The Appo solution is comprised of two components. The Appo Toolset allows designers to drag and drop variable content into various documents, while storing content replicated across different media channels as “modules” for future use. All elements used to create communications are stored in the Appo Portal, a secure website where internal and external users can manage and order materials with varying security and approval processes in place.
The firm says the solution aims to cut time and costs while improving efficiency of the participant communication process, a challenge and increasingly important task in the retirement services space.
“Participant engagement can be difficult and expensive, especially when it means integrating complex data sources and working across multiple platforms,” explains Steve Wigler, president of Appo Group.
He adds, “Unlike many of the existing solutions on the market, Appo is first and foremost a technology solution, not a print solution. In fact, clients appreciate that we are agnostic as to which fulfillment provider they use, so bringing us in doesn’t cause disruption to existing relationships.”
The firm says it’s currently working with one major plan provider and considering others to find ways to apply the solution to other data-driven objectives including annual plan reviews, enrollment materials, fund fact sheets, participant statements and compliance communications.
While the fate of the DOL’s conflict of interest rule remains uncertain under the administration of President Donald Trump, many industry experts note that firms are still widely preparing for a more fiduciary-focused industry. Moreover, related compliance issues remain a large part of ERISA litigation that’s likely to continue as well.