SOURCE: Security Benefit

Security Benefit

December 12, 2011 09:00 ET

Security Benefit Teams With Mesirow Financial on a Complete 401k Product

Security Benefit SecurePoint Retirement Designed to Be Highest Level Risk Mitigation Platform for Small- and Mid-Size Retirement Plans

TOPEKA, KS--(Marketwire - Dec 12, 2011) - Security Benefit Corporation, a Guggenheim Partners Company, today announced it is associating with Mesirow Financial, a diversified financial services firm, to launch a new 401k product with fiduciary protection.

Expected to be released in first quarter 2012, SecurePoint Retirement will combine the 3(38) ERISA fiduciary capabilities offered by Mesirow Financial's Investment Strategies group, in a well-designed package that includes the firm's investment selection, monitoring, and replacement services.

"SecurePoint Retirement puts us very much at the forefront of the small- and mid-size retirement plan market," says Kevin Watt, Senior Vice President, Security Benefit. "With Mesirow Financial at the table, we will offer a platform that removes questions about fiduciary responsibility regarding investment management responsibilities for a plan's investments."

Built around investment options from Security Benefit's open-architecture, multi-manager mutual fund platform, SecurePoint Retirement relies on Mesirow Financial to make all the decisions for selecting, monitoring, reporting, and replacing the investments under their investment management agreement with the plan sponsor.

"We've seen an increased awareness occurring with regard to fiduciary responsibility for plan sponsors and their plan advisors," says Mr. Watt. "With this awareness in mind, we decided to bring Mesirow Financial's 3(38) investment management service through our platform so advisors can continue to service their plan sponsor clients without placing themselves in the investment management role."

"The significance of this product's fiduciary protection for plan sponsors cannot be understated," says Michael Annin, senior managing director and head of Mesirow Financial's Investment Strategies' group, "both from a risk perspective and an ongoing time commitment. SecurePoint Retirement will allow them to meet their fiduciary obligations and focus more on running their businesses."

According to Fred Reish, an employee benefits partner with Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, by structuring a product that meets or exceeds the ERISA requirements for prudent investment selection, plan providers offer an invaluable service to both plan sponsors and their advisers. "In today's regulatory and litigation environment, 401k and 403b products that offer built-in fiduciary protections give much-needed help," says Mr. Reish, "especially for small- and mid-sized employers."

"Broker-dealers and their representatives face complex challenges in marketing retirement plans," says Bruce Ashton, also a benefits partner at Drinker Biddle, "not least of which how to serve their clients while making sure they comply with the law. Partnering with providers that offer fiduciary services is one way to meet this challenge."

Security Benefit, which focuses exclusively on individual and employer-sponsored retirement plan arrangements, partners with 27,000 licensed and appointed financial planners and representatives through a network of 700 broker/dealers around the nation. The firm was purchased last year by a group of investors led by Guggenheim Partners, a privately held global financial services firm with more than $125 billion in assets under management.

"Our financial strength coupled with our ability to bring well-designed retirement plan solutions like SecurePoint Retirement to market makes us one of the most focused financial services firms in the employer-sponsored retirement market today," says Jim Mullery, President of Security Benefit Distribution.

Additional information on Security Benefit's Corporate Retirement Programs, including its well-regarded SFR Program, is available at securitybenefit.com and securityretirement.com.

About Security Benefit
Security Benefit, a Guggenheim Partners Company, is a leading provider of retirement plan services throughout the nation, primarily in the education marketplace, and offers a variety of compelling and customized fixed and variable annuity products. The firm's se2 division is an award-winning and nationally recognized provider of administrative services for the insurance and financial services industry. To learn more, go to securitybenefit.com.

About Guggenheim Partners
Guggenheim Partners, LLC is a privately held global financial services firm. The firm provides investment management, investment banking and capital markets services as well as insurance and investment advisory solutions for institutions, corporations, governments and agencies, investment advisors, family offices and individuals. Guggenheim Partners is headquartered in New York and Chicago and serves clients from more than 25 offices in nine countries.

About Mesirow Financial
The Investment Strategies group at Mesirow Financial is an independent, third-party investment consultant that provides robust asset allocation strategies and fund selection to defined contribution providers, insurance companies, broker/dealers and mutual fund companies. Mesirow Financial is a diversified financial services firm headquartered in Chicago. Founded in 1937, it is an independent, employee-owned firm with approximately 1,200 employees globally. The firm is well capitalized and has been consistently profitable, with capital of $302 million, revenues totaling $510 million for fiscal 2011 and $59.1 billion in assets under management, of which $31 billion are in currency and commodities as of September 30, 2011. With expertise in Investment Management, Global Markets, Insurance Services and Consulting, Mesirow Financial strives to meet the financial needs of institutions, public sector entities, corporations and individuals. For more information about Mesirow Financial, visit mesirowfinancial.com.

The Security Benefit SecurePoint Retirement 401(k) and 401(a) products are Trust Accounts under §401 of the Internal Revenue Code. The SecurePoint Retirement 403(b)(7) ERISA product is a Custodial Account under §403(b)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code. The SecurePoint Retirement 457(b) Tax Exempt product is a Trust Account under §457(g) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Mesirow Financial Investment Strategies division of

The SFR Program is distributed by Security Benefit Distributors, Inc. The SFR 401(k) and 401(a) Programs are Trust Accounts under §401 of the Internal Revenue Code. The SFR 403(b)(7) ERISA Program is a Custodial Account under §403(b)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code. The SFR 457(b) Tax Exempt Program is a Trust Account under §457(g) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Mesirow Financial refers to Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. and its divisions, subsidiaries and affiliates. The Mesirow Financial name and logo are registered service marks of Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. © 2011, Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. Investment advisory services are provided by Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc., a registered investment adviser.

Security Benefit and its subsidiaries are not affiliated with Mesirow Financial.

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