Brad ArendsCo-founder & CEO, Intellicents
Taking what he has learned over the last three decades, Brad brings his industry experience and knack for prognosticating what’s coming…or needs to come next, to a business plan aimed at serving a demographic that has largely been ignored by the wealth management sector – successful financial outcomes for the American worker. As the fifth employee in his family’s local retirement planning/recordkeeping business, he used his legal training for spotting issues and coming up with progressive solutions to help engineer a sustainable firm with a national client footprint and over 140 employees at its peak. Brad’s pioneering spirit pushes an atmosphere of innovation yet collaboration among the intellicents team; and, ever the creative visionary, he has a penchant for taking the “fine” or even the “good” and turning it into the “beautiful”…like a 40+ year-old company with a startup mentality and aspirations for offices around the country. Brad has worked in the retirement and employee benefits areas for over three decades. With a concentration on the design, funding, and communication of defined contribution retirement plans, IRC Section 125 flexible benefits plans, defined contribution health insurance approaches, private health insurance exchanges, health savings accounts, executive compensation plans, and worksite financial wellness programs, he has practically made ERISA his work-wife. A graduate of Washington University School of Law, he is a current member of the Retirement Advisor Council for Fidelity Investments Custody and Clearing Group (FCC), a former member of the Charles Schwab Retirement Business Services Trust & Custody Advisory Board, a former member of the Advisory Council for SunGard Relius, a member and former President of Retirement Advisors & Designers of America (RADA), a former member of the Employee Benefit Section of the Minnesota Bar Association, and a current member of the Blue Partners Advisory Board for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. Brad is a frequent industry speaker, and he primarily focuses today on expanding the company footprint nationally by recruiting new teammates to join intellicents. Offline Brad enjoys decompressing either in the gym or around water…which generally involves a lake, a boat, good classic rock or Motown tunes, a full cooler, and his wife of more than three decades. He chases his three adult daughters around the Twin Cities in support of their “foodie” habits, loves to go “out west” skiing a couple times each winter and makes his yard an art project every spring and summer. He’d like to be a decent golfer some day, but accepts that it’s just going to be another source of stress right now while his play is generally confined to only three or four charity best-shots per year. At the end of the day, he simply loves his job. Brad also deeply believes in giving back to the community of Albert Lea, Minnesota where he was raised and that has supported his business efforts. His current passion centers on the issue of rural healthcare. For 2 ½ years, he chaired the local citizens action group Save Our Healthcare whose mission was to: 1) restore services being removed; 2) regain control of the healthcare services offered in the community; and 3) reduce the cost of high-quality healthcare in the community. Today, those efforts have morphed into the Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that Brad helped found and currently volunteers as its President. Its purpose is to build a full-service healthcare clinic and outpatient surgery center to serve the citizens of Albert Lea and the surrounding area by providing an affordable high-quality healthcare alternative. In recognition of his local business development and community service efforts, Brad was inducted into the Albert Lea High School Education Foundation Hall of Fame in 2017. Read his inspirational “What He’s Learned Along the Way” talk here he gave to the senior class as part of his induction. Brad was also named 2020 Citizen of the year by the Albert Lea Tribune for his volunteer efforts to restore lost healthcare services to Albert Lea and the surrounding communities.