Art by JooHee Yoon
As consumers, we have gotten used to many technological
conveniences of the modern world. Our automobiles, for instance, are loaded
with such features as global positioning systems (GPSs), hands-free Bluetooth
phone connections and the latest safety aids such as lane departure warnings
and adaptive cruise control. As the retirement plan industry evolves,
technology has been developed for retirement plan advisory practices, too, with
recordkeepers, third-party administrators (TPAs) and investment managers
regularly presenting robust new tools to better run your practice and more
effectively serve participants and sponsors. “Supersized” explains,
in great detail, valuable resources you may not be aware of that you can
leverage to augment your services.
Each year, the PLANADVISER Top 100 Advisers is among the
most anticipated listings the magazine publishes. If your firm does not appear, you will have an
opportunity to be considered for next year’s list by responding to the
PLANADVISER Retirement Plan Survey we issue every September—a quantitative list
is drawn from survey respondents.
It’s important to note that most American workers are
employed by small businesses. That’s why, despite the aspirations of many
retirement plan advisers to serve plans with sizeable assets, the micro-plan market—plans
with less than $5 million—cannot be ignored. The 2017 PLANADVISER Micro Plan
Survey, “Small World” details the services that plan sponsors
receive from their advisers.
“Passing the Torch” gives you an overview of the
various options you have, to plan for the future of your practice after you
retire. By hiring the right people and mapping out their progress, you can
control your succession plan internally. You might also consider a merger or a
sale—and you may be surprised to learn that neither of these needs to occur
There has been a buzz recently about environmental, social
and governance (ESG) investing—the new term for “socially responsible
investing.” For the feature “Investing in Harmony," I interviewed
asset and portfolio managers, advisers and ESG specialists who contend that,
due to the growing proliferation of this type of investment and its resonance
among Millennials and Generation X, ESG investing is something you should be
considering for discussion with plan sponsor clients—especially if you want to
distinguish your practice from your competitors’.
And in “Freezing DB Plans," we discuss how you can
help your plan sponsor clients decide what type of defined benefit (DB) plan
freeze makes the most sense for their company—and determine what revisions to
the defined contribution (DC) plan make the most sense, post-DB changes.
Our Practice Development department this year will focus on
growing your business, with the initial story on how to ask for referrals.
We hope these stories appreciably help you increase your
assets under management (AUM) and inspire new ways to serve your participants
and plan sponsor clients. Happy reading!