure and hold steady for the rest of the year, reports Dalbar’s annual Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (QAIB). In fact, the average equity fund investor surpassed the S&P 500 by nearly six percentage points in 2009.
Dalbar, Inc. announced today the release of its first-ever national evaluation of health insurance communications, the Explanation of Benefits (EOBs). This evaluation compared the usefulness of the communication from 34 leading insurers, including the federal government's own Medicare program.
After rigorous testing and evaluation, Dalbar recognized the top plan participant sites in its 3rd quarter DC WebMonitor Web site ranking. Holding its status for the third straight quarter, Schwab Retirement Plan Services was identified as the #1 plan participant Web site. Its extensive level of functionality and numerous onsite support features has enabled the site to maintain its high ranking. Merrill Lynch’s ease of use and range of functionality has placed it in the #2 spot for the second straight quarter. Rounding out the top five are Principal Financial, Transamerica and Fidelity in the respective 3rd, 4th and 5th spots. The top 5 participant sites all earned Dalbar’s designation of ‘Excellent’.
Dalbar, Inc. announced today that Guardian Retirement Solutions, a division of The Guardian Life insurance Company of America, has been awarded the Dalbar Seal of Excellence for its transaction processing capabilities for the fifth consecutive year. The Dalbar Seal is only awarded to those firms that consistently exceed customer expectations for service levels.
For the third quarter in a row, Principal Financial's plan sponsor Web site places first in Dalbar's DC WebMonitor ranking while also earning an "Excellent" Dalbar designation for the first time. Rounding out the top five for Quarter 2-2009 are, in order: Transamerica, John Hancock, The Newport Group and Vanguard.
New York Life has managed to maintain an "Excellent" designation for 20 consecutive quarters and capture the number one place in Dalbar'S recent Life Insurance and Annuity Ranking and Trending report. AXA Equitable, finishing in second place, has also joined New York Life in receiving an Excellent rank, while firms such as MassMutual, Pacific Life, Sun America, TIAA-CREF and The Hartford earned a "Very Good" designation for consumer websites.
Boston, MA (February 13, 2009) – Dalbar, Inc. announced today that Transamerica Retirement Services’, a marketing unit of Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company, was awarded the Dalbar Seal of Excellence for Communications for its Defined Contribution Plan Statement and its Defined Contribution Plan Participant and Plan Sponsor Web sites, at ta-retirement.com. com. The seal is awarded to outstanding communications that effectively and efficiently meet the needs of both the plan sponsors and plan participants. Before awarding the seals, Dalbar conducts a series of tests on the statement and Web site’s to establish that they meet the principal objectives of its audience.