The focus of the award has remained relatively consistent over the years—to identify the nation’s best advisers who help make retirement security a reality for workers across the nation. There are 18 finalists for 2015, spread across three categories:
Corby Dall, 401k Advisors Intermountain in Sandy, Utah
Dan Peluse, Wintrust Wealth Management in Chicago, Illinois
Jason Chepenik, Chepenik Financial in Winter Park, Florida
John Ludwig, LHD retirement in Indianapolis, Indiana
L. Rita Fiumara, UBS Financial in Chicago, Illinois
Thomas Dean Ming, Tower Rock Advisors, Pensionmark Retirement Group in Bakersfield, California
Alliance Benefit Group Financial Services, Corp. in Albert Lea, Minnesota
The Casey Retirement Group in Reno, Nevada
Compass Financial Partners in Greensboro, North Carolina
The D’Aiutolo Institutional Consulting Team in Rochester, New York
Graystone Consulting | Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio
Heffernan Retirement Services in San Francisco, California
PearlStreet Investment Management of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Ratay Group at Morgan Stanley in Lisle, Illinois
Spectrum Investment Advisors, Inc. in Mequon, Wisconsin
Multioffice Adviser Team:
Sentinel Pension Advisors, Inc., with locations in Wakefield, Massachusetts; New York, New York; and Melville, New York
Sheridan Road Financial, with locations in Northbrook, Illinois; Chicago, Illinois; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Nashville, Tennessee; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Tampa, Florida
White Oak Advisors, with locations in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio
Nominated advisers who decided to enter the competition were asked to choose from three categories: An individual adviser is a single adviser with one group of clients; a team is a group of two or more advisers in one office location who collectively serve one group of clients, share relationships and sales, and use the same client support team; a multioffice team is a group of two or more advisers across multiple office locations who share support staff and follow the same guidelines and procedures to serve clients.
This year, in order to be selected as a finalist, advisers had to meet requirements, set by the PLANADVISER editorial and judging team, that reflect what is considered to be the evolving best practice standard. Advisers must: have a majority of their business revenue derived from employer-sponsored retirement plans; serve as a fiduciary to client plans; show a commitment to fee-based compensation; and use replacement rate or outcome-based metrics of plan success with clients, among other benchmarks.
Advisers were nominated in September and October 2014. Nominations were solicited online from retirement plan advisers (however, self-nominations are not permitted), from their employers and/or broker/dealers (B/Ds) and from plan sponsors, as well as from working partners of these advisers, including investment vendors, accountants, attorneys and pension administrators.
Nominated advisers had to accept the nomination and enter the process during November and December. To officially enter the process, nominated advisers were required to provide various details about their practice and answer essay questions via an online form.
The winner will be announced at the annual PLANSPONSOR/PLANADVISER Awards for Excellence dinner on March 31. Please visit the event page for more information.