One of the first items on Michael Lane's agenda is negotiating a peace treaty between TIAA-CREF and the financial planners they've been feuding with for years.
"In the past, TIAA-CREF was seen by advisers as the enemy," acknowledges Lane, director of the pension fund giant's newly created advisory services division. The reason? TIAA-CREF employees only saw advisers when the time came for client money to be withdrawn, often to be placed in inferior -- and even unnecessary -- investment vehicles, Lane said. As a result, TIAA-CREF employees grew disdainful of the planning community, while planners came to think of the firm as difficult to work with.