Retirement plan sponsors and service providers operate in a volatile regulatory and commercial landscape. Katten's integrated approach covers plan fiduciaries on all fronts. Our ERISA team operates at the forefront of the investment management industry, guiding asset and investment managers through the complexities of offering financial products and alternative investments to benefit plan investors. We leverage this deep industry knowledge to seamlessly guide plan fiduciaries through the myriad obligations that govern the operation and compliance of tax-qualified retirement plans.

Navigating a complex asset and investment management landscape

Collaborating across the firm on commercial and structured finance, securitization, investment management, and real estate matters, we apply an integrated and results-focused approach when advising asset and investment managers on structuring and operating the investment funds and accounts in which plans invest. We offer actionable advice and bring current market knowledge to bear when working with key industry players, including:

  • Banks
  • Investment advisory firms
  • Hedge funds
  • Real estate funds
  • Private equity and venture capital funds

Whether advising on fiduciary status and responsibility, reporting and disclosure obligations, or securing prohibited transaction exemptions or advisory opinions, we emphasize clear communication, creativity and compliant practices.

Practical guidance for plan administration and risk prevention

A steady stream of new rules and litigation threats can make plan fiduciaries concerned that they don't know what they don't know. We lead plan sponsors and administrators of both for-profit and tax-exempt entities through the design, implementation and complex administrative requirements of their retirement plans. We keep you ahead of emerging trends and compliance requirements as we resolve issues related to:

  • Amendments and termination
  • Claims and appeals
  • Data and privacy security
  • Disclosures in proxy, public offering and private placement documents
  • Documentation and governance
  • Fiduciary training and counseling
  • Funding and investment strategies
  • Governance structures and documentation
  • IRS and DOL filings and audits
  • Litigation trends and management
  • Participant communications and disclosures
  • Plan corrections
  • Prohibited transaction individual exemptions and advisory opinions
  • Record-keeper, trustee and investment manager contracts


  • Represent internal entity managing one of the largest US private sector pension trusts in all legal issues involving its investment program. Advise the named fiduciary in negotiating the pension trust's investments in hedge funds, private equity and real estate funds, futures and derivatives, and swaps investments involving financial, tax and ERISA issues.