IMHO: Impact Full

In a business notorious for change, it nonetheless seems fair to say that the past twelve months have been extraordinary ones indeed for financial advisers.

In short order, we have had to absorb and assimilate the mandates of the Pension Protection Act, grapple with the portents of qualified default investment alternatives, gird ourselves for the impact of final regulations on deferred compensation plans and 403(b)s—and all this at a time when revenue-sharing practices are drawing an unprecedented level of scrutiny from all quarters.

There is nothing like tumultuous times to highlight the value of, and reinforce the need for, expert help for plan fiduciaries. It is also the kind of challenging environment that tends to separate the chaff from the wheat—that sorts out the committed from the merely intrigued. And, yes, it surely plays to the advantage of a profession dedicated to helping plan sponsors construct the right programs, and participants make the best of them.
That is why, in 2005, we launched our Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year award; to acknowledge “the contributions of the nation’s best financial advisers in helping make retirement security a reality for workers across the nation.” Today, it is both my honor and privilege to launch the nomination process for our fourth annual campaign to acknowledge the contributions of the very best financial advisers in the nation, both individuals and teams.
Impact Statement
The criteria that underlie the award are simple but impactful; we want to recognize advisers who make a difference through increasing participation, boosting deferral rates, enhancing asset allocation, and/or providing better programs through expanded service or expense management. It is no accident that those criteria also underlie the Pension Protection Act’s designs for defined contribution plans, for only by getting more workers saving in these programs at effective rates, and invested in prudent ways, can they have any real prospects for retirement security.
We will acknowledge the finalists in the December issue of PLANSPONSOR as well as the Winter issue of PLANADVISER, and profile the winners in the March issue of PLANSPONSOR and Spring issue of PLANADVISER. The finalists also will be recognized at PLANSPONSOR’s Annual Awards for Excellence celebration in New York City in March.
It has been our privilege these past several years to lend a hand to your efforts—first via PLANSPONSOR magazine; then via, the NewsDash, and this publication; and, more recently, via our education arm, the PLANSPONSOR Institute and our PLANSPONSOR Retirement Professional (PRP) designation. Believe it or not, it was a year ago next month that we officially launched PLANADVISER—and later this month, we will offer our very first adviser-focused conference, the PLANADVISER National Conference, and I hope to see many of you there (but you need to register ASAP, if you haven’t already).

While these awards are designed to recognize financial adviser excellence, we trust the standards they embody will continue to provide a source of inspiration for those who make a difference every day. I look forward to getting to know you, and your practices, better through this process.

You can nominate a co-worker, colleague, or yourself for PLANSPONSOR’s Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year HERE