Professor Shlomo Benartzi is a leading authority on behavioral finance with a special interest in consumer finance and participant behavior in defined contribution plans. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management, and he is currently co-chair of the Behavioral Decision- Making Group at The Anderson School at UCLA.
Professor Benartzi is one of the first researchers to apply behavioral economic concepts to help employees make better financial decisions when saving and planning for retirement. His most significant contribution in this area has been the development of “Save More Tomorrow”™ or “SMarT”, a behavioral prescription designed to help employees increase their savings rates gradually over time. Along with Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago, he was recognized by Money as one of 2004's “Class Acts” for SMarT's success – increasing savings rates in one plan from 3.5% to 13.6%.
The SMarT program has already had a significant impact with industry leaders such as Fidelity, T. Rowe and Vanguard making the program available to millions of employees. Features of the program have also been incorporated in the Pension Protection Act of 2006. And, several financial institutions in Europe and Australia have recently announced the adoption of similar programs.
Professor Benartzi's work has been published in top journals such as the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Political Economy and Management Science. His work is often covered by ABC News, Barron's, CBS, the Economist, Financial Times, Forbes, Institutional Investor, Investor's Business Daily, NBC, the New York Times, Pensions and Investments, the Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.
Professor Benartzi has supplemented his academic research with practical experience, serving on the ERISA Advisory Council of the U.S. Department of Labor, the advisory board of Morningstar, and the Investment Advisory Council of the Alaska State Pension. In addition, he has consulted with both domestic and foreign governments and financial institutions. A partial client list includes AllianceBernstein, Florida State Board of Administration, T. Rowe Price, and the U.K. Department of Work and Pensions.
Warren Cormier is the founder and President of Boston Research Group. He brings over twenty years of qualitative and quantitative experience in financial services research for investment companies, banks and the insurance sector. His work includes projects that focus on strategic marketing issues, market segmentation, product development, customer satisfaction, consumer learning, decisionmaking processes, distribution issues, competitive assessments and marketing communications. Mr. Cormier has developed an expertise in the design and analysis of market research studies and in providing marketing consulting to clients. He has served as Director of Research for both Shawmut Corporation and Bank of Boston, and was a partner at Temple, Barker & Sloane.
Mr. Cormier's work in both institutional and retail investing includes research of product and service development, service quality, and brand perception. Recognized as a market research leader in the Defined Contribution industry, his work covers virtually all aspects of the market, including the issues of plan providers, intermediaries, plan administrators and participants. Mr. Cormier is the creator of the DCP 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 plan sponsor satisfaction and market dynamics study, which has become the standard for service quality and trend measurement in the 410(k) arena. 401(k) record keepers representing 95% of all 401(k) assets and plans subscribe to BRG's DCP study. DCP scores are requisite data for most DC industry plan provider search RFPs.