Schlichter Bogard & Denton Sues Astellas on Behalf of Participants in its $932 Million 401(k) Plan

On July 1, Schlichter Bogard & Denton filed suit against Astellas Pharma U.S. and Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting in the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of participants in the pharmaceutical company’s $932 million retirement plan.

The complaint alleges, among other things, that the defendants breached their fiduciary duty by appointing, in 2016, Aon Hewitt as their discretionary investment manager and replacing almost all the plan’s mutual funds with six collective investment trusts (“CIT”) – five of them Aon Hewitt’s. The suit contends that these CITs underperformed both Aon Hewitt’s own benchmarks and the funds they replaced, costing plan participants “millions of dollars in performance losses.”

Further, per Schlichter Bogard & Denton Senior Partner Jerry Schlichter, Astellas and Aon Hewitt replaced “proprietary funds in the plan without prudent review of those funds and failed to consider other alternatives.”

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