PA: How is your team/process/structure unique?
SageView Advisory Group: SageView Advisory Group is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered investment adviser (RIA), offering a complete suite of retirement consulting services for defined contribution (DC), defined benefit (DB), executive and deferred compensation plans since 1989. Our capabilities also extend beyond retirement with the expansion of our wealth management and actuarial consulting services. The size and depth of our team sets us apart from our competitors. With more than 100 associates in our 15 client-centric locations, we have gathered some of the most talented consultants, actuaries and analysts who specifically focus on delivering retirement solutions for savers and employers.
Our team consists of highly credentialed retirement plan specialists, including three attorneys, five certified public accountants (CPAs), two certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), six chartered financial analysts (CFAs), four certified financial planners (CFPs), seven actuaries and 20 accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs). We prefer to view ourselves as “plan advisers”—rather than use the narrower term “investment advisers”—because we believe a plan is only successful if all its components work in synchronicity.
A recent way that we have shown innovation in the industry is the creation of our internal practice groups specializing in various plan types/structures. These teams provide thought leadership and more focused resources and intellectual capital for our clients. Currently, we have six practice leaders and 29 dedicated individuals who meet monthly to discuss trends, legislation and best practices in the not-for-profit, government, 403(b), defined benefit and nonqualified plan arenas.
All clients are serviced in a regional team environment that allows our consulting teams to support our clients with a local presence. Our offices routinely work together to share best practices, and our national resources supply an additional layer of support to provide the best solutions for our clients. A key differentiator of SageView is the structure of the service team assigned to each client. A typical service team includes a lead consultant, a member of our internal investment committee, a compliance consultant and an account manager. From there, dedicated specialists such as education, request for proposals (RFP), Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) bridge and practice group specialists are assigned, based on the needs of the client. We are proud of our ability to deliver resources and support beyond the traditional service team structure and of being able to give our clients access to dedicated experts.
PA: What have you done in the past year to improve participants’ retirement readiness?
SVAG: SageView offers a unique service called SageView Advice. With the incorporation of this program, we go above and beyond simple education and create a road map to retirement for employees. SageView Advice will provide fund-specific investment recommendations to participants based on their time horizon, risk tolerance, investment goals and the funds available in the plan. Recommendations are regularly reviewed and updated as necessary. Additionally, all participants will have access to a team of licensed investment advisers to help them with their retirement plan questions and overall financial planning needs.
Another area that makes SageView unique is our internal investment committee. This committee meets quarterly to review the holdings within our clients’ plans, as well as economic conditions, financial markets and legislative issues that affect the retirement plan industry. The committee has built a proprietary selection and quantitative ranking system for reviewing managers, which allows us to offer the best options to our clients.
The committee is also actively engaged in providing custom asset-allocation models and serving as the 3(38) investment manager for the models. SageView has 20 employees dedicated to investment research, 12 of whom are formal voting members of the investment committee, and the remaining eight are additional research analysts.
Lastly, serving those in need has always been a priority for our organization. In 2011, SageView established a charitable foundation whose focus is in two areas: to meet the needs of women and children in crisis by providing health care and education opportunities, and to promote micro-financing initiatives.
BUSINESS AT A GLANCE
Plan assets under advisement: $28 billion
Median plan size (in assets): $13 million
Total plans under advisement: 523
Total participants in plans served: 250,000