AXA Equitable, a subsidiary of AXA Financial, has teamed up with Wilshire Associates, an independent, third-party adviser, to provide advanced support to help plan sponsors meet their fiduciary obligations in screening, selecting and monitoring investment options.

These new services are available as part of the company’s new retirement gateway group variable annuity designed to fund retirement plans for the small- to mid-size market.

Through its relationship with AXA Equitable, Wilshire now brings this experience to the small- and mid-size market with comprehensive manager due diligence, investment manager recommendations, investment policy guidance, and investment monitoring and reporting.

Wilshire offers two levels of support to gateway clients providing sponsors with choice and flexibility. The 3(21) Series designed for those who wish to retain primary responsibility for investment selection and The 3(38) Series designed for those who prefer Wilshire to have discretion over investment selection decisions.

Wilshire Funds Management president Jamie Ohl said the relationship with AXA Equitable will allow us to efficiently offer smaller businesses the independent investment advisory solutions and services we have been providing to institutional plans for decades.

"With the Department of Labor poised to provide new plan fiduciary regulations later this year, now is the time for us to begin supporting a broader range of plan sponsors," Ohl said.