If you've never heard of TIAA-CREF, it's because for much of their 90 year history they were focused on one niche of the financial services industry: Teachers and employees of educational institutions. In recent years, the company has branched out and begun to establish a competitive brand with a much wider reach.
TIAA-CREF is a 90+ year old Fortune 100 financial services company headquartered in New York City. Also known as the Teacher's Insurance company, the letters in the name represent Teacher's Insurance and Annuity Association of America, College Retirement Equity Fund.
The company's primary business is retirement plan administration on behalf of the institutions it serves.
At the institutional level, this company is currently the leading retirement provider for workers in academic, research, medical, and cultural fields.
At the retail level, the company now serves the general public through Rollover plans, annuities, life insurance, mutual funds, and other competitive financial services.
Their participants and clients have access to thorough and objective advice services and retirement planners.
The TIAA company was founded in 1918 by Andrew Carnegie through his Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to provide fully funded pensions for professors.
The CREF company was added in 1952 to provide an equity investment vehicle.
In addition to New York, the company has major offices in North Carolina, Colorado, and Texas, with more than 70 local offices around the country. There is an office opening in London devoted to the company's Global Real Estate business for the UK and Europe.