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Each episode offers employers candid, in-depth interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events.  

Episode Guest:

Rob Arnott

Chairman, CEO

Research Affiliates, LLC

Do Third Pillar Investments Belong in Your 401(k) Plan?

Guest: Rob Arnott

If you were curious or brave enough to check out this episode, I promise you it does not disappoint!  For background, the most common theme we heard from our guests on our recent three part podcast mini series on 401(k) investment menu design was that investment committees should be consider investment strategies outside of traditional stock & bond offerings other wise know as alternative asset classes, or the third pillar!  To help everyone get their arms around things I could not have asked for a better guest than Rob Arnott, he manages nearly $30 Billion of third pillar assets for PIMCO and he is also the Founder & Chairman of Research Affiliates.  As I hope you have come to expect from our guests on the podcast, Rob does an excellent job of explaining concepts which quite frankly others can make boring or confusing, in a way that is fast paced and easy to follow.  He also gives some concrete ideas and examples you can bring to your next 401(k) investment committee meeting to start the discussion! 


As a reminder, this isn’t the first time we have explored various investment strategies for your 401(k) plan on the podcast, if you want to check out others, go to  

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Guest Bio

Rob Arnott is the founder and chairman of Research Affiliates. He is also portfolio manager on the PIMCO All Asset and All Asset All Authority family of funds and a suite of PIMCO products based on the RAFI™ Fundamental Index™ approach.


Over his career, Rob has endeavored to bridge the worlds of academic theorists and financial markets, challenging conventional wisdom and searching for solutions that add value for investors. He has pioneered several unconventional portfolio strategies that are now widely applied, including tactical asset allocation, global tactical asset allocation, tax-advantaged equity management, and the Fundamental Index approach to investing. His success in doing so has resulted in a reputation as one of the world’s most provocative practitioners and respected financial analysts.


Rob managed two asset management firms before founding Research Affiliates. As chairman of First Quadrant, LP, he built up the former internal money manager for Crum & Forster into a highly regarded quantitative asset management firm. He also was global equity strategist at Salomon Brothers (now part of Citigroup), the founding president and CEO of TSA Capital Management (now part of Analytic Investors, LLC), and a vice president at The Boston Company.


In 2002, Rob established Research Affiliates as a research-intensive asset management firm that focuses on innovative products. The firm explores novel approaches to active asset allocation, optimal portfolio construction, efficient forms of indexation, and other quantitative strategies. Research Affiliates delivers investment solutions globally in partnership with leading financial institutions.


Rob has published more than 100 articles in such journals as the Journal of Portfolio Management, Harvard Business Review, and Financial Analysts Journal, where he also served as editor in chief from 2002 through 2006. In recognition of his achievements as a financial writer, Rob has received seven Graham and Dodd Scrolls, awarded annually by CFA Institute to the top Financial Analysts Journal articles of the year. He also has received three Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy awards from the Journal of Portfolio Management. He is co-author of The Fundamental Index: A Better Way to Invest (Wiley 2008).


Rob Arnott received a BS summa cum laude in economics, applied mathematics, and computer science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.​

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