The firm’s business development consultants (BDCs)—part of the company’s strategic partners group—are aligning with advisers who have a significant portion of their practice working with defined contribution (DC) plans.
The BDCs customize support, working directly with advisers within their own territories, Kathleen Endres, executive vice president of client service at Ascensus, told PLANADVISER. Combining phone support and travel, BDCs meet with advisers face to face about a quarter of the time.
According to Endres, the BDCs can evaluate an investment lineup, suggest targeted communications from Ascensus and consider other plan designs. “The BDCs help them design solutions to grow their businesses organically,” she said. “They look at specific issues with [the advisers’] clients and help them identify ways to improve those plans and improve retirement readiness.”
Their resources include the Fiduciary Benchmark Inc. tools, which they are licensed to use, and offer at no cost to clients in these relationships. Ascensus also has its own plan reviews, plan studies, communication pieces and report cards that advisers can use to improve outcomes for the plan sponsors and participants they service.
“We see a trend toward the consolidation of plans with retirement-focused advisers who see this as a critical part of their practice,” Endres said. “We are pleased to offer the business development consultants to support these advisers—in concert with the Ascensus regional vice presidents in each territory—from both a sales and service perspective and partner with them to grow their books of business.”