Active strategies seeking long-term outperformance

We offer a range of attractive equity portfolios for DC plans, including multiple 4- and 5-star funds.

Equity strategies with a record of solid performance

Name of fund Category Overall Morningstar RatingTM
as of 04/30/23
Retirement share class expense ratio
Core Equity Fund Blend (out of 1,268 in category) 0.62
Large Cap Value Fund Value (out of 1,135 in category) 0.55
Focused International Equity Fund Blend (out of 683 in category) 0.74
Global Health Care Fund Global Sector (out of 155 in category) 0.71
Global Technology Fund Global Sector (out of 229 in category) 0.72
International Capital Opportunities Fund Blend (out of 89 in category) 1.09
International Equity Fund Blend (out of 683 in category) 0.84
International Value Fund Value (out of 329 in category) 0.97
Large Cap Growth Fund Growth (out of 1,123 in category) 0.58
Research Fund Blend (out of 1,268 in category) 0.67
Small Cap Growth Fund Growth (out of 561 in category) 0.85
Sustainable Leaders Fund Growth (out of 1,123 in category) 0.65

Putnam Large Cap Growth Fund (PGOEX)

Durable growth themes and companies that benefit from them

A thematic approach is a distinctive feature of the fund. The team analyzes global trends, as well as problems and potential solutions, to identify which themes could drive sustained growth for businesses over a multi-year time horizon.

Learn more about Putnam Large Cap Growth Fund:  Fund details | Quarterly commentary

Putnam Large Cap Value Fund (PEQSX)

(also available as a CIT)

A multidimensional approach to value investing.

A focus on dividend growth and defining value outside the index. The fund invests in three dimensions of value:


Attractively priced stocks of companies that are poised for improvement


Stocks of companies that are willing and able to increase their dividends


Stocks of companies with strong cash flows, earnings quality, and capital allocation strategies

Learn more about Putnam Large Cap Value Fund:  Brochure | Fund details | CIT details | Quarterly commentary

Putnam Small Cap Growth Fund (PLKGX)

(also available as a CIT)

Seeking to capitalize on growing small companies

Small companies can add an attractive source of long-term investment growth for participants of a retirement plan. These companies tend to be flexible and innovative, and can often grow their earnings at faster rates than larger companies.

The portfolio is diversified across two primary types of small company stocks: high-quality growth and aggressive growth. This portfolio offers growth with a more moderate level of volatility that may be compelling for retirement investors.


60% to 80% of the portfolio

The largest portion of the portfolio consists of stable, well-established growth companies we believe to be mispriced by the market.

The small-cap asset class can be volatile, especially when targeting the fastest-growing companies. To help moderate the fund's volatility over time, we invest a majority of assets in stable, well-established companies that are often less volatile than the asset class as a whole. We believe these companies can grow at high rates, and that the market is not pricing in their full profitability potential.

Stock example: Boot Barn Holdings (BOOT)

This is a California-based retailer of work boots, western footwear, and apparel for men and women. The company's mix of both essential items and more discretionary goods that are difficult to purchase online has contributed to the company's growth. This growth continued through the Covid-19 pandemic, and the company has emerged as an even stronger retailer, in our view. Its store-level return profile is robust, which allows the company to internally fund an accelerating store-opening plan.


20% to 40% of the portfolio

A smaller portion of the portfolio is invested in emerging growth and cyclical growth companies. We define emerging growth companies as those that offer disruptive products, services, or technology that will enable them to grow rapidly. They are typically early in their life cycles, and their quality metrics, such as return on capital or margins, may look weak today. However, if they grow at the rates we are projecting, they could mature into high-quality growth leaders. We put less emphasis on cyclical growth companies, but we will own them if we believe they are competitively positioned and offer durable growth prospects.

Stock example: Tenable (TENB)

Tenable is a leader in vulnerability management — an increasingly critical component of cyber security. Tenable's high level of focus has enabled it to provide a broader view of its clients' vulnerabilities, examining areas beyond the physical footprint of a business. This is necessary as businesses shift to mobile workforces and the cloud. This is a complicated endeavor for businesses, and Tenable can offer answers and help security personnel prioritize remedies.

Learn more about Putnam Small Cap Growth Fund:  Fund details | Fact Sheet | Quarterly commentary

Timely articles and key literature

ESG: Hearing the signal above the noise

ESG: Hearing the signal above the noise

In our view, the best opportunities lie not at the extremes of ESG rhetoric, but at the heart of sustainability substance.

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You must be present to win: The outlook for large-cap growth stocks

You must be present to win: The outlook for large-cap growth stocks

Large-cap growth stocks delivered solid returns in the early months of 2023, and we remain optimistic about their prospects.

Equity InsightsEquity Insights | May 1, 2023