ING Plans to Grow Distributor-Sold Business

ING’s U.S. Retirement division announced a plan to expand its reach to small- and mid-sized corporate retirement plans and to support the distributors that serve this market.

One component of the strategy involves building ING’s presence in the banking channel by establishing a network of relationships with local and regional banks, credit unions, and plan intermediaries who work within the banking industry. A second component involves forging connections with national and regional payroll companies to create a seamless payroll capability that simplifies plan administration for 401(k) practitioners and customers.  

While ING has conducted some banking channel sales in the past, it is now moving forward with a more deliberate approach to serve this market.  The effort is being supported by a new member of ING’s distribution organization, Jim Bailey, who serves as head of Banking Relationships. In this new role, Bailey will coordinate closely with ING’s new regional Payroll and Bank Distribution teams to cultivate dozens of strategic relationships.  He and the teams report to Ginger Brennan, head of National Distribution Management for Small and Mid Corporate Markets within ING’s intermediary distribution and service organization.   

Bailey comes to ING from Community Bank and Trust in Wisconsin, where he oversaw business development in the trust and commercial lending departments for several years.  Previously, Bailey spent 18 years in the banking industry with an emphasis on retirement plan development.    

In addition to banking channel growth, ING is building relationships with national and regional payroll companies this year to bring a fully integrated 401(k) payroll navigation interface to advisers, third-party administrators (TPAs), and their clients. The service offered by ING is called Pay with Ease, and the strategy for its development also falls under Brennan.  

The announcement said Pay with Ease will enable ING to link directly to a sponsor’s payroll provider and establish a “two-way” process to share vital plan and payroll contribution information, such as enrollments, contribution rate changes, hardship suspensions, reinstatements and loan repayments.  Practitioners will benefit from having a service they can offer clients that demonstrates value and helps them grow business.  Sponsors will also benefit from a capability that simplifies plan management and is driven by experienced retirement plan and payroll professionals.  

As part of the roll-out, ING will be conducting a series of seminars around the country to bring advisers, payroll companies and TPAs together to learn more about this capability and generate marketing and business building ideas.