November 7, 2017

Total assets under management and advisement in the Workplace Solutions business grew +18% in the third quarter.

It’s true that the growth in assets under management in our Workplace Solutions business has outpaced revenue growth, but fee compression is only part of the story.

Many of our asset management contracts have a tiered fee schedule in which our fees (measured as a percentage of managed assets) decline to the extent assets exceed a specified level. This is a fairly typical approach to pricing in the asset management space. Thus, as assets have moved up significantly in some of our offerings, lower fee tiers have kicked in to clients’ benefit. We view this as a positive in aggregate because it aligns our clients’ interests with ours in support of the growth of our assets under management.

That said, many of our provider clients are facing increasing pressure from plan sponsors to reduce pricing. That is in part driven by heightened fiduciary standards and the growing threat of lawsuits. We have transitioned some of our fee arrangements from flat fees to basis points. Although this can result in reduced revenue in the short-term that is not tied to reduced asset levels, we feel this makes sense for the long-term business and aligns our interests even further with our clients.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the 5% revenue growth number you reference includes HelloWallet which we sold on June 30, 2017. If we purely measure organic growth in the Workplace area it is approximately 11.5%, and if we only include asset based fees generated by Workplace products, organic growth is 12.6%.

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