Press Releases

TIAA-CREF Highest-Ranked in Trust According to Harris Poll(R) 2010 EquiTrend(R) Study Retirement Provider Tops Financial Services and Insurance Companies


NEW YORK, May 10, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- TIAA-CREF is the highest-ranked brand for trust in the financial services and insurance industries, according to a national brand equity survey released by Harris Interactive.

The annual Harris Poll(R) EquiTrend(R) brand equity study measures consumer perceptions of more than 1,000 brands across 42 categories. TIAA-CREF's highest ranking for trust surpassed all competitors measured in the 2010 EquiTrend(R) Study, including Vanguard, which ranked second, and Fidelity, which ranked eighth. For a description of the broader EquiTrend(R) study, please see below.

"Clients rely on us to safeguard their savings," said Maliz Beams, TIAA-CREF's executive vice president for client services. "They count on our performance, objectivity and financial strength to meet their needs. This affirmation highlights our work to earn clients' trust each day." TIAA-CREF is America's largest private retirement system and manages retirement savings on behalf of 3.7 million Americans in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

Between the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, and throughout 2009, more than 285,000 people moved their money to TIAA-CREF(1), drawn by the company's investment-track record, noncommissioned advisors, personalized, objective advice, and prudent risk management.

Clients also count on the strength of TIAA's claims-paying ability to provide them with annuities that can offer guaranteed income for life.

Nearly 90 percent of TIAA-CREF funds and variable annuity accounts received an overall Morningstar rating of 3-, 4-, or 5-stars across all asset classes as of March 31, 2010. Sixty-three percent of TIAA-CREF's funds and variable annuity accounts received an overall Morningstar rating of 3 stars, 23% received 4 stars, and 3% received 5 stars across all asset classes as of March 31, 2010.(2) TIAA-CREF matches this performance with noncommissioned, objective advice(3), which aligns its interests with participants' interests.

Fees for TIAA-CREF variable annuity accounts and mutual funds are generally half the mutual fund industry average.(4) (1) 288,218 from 9/1/08 to 12/31/09 (2) For each fund/account with at least a three-year history, Morningstar calculates a Morningstar Rating(TM) based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a fund's/account's monthly performance (including the effects of sales charges, loads, and redemption fees), placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. Where applicable, Morningstar's performance rankings are based on linked performance that considers the differences in expense ratios, while actual performance data shown does not reflect such differences. The top 10 percent of funds/accounts in a category receive five stars, the next 22.5 percent receive four stars, and the next 35 percent receive three stars, the next 22.5 percent receive two stars and the bottom 10 percent receive one star. (Each share class is counted as a fraction of one fund/account within this scale and rated separately, which may cause slight variations in the distribution percentages. Based on Morningstar data for share classes [not funds] that have completed one calendar year of performance.) (3) TIAA-CREF compensates the advisors through a salary-plus-incentive program based on client service excellence and financial results. Advisors will only recommend products that help achieve our clients' goals.

(4) Morningstar Direct (December 2009) based on Morningstar expense comparisons by category.

About the EquiTrend(R) Study This year's EquiTrend(R) study was conducted online among 19,708 US consumers ages 15 and older between January 12 and 21, 2010. The total number of brands rated was 1,151. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 60 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data were weighted to be representative of the entire US population of consumers ages 15 and over on the basis of age sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, and income, and data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online. The EquiTrend(R) study evaluates measures including: Equity, Consumer Connection, Commitment, Energy, Brand Behavior, Brand Advocacy, and Trust.

Please view the Harris Interactive press release here (

About TIAA-CREF TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with $426 billion in combined assets under management (3/31/10) and the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

TIAA-CREF products may be subject to market and other risk factors. See the applicable product literature, or visit for details.

You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. Please call 877 518-9161, or visit our Website at for a prospectus that contains this and other information.

Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC and Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., members FINRA, distribute securities products.

(C)2010 Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund, New York, NY 10017 C47770 SOURCE: TIAA-CREF CONTACT: TIAA-CREF Chad Peterson, 704 988-6811 Copyright Business Wire 2010 -0- KEYWORD: United States

North America

New York INDUSTRY KEYWORD: Professional Services



Insurance SUBJECT CODE: Survey