Fund Sponsors

Fund Sponsor Consulting

Callan brings expertise in traditional and alternative investments to a range of clients, including defined benefit and defined contribution plans, endowments, foundations, insurance companies, hospitals, health care systems, and nuclear decommissioning trusts. We also have expertise in the areas of trust, custody, securities lending, and transition management.

We aspire to be our clients’ trusted advisor, and we gain that trust by using a consulting philosophy comprised of the following five tenets:

  • Embrace a client-focused consulting model
  • Be process-driven and results-focused
  • Base research on proprietary data
  • Maintain oversight
  • Approach it all as team

40+: Chartered Financial Analyst designations across Callan

Defined Benefit Plans

We have been a market leader in providing comprehensive investment consulting solutions for pension plans since our firm’s inception in 1973. Our hallmark is the ability to fuse historical context, market intelligence, and innovation to customize successful investment strategies for our clients.

Defined Contribution Plans

Callan acquired its first defined contribution client in 1977—and that client remains with us today. We currently advise more than $200 billion in defined contribution assets, with participant populations ranging from less than 1,000 to over 100,000.

Our philosophy is to partner with plan sponsors in developing DC programs that offer the best possibility for participants to reach their savings goals.


We can guide clients through all phases of the DC plan management process. Our services include plan review and fee analysis, recordkeeper searches, investment structure evaluation, manager/fund evaluation and monitoring, advice/managed account provider searches, self-directed brokerage account reviews, participant communication assessments, and more.

DC Data

The Callan DC Index tracks the cash flows and performance of numerous plans. The purpose of the Callan DC Index is to understand the asset allocation and measure the performance of DC plans, as well as track DC fund flows. The DC Index is updated quarterly and reflects 401(k) plans as well as other types of DC plans. The Callan Target Date Index allows plan sponsors, managers, and plan participants to quickly and easily evaluate target date fund performance.

We consult to:

401(k), 401(a), 403(b), and 457 plans
Profit sharing plans
Money purchase pension plans
Thrift and savings plans
Non-qualified plans

Endowments and Foundations

Our client roster includes endowments and public/private foundations that support a variety of charitable pursuits, as well as universities, family foundations, religious organizations, health care groups, corporate foundations, settlement trusts, arts organizations, and others. We help all of these clients find the right balance between the need for cash flow to support missions and the need for growth to support long-term goals.

Over the past several years, we've been strengthening our alternatives capabilities, which is a core focus for endowments and foundations. Learn more in our “Alternatives Investment Consulting” section below.

To customize solutions tailored to our clients' specific programs, we review each client’s spending policies, institutional goals, risk tolerance, liquidity needs, operational dependence on the endowment, and ongoing grant commitments.

Trust and Custody

Callan has dedicated resources to the areas of trust, custody, securities lending, and transition management consulting services since 1991. Clients utilize this dedicated expertise within Callan to achieve cost and operational efficiencies.

1,200: Manager meetings we conduct each year, on average

Alternatives Investment Consulting

Investment strategies for alternatives such as private equity, real estate, real assets, and hedge funds are increasingly used by investors to help achieve both return and diversification goals.

We've been growing and strengthening our alternatives capabilities, an area we've been focused on since the 1970s. Our industry-leading alternatives experts borrow from decades of experience when they consult with our clients on these strategies, particularly endowments and foundations.

Outsourced Chief Investment Officer

Callan offers discretionary consulting services through our Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) platform. In this model, an institution shifts discretionary authority to an advisory firm such as Callan to manage some or all of the investment functions typically performed by the investment committee. Callan's OCIO methodology is an extension of our existing practices, with the same emphasis on customized, long-term, strategic approaches that have simple structures, favor proven investments, and do not try to time the market or be overly tactical.


Portfolio Monitoring & Analysis


Policy Development


Asset Allocation




Strategic Planning


Trust & Custody


Risk Management


Performance Evaluation


Manager Research


Education & Research


Investment Structure Evaluation

Would you like to talk to us? Call our San Francisco headquarters, 415-974-5060.