Guidelines for Registered Investment Advisors

This information is for Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firms or representatives of RIA firms.

How may I market services to participants in the U-M Retirement Plan?

RIA firms may seek to advertise in the University Record or external media to reach the campus community. 

RIAs may not engage in the following activities:

  • Sales presentations or solicitation visits to campus buildings, departments and units, clinics, offices, hallways, cafeterias, or other U-M property;
  • Sales calls or promotional solicitations to a faculty or staff member to their U-M office phone or work number or to their U-M work location;
  • Distribution of sales or promotional material on U-M property other than to an individual during a scheduled visit;
  • Solicitation mailings, emailings or other communications to a faculty or staff member’s places of employment such as a campus address (or email address), or use of the U-M campus mail or email system.

In addition, an RIA firm or representative of the firm may not use any university logos or trademarks, including the University of Michigan Block “M” or the U-M seal. RIAs shall not engage in any sales or marketing activities that imply any endorsement by the university of the RIA or its products or services.  

May I call an employee or email them at work to arrange for a meeting or appointment?

If a faculty or staff member has contacted your firm and has requested a meeting with an RIA from your firm, you may contact the faculty or staff member in the manner they have requested (home phone, work phone, email, etc.). Cold-calling faculty or staff at their work sites is strictly prohibited and could result in the loss of your ability to provide RIA services for U-M retirement plan participants and/or eviction from U-M property.

May I meet with a faculty or staff member on the U-M campus?

If the faculty or staff member has a personal office, you may meet with the individuals on the U-M campus if invited by the faculty or staff member and an appointment has been made.

How should I identify myself when interfacing with U-M retirement plan participants?

An RIA firm and their representatives are to explain to the faculty or staff member that they are independent and not affiliated with Fidelity Investments, TIAA-CREF, or the University of Michigan. The fact that you have been previously approved for advisor fee account deductions from TIAA-CREF and/or Fidelity Investments does not give you the right to indicate you are a representative, approved vendor, agent, or service provider of TIAA-CREF, Fidelity Investments, or the University of Michigan or an official RIA of U-M’s retirement plan. 

May I have access to U-M facilities to teach workshops or conduct direct marketing?

The Michigan Union, Michigan League, and Rackham Building make rental space available for non-university users. Any use of university facilities must be in compliance with the applicable terms and conditions of use. Workshop materials you provide need to clearly indicate there is no affiliation between yourself and your RIA firm and the University of Michigan if you conduct a workshop on U-M property. There also needs to be signage at the workshop location indicating that and your RIA firm have no affiliation with the University of Michigan.