TIAA-CREF is currently selecting advisors for its own network, which will launch over the next six months and go nationwide early next year. For participants in TIAA-CREF retirement plans, the network will be a pre-screened group of planners who can provide advice on specific plans that meet fiduciary standards.

The Center for Due Diligence (CFDD) based in Western Springs, Illinois, and PlanTools will provide a due diligence standard that qualifies advisors to participate.

The CFDD specializes in analyzing 401(k) programs for financial advisors who subscribe to its service.  According to its website, its “analysis is not tied to vendor revenue and providers can’t pay us to say nice things about them.”

For the cost of an annual fee to the CFDD, advisors in the TIAA-CREF network  will receive personalized marketing materials, training, exclusive arrangements to work with TIAA-CREF plans, training, and participation in a new referral program.

“This network offers a nice complement to the advice services we offer through our retirement plans,” said Rob Rickey, Head of Advisor Services, TIAA-CREF. “At the same time, increased focus on plan sponsor’s fiduciary responsibilities has led to greater demand for information and support. Our own experience with both individual and institutional clients has confirmed the growing need to support independent advisors.”