Acting as a special purpose independent fiduciary on behalf of ERISA-regulated benefit plans and other institutions governed by ERISA or similar fiduciary standards, the Institutional Investment & Fiduciary Services team of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. offers extensive expertise and experience in structuring, analyzing and making decisions regarding benefit plan investments, investment transactions and overall investment programs. In these types of engagements, we replace regular decision makers who encounter conflicts of interest, regulatory requirements or other circumstances that suggest — or require — that a qualified, independent third party take fiduciary responsibility for a particular asset or transaction.
Gallagher brings a range of distinctive qualifications to its fiduciary decision making assignments, including:
Extensive experience -- Gallagher has served as an independent fiduciary under ERISA since 1989 on many different engagements involving the management, valuation and/or disposition of employer-related assets on behalf of ERISA-governed benefit plans and transactions between plans and related parties (such as the sponsoring employer or union, or an affiliated benefit fund).
Expertise -- Gallagher brings a unique breadth and depth of complementary fiduciary and investment analysis expertise to assignments with a team of seasoned professionals experienced in ERISA compliance, fiduciary standards, securities analysis, real estate finance and benefit plan investment structures.
Credibility with pension regulators -- The U.S. Department of Labor and The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation have repeatedly approved or selected our firm in connection with litigation settlements, to help cure prohibited transactions or to evaluate particular investment assets or practices.
Small firm flexibility, big firm depth -- Gallagher is a specialized firm focused exclusively on fiduciary decision-making and advice for institutional investors, and our senior personnel work directly on client engagements. At the same time, we have access to the broad resources of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Objectivity and independence -- Gallagher brings to fiduciary decision-making assignments the independence and objectivity that in-house fiduciaries look for when hiring an independent fiduciary. With no investment banking, lending, asset management or corporate financial advisory relationships, we are free from any real or perceived conflicting obligations or interests that could subject the role of the independent fiduciary to challenge, and thus undermine the very purpose for engaging such a fiduciary.
As a fiduciary decision-maker, our firm has provided these services:
- Managing the company stock fund in 401(k) plans, defined benefit plans and welfare plans
- Evaluating and negotiating terms of in-kind contributions involving employer securities and real estate
- Voting proxies and exercising other shareholder rights at regular annual meetings and on proposed mergers, tender offers and other company-transforming transactions
- Disposing of employer securities from the sponsor’s plan
- Devising and executing strategies for the sale of private and other restricted securities
- Supporting prohibited transaction applications to the DOL and submissions to the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
- Protecting a pension plan’s interest as creditor when the plan sponsor is in bankruptcy
- Negotiating/evaluating/approving litigation settlements, including a plan’s claims against related parties, such as “stock drop” claims under ERISA and securities laws
- Assuming named fiduciary responsibility for bankrupt employers’ 401(k) and defined benefit plans
- Approving asset transfers between affiliated benefit plans or ERISA-regulated asset pools
- Acquiring, managing and disposing of employer securities acquired through litigation/bankruptcy settlements
- Resolving rent and other expense-sharing issues among unions, employers, and their related benefit funds
- Evaluating and voting on mutual fund and other commingled vehicle conversions/reorganizations/mergers
- Evaluating and selecting service providers such as custodial banks
To help employers achieve optimized organizational wellbeing, Gallagher has created a unified consulting practice focused on delivering group and individual financial wellbeing solutions. Gallagher’s new Financial & Retirement Services practice will enable easy accessibility to the unique skill sets of renowned experts who are critical to achieving successful retirement planning, sophisticated investment solutions, independent fiduciary services, actuarial consulting services, executive benefit retention programs and individual life insurance needs.
Investment advisory, named and independent fiduciary services are offered through Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC is a single-member, limited-liability company, with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. Neither Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC nor their affiliates provide accounting, legal, or tax advice.