May – June 2012

2012 PLANSPONSOR Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year

Stace Hilbrant, managing director of 401k Advisors LLC in Wilmette, Illinois, takes pride in his business’s face-to-face client service model. Hilbrant’s firm was one of the original founding firms of 401k Advisors USA, which was later renamed National Retirement Partners before being acquired by LPL Financial in 2010. In 2003, he incorporated in suburban Chicago as 401k Advisors LLC and sold his first 401(k) plan advisory services to D.A. Stuart Company, which makes products for the aluminum manufacturing industry. “I have that first check stapled to my wall,” he says.

2012 PLANSPONSOR Retirement Plan Adviser Team of the Year

Graystone Consulting–Danvers, Massachusetts, takes a holistic approach to advising retirement plan clients. This involves a combination of plan management, investment management and participant services, says Matthew McLaughlin, senior institutional consultant and financial adviser at the Danvers office of Graystone Consulting, a business of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. “All three of those levers have to work together to have an optimum plan, optimum outcomes,” he says.

Heads Up

Although focus has been on 408(b)(2), now is the time to prepare for 404(a)(5)

Staying on Target

 Helping sponsors decide whether a target-date fund family still works for their plan 

Talking Points


Tired of giving the same old presentations? Use these nuggets of information to spruce them up.

Tall Order

DCIO firms look to differentiate themselves with value-added services

Top of the Heap

"Each year we find new names and faces within this process, advisers who we enjoy getting to know, whether through speaking at or attending our conferences, through email exchanges or because they become finalists for the awards. I hope that continues, and that we get a chance to know you—and your practices—even better this year."