Evaluating In-Plan Guaranteed Options From A Fiduciary Perspective

Given the improved plan administration capabilities and new unbundled lifetime withdrawal designs, in-plan guarantee options may be gaining traction with plan sponsors and plan advisors. Unfortunately, few advisors, sponsors or journalists fully understand the guarantees, the potential risk to insurance providers, the results expected by plan participants, the major product categories or how to evaluate them.  Rather than wait for a lawsuit, now is the time to establish fiduciary criteria for the evaluation of in-plan solutions.



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Christopher M. O'Neill Ph.D.
Chief Investment Officer & Director of Research
Investment Strategies Group, Mesirow Financial

Christopher M. O'Neill, Ph.D., CFA, CFP®, FRM and ChFC is the Chief Investment Officer and Director of Research for the Investment Strategies Group of Mesirow Financial.  Investment Strategies is an independent, third party consultant that provides robust asset allocation strategies and fund selection to insurance companies, 401(k) providers, broker/dealers and mutual fund companies.

With over two decades of experience in finance and scientific research, Dr. O’Neill has expertise in the areas of quantitative investment manager selection, Monte Carlo simulation and quantitative finance. At Mesirow Financial, Chris has been responsible for developing innovative manager selection and portfolio construction methodologies, as well as a retirement income framework that optimizes both the product allocation and asset allocation for traditional investment products and advanced retirement income products. 

Prior to joining Mesirow Financial, Dr. O’Neill was a research consultant for Ibbotson Associates, where he applied quantitative analysis and product development experience to support the efforts of the Investment Management Services, Fund of Funds and Financial Communications groups. Earlier, he offered investment advice and methodology to other financial advisors as president and founder of Quantalent Investment Consulting, LLC, an independent Registered Investment Advisor.  Additionally, Chris dedicated five years to financial planning, which culminated in a senior product management role and the development of an online investment advice tool for a major mutual fund company.

Dr. O’Neill earned his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in theoretical physics from Cornell University and an A.B. degree in physics magna cum laude from Princeton University. He is a CFA charter holder, a Certified Financial PlannerTM Professional, and holds Financial Risk Manager (FRM) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations. In addition, he has published a variety of papers and academic reports in theoretical particle, accelerator and gravitational physics.

For more information, call (312) 595-7282 or email:  coneill@mesirowfinancial.com


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