One of Maliz Beam's major initiatives since joining TIAA-CREF in 2004 has been building out the advice platform.

The firm, which was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1918 as the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, wants to move beyond retirement services to help clients big and small manage all of their financial relationships. Over the past 12 months, the company's phone centers and offices have been flooded with calls from clients spooked by the financial crisis. TIAA-CREF offers the same services it did before the crisis, but has been "gearing up capabilities to support a lot of very anxious clients," Beams says.

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