Wilshire RetirePath Offers Institutional Quality Discretionary Managed Accounts

Wilshire Associates Launches Cost-Effective, Technology-Driven Alternative for Plan Sponsors, Providers and Participants

Santa Monica, California, UNITED STATES


SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 16, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Wilshire Associates, a global leader in investment technology, investment consulting and investment management, announced today that it is launching Wilshire RetirePath(sm), which offers plan sponsors, providers and participants institutional quality, cost-effective, technology-driven discretionary retirement managed accounts.

"Wilshire RetirePath is based on more than three decades of experience serving the plan sponsor community," said Dennis A. Tito, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Wilshire Associates. "During this time, we have worked with some of the nation's largest fund sponsors, providing comprehensive investment consulting as well as innovative investment products to meet each institutional investor's needs. Our experience and investment judgment, combined with our analytical approach has earned us the reputation as a respected and responsible fiduciary partner," he added.

Wilshire Associates currently provides services to both plan providers and plan sponsors and will offer Wilshire RetirePath's discretionary managed accounts services to both markets. Due to the size of current plan sponsor relationships, there will be limited overlap between our provider and sponsor clients.

"Wilshire Consulting will work with plan sponsors who prefer Wilshire RetirePath's 'best in class' selection approach to each of the services they provide to their employees," said Julia A. Bonafede, senior managing director of Wilshire Associates and head of Wilshire Consulting. "It will offer plan sponsors a unique opportunity to provide institutional quality investment advice at the participant level -- the types of services typically only available to defined benefit plans," she commented. "Our ability to apply our best thinking from the institutional space to the individual retirement account is a key value proposition that separates Wilshire RetirePath from others."

Lawrence E. Davanzo, a Wilshire Associates senior managing director and head of Wilshire Funds Management, noted, "Our experience demonstrates that plan providers seek flexibility when it comes to the technological deployment required for discretionary managed accounts. Based on this, Wilshire Funds Management will offer a Wilshire RetirePath solution which enables the provider to choose their desired integration point. We will offer solutions as straightforward as the core engines or 'black box' used to generate the recommendations, and as comprehensive as a full turn-key, hosted solution," Davanzo added.

Wilshire will leverage the best thinking of the institutional consulting business unit in Wilshire RetirePath including the use of its proprietary Asset-Liability Valuation (ALV) approach to portfolio design. For Wilshire RetirePath, the firm has translated the concept of the liability or pension commitment to the individual's spending needs at retirement. In short, this "needs-based" optimization (NBO) minimizes the individual's cost of retirement and maximizes their likelihood of meeting their desired retirement objectives. As opposed to optimizing purely on the risk and return characteristics of asset classes, NBO includes an individual's benefit streams when creating an asset allocation policy. This part of Wilshire RetirePath can be though of as a "personal-asset-liability study" designed to create an asset allocation and funding plan to meet the participant's desired objectives.

Wilshire RetirePath also employs an approach which maximizes a portfolio information ratio consistent with a defined risk budget and allows Wilshire to select managers for the portfolio mix on a risk-adjusted basis. The result is a set of investment managers that confidently meet the intended objective.

The managed account as offered by Wilshire RetirePath provides a more tailored strategy to the individual participant. Wilshire RetirePath includes a savings rate recommendation, which is critical to a participant's successful retirement. It also creates a policy designed to meet the specific objectives of an individual participant, using information beyond target retirement date.

The critical elements that are all embedded in Wilshire RetirePath include minimal data entry, managed savings, support for auto-enrollment and support for targeted marketing communications.

About Wilshire Associates

Wilshire Associates is a leading global investment technology, investment consulting and investment management firm with four business units, including: Wilshire Analytics, Wilshire Funds Management, Wilshire Consulting and Wilshire Private Markets. Wilshire Analytics develops and provides superior risk management, portfolio analysis, asset allocation and performance measurement solutions to fund managers, banks, insurers, consultants and other institutional investment organizations around the world.

The firm was founded in 1972, revolutionizing the industry by pioneering the application of investment analytics and research to investment management for the institutional marketplace. Wilshire also is credited with helping to develop the field of quantitative investment analysis that uses mathematical tools to analyze market risks. All other business units evolved from Wilshire's strong analytics foundation. Wilshire developed the index now known as the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Composite Index(sm), the first asset/liability models for pension funds, the first U.S. equity style metrics work and many other "firsts" as the firm grew to more than 300 employees serving the investment needs of institutional and high net worth clients around the world.

Based in Santa Monica, CA, Wilshire provides services to clients in more than 20 countries representing in excess of 600 organizations with assets totaling more than U.S. $12.5 trillion. With nine offices on four continents, Wilshire Associates and its affiliates are dedicated to providing clients with the highest quality counsel, products and services. The Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Composite Index(sm) is calculated and distributed by Dow Jones Indexes pursuant to an agreement between Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and Wilshire Associates Incorporated. Trust Universe Comparison Service(r) and TUCS(r) are registered service marks of Wilshire Associates Incorporated, Santa Monica, California. Please visit www.wilshire.com for more information.



        

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