PLANADVISER: What is your mission statement?
EPIC Retirement Services Consulting: Our goal is to be the preeminent consultant in the retirement plan arena, delivering top-quality solutions coupled with unparalleled, personalized service.
PA: How is your team/process/structure unique? How has it evolved?
EPIC: Eva Kalivas and Jeff Greenberg co-founded founded EPIC Retirement Services Consulting, LLC, in 1999. They have been licensed investment advisers for over 25 years. Their deep understanding of the 401(k) industry has contributed to their success in building the business. All EPIC clients and their employees benefit from the hands-on management of EPIC’s founders.
Over time, EPIC added Ruth Luna to the team as client relationship manager and Lynn Schott as benefits specialist. Ruth works with all of EPIC’s clients and their plan participants to answer questions, resolve issues, or escalate directly to one of the founders. Lynn’s background in human resources and benefits administration provides a client- and participant-focused perspective that allows for effective communication touching upon the most important issues for both.
PA: What do you need to be successful? From your team? From your clients?
EPIC: EPIC’s success is due to its unparalleled, personalized service. We ask our team to share in that passion for excellence in customer service and demonstrate that in every call or task. We ask our clients to view us as partners on their team – knowing that our goal is to deliver top-quality solutions and demonstrate transparency in everything that we do on their behalf.
PA: Describe any particular initiatives you have led with your customer base in the past 12 months (investment or education or plan design or communication).
EPIC: Over the past several years, there has been a noticeable shift in responsibility to [lan sponsors for managing their 401(k) plan, including the fiduciary responsibility associated in selecting and monitoring investments offered by the plan; regulatory compliance; fee analysis and cost benchmarking; employee education and communication; and establishment of an internal committee, including its operation. In this do-it-yourself environment, EPIC serves as liaison between the plan sponsor and plan provider to ensure a full understanding of what and how the plan sponsor needs to do to maintain a compliant plan.
From a plan design perspective, we have introduced automatic enrollment, auto increase and in some cases a one-time sweep to help drive participation and support participants’ efforts for retirement readiness. In addition, at our employee meetings, we have emphasized the need for diversification of their investments and—of utmost importance—the need to save.
Both Jeff and Eva’s vision was and continues to be to represent the client, as opposed to a product, fad or proprietary vehicle.
PA: As a retirement plan adviser, what do you take the most pride in?
EPIC: We believe we are special because:
- We have no internal products, thus ensuring total objectivity and unbiased advice.
- We are problem-solving consultants, not product salespeople. This is our role and exclusive business.
- We are always geared towards providing proactive, independent consulting support. Our extensive internal and/or external resources will address any client need in the least time and most-effective manner.
- We have over 50 years of collective experience in the Investment Advisory Services profession; free from any SEC/FINRA violations.
PA: What benchmarks do you use to measure plan and client success?
EPIC: We believe that our client retention ration is a testament to our client success. In terms of plan success, we monitor employee participation by way of percentage of employees participating and deferral percentage and how they are doing in terms of achieving projected retirement income replacement. Another important statistic that we look at is diversification of individual portfolios, so that we can help mitigate risk.
BUSINESS AT A GLANCE
Plan assets under advisement: $700 million
Median plan size (in assets): $30 million
Total plans under administration: 48
Total participants served: 300,000