Who Is A Fiduciary?

Morin Private Client Group, MPCG, is a fiduciary and investment advisory firm. We provide fiduciary advice and services to billions of dollars in retirement assets through our comprehensive planning process in open architecture platforms. Utilizing the open architecture platform allows each stage of the fiduciary process to be performed in the spirit the ERISA and DOL rules were written.

MPCG utilizes a fiduciary process as either a 3(21) investment advisor, and will share the responsibility of selecting and monitoring investments with the plan sponsor, or as a 3(38) investment advisor to the plan, taking discretionary responsibility to select and monitor plan investments. Utilizing an open architecture platform allows for a transparent process and access to reasonably priced investment options.

ERISA says a person is a fiduciary with respect to a plan to the extent that he/she:

(i) Exercises any discretionary authority or discretionary control respecting management of such plan or exercises any authority or control respecting management or disposition of its assets;

(ii) renders investment advice for a fee or other compensation, direct or indirect, with respect to any assets or other property of such plan, or has any authority of such plan, or has any authority or responsibility to do so; or

(iii) has any discretionary authority or discretionary responsibility in the administration of such a plan.

Types of Fiduciaries

Anyone who exercises discretion or control with regard to the plan may be a fiduciary:

  • Plan sponsors
  • Investment committees
  • Investment consultants, if they render investment advise
  • Investment managers, if they have the control over the management and disposition of the assets

Each plan must have a named fiduciary identified in the plan document

Type of Fiduciary
Primary Role
3(16) Plan Administrator
Overall responsibility for the plan
3(21) Investment Advisor
Shares fiduciary responsibility with the plan sponsor for selecting and monitoring investments
3(38) Investment Manager
Discretionary responsibility for selecting and monitoring plan investments

Fiduciary Planning Process

Three-Step Process
Review your fiduciary roles and goals with our three-step process


Establish and document fiduciary goals.

Understand your role as a fiduciary.

Review the past year’s committee minutes, your investment policy statement (IPS) and existing committee charter and bylaws


Develop a fiduciary calendar for the upcoming year.


Monitor the investments and key fiduciary activities with a checklist to ensure your fiduciary house is in order.