PANC 2015: Keys to Profitability

Executives discuss how to move beyond just assessing assets under advisement to properly gauging services, time, effort and fees.

Many advisers don’t track their time, which is a mistake, said Randy Fuss, practice management consultant at CUNA Mutual Retirement, speaking on the “Keys to Profitability” panel at the 2015 PLANADVISER National Conference in Orlando, Florida.

“You need to understand the service you are delivering to the client,” said Jonathan Blaze, regional retirement consultant at Thornburg Investment Management. “We try to encourage advisers to create a service agreement to show their value,” Blaze said.

“What are you worth?” asked Daniel Peluse, director of corporate plan services at Wintrust Wealth Management. “[Your value as an adviser] has changed in the past 15 years to how you move the needle and drive better results, not just accumulation. That is why more retirement specialists will rise to the top,” he said.

At Wintrust Wealth Management, “we are an extension of the committee,” Peluse said. “We view ourselves as an employee of the firm. We communicate the benefit of the plan to participants and show them their income replacement scores. You can’t just do quarterly meetings. It’s important to educate plan sponsors about your value. We are with participants on a day-to-day basis.”

“As to how advisers price their value, we are seeing a standardization of measurement metrics of investments,” Blaze said. “That will help us as we see continued consolidation of advisers. And, because of the new fiduciary rule, we expect advisers will decide to be either a wealth management adviser or a retirement plan adviser. As advisers leave the retirement plan space, that will help you.”