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New Firm Supports Non-Fiduciary Advisers

Fidelis Fiduciary Management launched an independent investment management program for financial advisers who cannot or choose not to serve as fiduciaries for their 401(k) clients.

By PLANADVISER staff editors@strategic-i.com | January 09, 2014

The new program is headed by Michael Montgomery out of Tampa, Florida. Montgomery says the fiduciary management program is designed to address two gaps he believes exist in the fiduciary services marketplace—insufficient flexibility and lack of interaction with advisers.

To address these gaps, Fidelis provides customized investment lineups and monitoring for plan sponsors, utilizing the investments available from virtually any recordkeeping platform while working closely with the plan’s financial advisers.

Fidelis offers these services as an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) 3(38) Investment Manager, meaning it accepts responsibility for managing a plan’s investment menu. The firm can also serve in an ERISA 3(21) capacity, making recommendations for final approval by the plan sponsor.

“Because the big brand fiduciary services are often paired with their client’s recordkeeper, 401(k) advisers who want outside fiduciary support currently don’t have much of a voice,” says Montgomery. “If an advisor deals with multiple recordkeepers, they may be juggling several investment fiduciary services, which in turn may change if their client moves to a new recordkeeper.”

“This piecemeal approach is confusing and difficult to manage,” he adds.

According to Montgomery, Fidelis Fiduciary Management offers advisers the opportunity to retain a single fiduciary service that can be used for all of their clients and for virtually any of the investment products offered by major recordkeepers.

Fidelis Fiduciary Management is CEFEX certified by the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence for defined contribution ERISA fiduciary services, including plan-level ERISA 3(38) investment management.