Boston, MA, Jan. 9, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DALBAR, Inc. released its 16th 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. The firms ranked #1 include: BlackRock for mutual funds, Mass Mutual for defined benefit, Merrill Lynch for defined contribution, Pershing for brokerage, Prudential for total retirement, and SunAmerica for annuities. 

The industry-leading financial statements adhere to the 5 C's of user-friendly financial communication. These hallmarks form the foundation of effective customer relations, marketing capability and customer loyalty. These industry leaders understand that consumers want:

  • Clarity that allows consumers to easily understand the information being provided
  • Contentthat is comprehensive, detailed and useful
  • Choices that empower consumers in making financial decisions to accomplish their goals
  • Customer Service that promotes a positive relationship with the firm
  • Creative Design that supports all communication with appropriate visual elements

"The investor statement, while born from regulatory requirements, is the firm's most powerful communication tool and these industry leaders recognize that to be true," said Kathleen Whalen, Managing Director at DALBAR. She added, "Used strategically the financial statement will help investors better understand their financial health and strengthen the relationship with not only them but those that advise them." 

DALBAR takes a systematic approach to evaluating statements using a method that has been developed and refined over the past two decades. Statements earned credit for including features that strongly impact an investor's ability to act prudently and make financial decisions. Features include the ability to understand the significance of the information, answer pertinent questions and utilize design elements that enhanced their overall effectiveness.

The table below includes the firms that rated "Excellent" in each industry sector, listed in alphabetical order:

Firms Awarded DALBAR's 'Excellent' statement designation in 2013

Brokerage Mutual Fund Defined Contribution Defined Benefit Total Retirement
Baird BlackRock American Funds MassMutual Prudential Financial
Edward Jones Federated Funds Great West Prudential Financial  
Merrill Lynch Invesco MassMutual    
Morgan Stanley Lord Abbett Merrill Lynch    
National Financial Transamerica Principal Financial Group    
Pershing   Prudential Financial    
Raymond James   Securian    
UBS Financial Services   TIAA-Cref    
Wells Fargo   T. Rowe Price    

The DALBAR Trends & Best Practices Report is one of a suite of reports that are available as part of DALBAR's Statement Strategies. For more information on Statement Strategies or the 16th Annual Trends & Best Practices, please visit the web site at or contact Brooke Halloran at 617-624-7273 or

DALBAR, Inc. is the financial community's leading independent expert for evaluating, auditing and rating business practices, customer performance, product quality and service. Launched in 1976, DALBAR has earned the recognition for consistent and unbiased evaluations of investment companies, registered investment advisers, insurance companies, broker/dealers, retirement plan providers and financial professionals. DALBAR awards are recognized as marks of excellence in the financial community.

Kathleen Whalen