Matrix Offering Expands ERISA Capabilities

Cetera Financial Group has debuted an unbundled, open architecture solution for advisers who serve as 3(21) fiduciaries to offer more customized advice to plan sponsors.


The platform is part of Cetera’s fee-based plan sponsor program. With the added capability, the program helps advisers differentiate themselves from other independent and wirehouse advisers, said Kian Rafia, vice president of wealth management at Cetera. “The notion of an open architecture, fee-based plan sponsor platform is somewhat unique and new in our industry,” Rafia said.

The open architecture solution utilizes Matrix Financial Solutions to provide custodial services, research and fund screening capabilities through its proprietary RetireTool(k)it, and allows for the choice of recordkeepers and local third-party administrators. It also enables advisers to choose from a wide range of investment vehicles such as exchange-traded products and mutual funds. Additionally Matrix U, the firm’s educational resource, provides access to industry experts and thought leaders to help advisers stay abreast of the latest trends and insights on how to leverage current market conditions to grow their businesses.

Cetera’s ERISA plan sponsor program provides advisers with a range of tools and support to cultivate and manage employer’s 401(k) plans, including marketing and sales support, recordkeeping, trust and custody services, performance reporting, and adviser education.

For bundled options, Cetera leverages retirement platforms from Fidelity Investments, delivering a program that offers guidance on constructing Cetera-vetted plan menus (with choices spanning more than 2,500 funds and more than 50 families), monitoring investments and choosing qualified defined investment (QDIA) options.

Through a partnership with FI360, advisers can use Cetera’s program to achieve Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designation, which is necessary for all advisers who provide advice on ERISA accounts. Rafia called the AIF designation a near-prerequisite to getting in the door with plan sponsors, “so we felt strongly about adding that component to our program so our advisers could take full advantage.”

More information is at Cetera’s website.