PLANSPONSOR Weekend Newsdash
Week ending February 2nd, 2018

Happy Friday, readers! This weekend’s mailing focuses on the always-pressing topic of Practice Management. Below you will find the latest cut of data from the annual PLANADVISER Practice Benchmarking survey, as well as a frank conversation with a self-described “industry disruptor,” among other timely articles. We hope you will share some of what you learn with a client or colleague.

Practice Management
PLANADVISER Practice Benchmarking Survey
As a retirement plan specialist, do you think the field is increasingly competitive? Are you concerned about fee compression or an industry race to the bottom? How do you measure profitability and success? If you struggle with any of these questions, you are far from alone. Read more >
Talking Advisory Industry Disruption with America’s Best 401K
The direct-to-sponsor firm proudly brands itself as an advisory industry disruptor, boasting fast revenue growth and a 30-day average sales cycle; we sit down with lead strategy officer Josh Robbins for a frank conversation about what comes next for the company and its “traditional” competition. Read more >
Diverse Buyers Capitalize on ‘Fragmented, Dispersed’ RIA Market
Cerulli categorizes consolidator firms into three segments, and “The merits and drawbacks of each segment’s business model will often depend on the adviser’s motivations for affiliating with a larger partner.” Read more >
Advisers Are Apparently Ignoring Cybersecurity Threats
Only 27% of RIAs surveyed by TD Ameritrade suggest that “cybersecurity issues,” even when very broadly defined, are likely to impact client portfolios during 2018; experts suggest this is just wishful thinking. Read more >
Retirement Plan Technology and Security Landscape Evolves Quickly
A new Corporate Insight report offers a brief history of the development of financial services technology security measures introduced since 1996—delivering for retirement plan fiduciaries important contextual information about today’s evolving best practices. Read more >
Home Offices Must Get More Active In Staff Succession Plans
Troubling, many of the companies that say they have formal succession planning programs in place in truth dedicate very few hard-dollar resources, if any, to help. Read more >
Top Adviser Teams Practice True Collaboration
More than 60% of advisers say they work within a team structure, yet only one-third of teams regularly collaborate in their daily decisions and processes. Read more >
Advisers Beware and Be Cautious When Talking Taxes in 2018

During a webinar called to discuss the advisory industry impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, experts warned advisers to be ready to decline to offer tax advice during 2018—over and over again.

Three Quarters of Americans Have Not Planned for LTC Needs

Yet nearly six in 10 say saving for long-term care is a financial priority

Wells Fargo Advisors SEC Filing Hints at Federal Fiduciary Investigation

The firm says it does not have additional information to share at this juncture beyond what has been noted in a 2017 year-end SEC filing; in that newly emerged document, Wells Fargo Advisors says it has begun an internal investigation into “whether there have been inappropriate referrals or recommendations” made by its advisors, including with respect to rollovers for 401(k) plan participants.

Confusion Abounds After Fifth Circuit Decision Vacates DOL Fiduciary Rule

The latest decision out of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throws a dramatic new element of confusion into the epic regulatory saga that has been the rollout of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule.

Advisers Moving to a Client-Centric Model

Advisers are using new planning models and smarter technology, including automation, so that they can offer personalized service, SEI finds.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer

Advertising: Paul Zampitella

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