Steven W. Kaye

AEPG Wealth Strategies

Warren, New Jersey


: PA TOP 100 - 2014: Individuals With 65 or More Plans: 65 to 80 Plans

Steven W. Kaye, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RHU, CEBS, AAMS, CRC, AIF®, is President & Founder of AEPG Wealth Strategies, which provides comprehensive, holistic financial & estate planning, investment management, pension and employee benefits consulting for individuals and businesses for more than 30 years.

He is a past President of the New Jersey Society of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners. Mr. Kaye has also been quoted in the financial press, trade journals and appears on television programs such as CNBC’s The Money Club, NBC’s The Today Show and Fox on Money. He is the only RIA to be featured in Morningstar on four occasions.

Mr. Kaye was a recent featured speaker at recent national conferences, including Certified Employee Benefit Specialists national convention, PlanSponsor national conference, and Schwab IMPACT national convention. He has presented on some of the leading edge strategies and Best Practices in the 401(k) and Defined Benefit industry.

How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

At AEPG, we provide deeper and broader service than most of our competitors. Deeper: We become intimately familiar with our clients so that we can design and implement solutions that are unique to our client’s structure and culture. After implementation, we manage and monitor all aspects of qualified and non-qualified plans. Broader: We are more than just experts in retirement plans, but also in other areas of employee benefits and financial planning. In addition to handling non-qualified benefits such as SERP’s and Top Hat plans, we also design and implement employee benefits plans and provide comprehensive financial and estate planning for the sponsor’s employees

If we asked your clients why they do business with you, what would they say?

"AEPG is our trusted adviser. They have become an extension of our Firm and have become our “go-to” people for retirement planning, health insurance benefits, personal planning, and investing. AEPG anticipates potential issues and helps us better integrate the various pieces of our employee benefit plan."

What do you predict will be the most significant impediment to retirement plan advisors in the next two to five years?

I foresee the most significant impediment to retirement plan advisers in the next two to five years being the lack of clarity from the regulators as to the fiduciary rule. Between the SEC, FINRA, and the DOL there is no consensus and we are not sure who will win out among the lobbying forces. Additionally, much of the public is uninformed and ignorant of the issues and the informed public is at best confused. The industry will continue to be subject to price pressures, pressures to increase service and deliverables, and further commoditization of our professional niche. The greatest challenge for plan sponsors will be providing better and more relevant education.

What is the biggest challenge facing plan sponsors today?

The biggest challenge facing plan sponsors today is differentiating between plan providers because so many of them sound the same to the sponsor. Even after fee disclosures many sponsors do not have an accurate view of plan costs. Far too many sponsors are receiving what we deem “lite services” and are under-performing in terms of governance and education. Regarding governance, many sponsors do not have formal committee charter, proper minutes, agendas, benchmarking processes, and are not providing what we believe is valuable education. Most broker advised plans lack an accountable advocate. The needs of the sponsor are diametrically opposed to the needs of the vendor and many plans would benefit from an independent plan consultant/fiduciary to represent the sponsor’s interest to the vendor.

What do you want your firm to be known for?

At AEPG, as a fiduciary, we want to be known for providing optimal solutions and an outstanding client experience with the highest level of expertise, professionalism, and empathy. For over 30 years, we have been helping clients manage their risks, achieve their goals, and acting as steward through the inevitable road bumps their financial lives.