KCS First Quarter Summary

KCS First Quarter Summary

We are pleased to share with you the KCS First Quarter Summary. The markets proved to be more volatile during the last three months, but still positive when all was said and done. Unfortunately, plan liabilities outperformed assets by more than 5% during the quarter, reversing the trend that we witnessed in 2013. Importantly, KCS continues to provide education to a variety of market participants through various conference appearances. We feel that this is one of the most important functions for any asset / liability consulting firm.

Here is some DC advice that you should take seriously!

Here is some DC advice that you should take seriously!

How your 401(k) could disinherit your kids via

The above Tweet caught my attention earlier today.  I hope that you’ll take a few moments to read the article.  The advice that they give is critically important.  KCS partner, Dave Murray, experienced this issue while working with one of his clients.  In Dave’s case, a young woman, with a decent-sized DC plan balance passed away.  Her parents assumed that they would inherit her plan balance, but unfortunately years before she had designated a boy friend as her beneficiary.  Despite the fact that this young man was no longer in the picture, the plan document superseded her will, and he was given the proceeds. 

Given the serious consequences that this lapse can create, we’d recommend that you review your designated beneficiary(ies) annually.

TIme for a New Gameplan?

TIme for a New Gameplan?

As we touched upon in our January, 2013 Fireside Chat, the Private, Public and Union pension deficit in America exceeds $4 trillion, when assets and liabilities are marked to market. Since 1999, pension asset growth has significantly underperformed liability growth and the return on assets (ROA), causing increased contribution costs and a national pension crisis. The true objective of any pension plan is to fund their liabilities (benefit payments) at low and stable contribution costs –with reduced risk through time.

Do you need a new game plan? We’ll explore the asset allocation issues sponsors face and offer solutions for underfunded plans.


ETPs, ETFs – WTH?! KCS’s February Fireside Chat

ETPs, ETFs – WTH?! KCS’s February Fireside Chat

We are pleased to share with you KCS’s February 2014 Fireside Chat.  This article is related to “ETFs”.

…What’s the Hype?!


As philosopher Jose Marti once said, “Like stones rolling down hills, fair ideas reach their objectives despite all obstacles and barriers.  It may be possible to speed or hinder them, but impossible to stop them.” So goes the growth in Exchange Traded Products (ETPs)! Although ETPs have been around since 1993, the growth in these investment products has been startling during the last decade, and especially in the last five years.  On a global basis, it is estimated that there exist more than 4,700 ETPs from more than 200 providers with assets exceeding $2.1 trillion and traded on 56 exchanges. Wow! 


Please click onto the link to gain access to the entire article.

KCS’s January 2014 Fireside Chat: 2013 – A Year In Review

KCS’s January 2014 Fireside Chat: 2013 – A Year In Review

“My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.” (John Lennon) 


As we gaze back on 2013, as we do following any year, we reflect on both the positives and negatives that impact our lives, our families, friends and colleagues, our community, our industry, our country and the world. We wonder why these events occur, why we may or may not have been involved, and whether or not there was anything that we could have done to alter the outcome through our collective experience. (please click on the link to continue to read the latest FC)

Paradigm Shift or Back to the Future?

Paradigm Shift or Back to the Future?

Is the sun setting on the traditional advisory asset consulting with the dawn of the Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO)?  As biased advisory asset consultants, we really don’t believe that the day of reckoning is upon us! There remains a role for traditional asset consultants, but certainly an asset consultant’s role is evolving, and it is likely to continue.  Consultant specialist roles have been around since the early to mid 80’s, when both venture and real estate consultants first emerged, followed by consultants focusing on the broader alternative landscape.   KCS’s focus as the liability aware consultant is a unique specialty, too.  However, in most cases, the plan sponsor or asset owner retains day-to-day discretion over the asset base. With plan and fund sponsors outsourcing discretionary responsibility, the specialist role has been taken to a new level.