Practice Management

Mapping Industry Change Just Part of the Job

From a rapidly evolving recordkeeping provider landscape to a potential wholesale rewrite of the tax treatment of retirement assets, today’s environment puts advisers and their clients in a constant state of flux. 

By John Manganaro | October 04, 2017
Page 1 of 3

Todd Lacey, chief business development officer at Stadion, recently visited the PLANADVISER office to introduce his firm’s new target-date fund (TDF) product line, and before long the conversation naturally turned to the myriad regulatory and legislative issues facing retirement plan advisers and their clients.

Lacey was also forthcoming about what he sees as both the challenges and opportunities associated with working closely with defined contribution (DC) plan recordkeepers. He observed that much of his thinking on these subjects is colored by his time spent at both Transamerica and his own independent advisory firm, which he ran from 2007 through 2011.

“Like many people in this industry, I had a first career as a DC plan wholesaler,” Lacey explained. “I did that for a number of years before becoming an adviser and founding the (k)larity Group. As an interesting aside, right after I decided to sell that business and go back to Transamerica to run business development, PLANADVISER reached out to notify the firm it had been selected for finalist consideration as a Plan Adviser Team of the Year. That was exciting to hear for me, but unfortunate timing.”

Back at Transamerica, Lacey was asked to lead business development efforts and key account management, before spending his last two years working with the firm’s Latin America team. His introduction at the start of this year to Stadion was partly serendipity, in that the firm’s headquarters is located “something like four miles” from his house, so he “figured it could be a good fit.”

Nearly a year into his tenure at Stadion, Lacey continues to enjoy the role and its challenges. He oversees the team that manages relationships with recordkeeping partners, while also opening up distribution channels for the firm’s managed account and TDF products.

“It is an exciting time to do this work because people are willing to take a fresh look at what retirement plans are and what they should be—about how to invest for a future that is more uncertain than ever in a lot of ways,” Lacey said. “The shift from DB [defined benefit] to DC, the increasing role of technology and the seismic change in regulation and legislation affecting this space, all of these trends have a direct impact on the job. Not only Stadion, but many other firms have a great culture that will help us get through this environment and ultimately serve our customers best.”

NEXT: Growth amid uncertainty