PA: How is your team/process/structure unique?
Compass Financial Partners: At Compass Financial Partners, we know we’re not the only firm offering retirement plan consulting to plan sponsors across the U.S. But while other firms may offer a similar list of services, we believe that who we are and how we operate sets us apart. As highly credentialed experts with a seasoned history of helping clients retire confidently, we have earned the trust and respect of our clients and have established ourselves as recognized thought leaders in the retirement plan industry. Our team synchronizes goals across plan design, investments, communications and administrative support to create optimal outcomes for our clients.
PA: Describe any particularly noteworthy investment initiatives you have led with your customer base in the past 12 months.
CFP: Our investment process is formalized by our internal chartered financial analysts (CFAs), as we believe that having the experience and expertise of highly credentialed staff within our firm lends greatly to the depth, breadth and relevancy of our investment consulting services. Most importantly, our clients appreciate and enjoy the commentary we are able to deliver because of our internal bench strength. Through our “boots on the ground” due diligence efforts over the past 12 months, our CFAs completed investment manager due diligence meetings, traveling to fund headquarters from San Francisco to New York and meeting with portfolio managers directly. In addition, our team attended investment manager conferences and hosted countless conference calls directly with fund investment management teams. This enabled us to provide direct insights and recommendations to our clients where most firms rely on third-party information sources only.
PA: Please describe any special education or communication initiatives you’ve undertaken with plan sponsors or participants.
CFP: In August, we announced our partnership with Financial Finesse, the nation’s leading provider of unbiased workplace financial wellness programs, to provide our clients with enhanced, comprehensive financial wellness programs designed to help employees better save and invest for retirement.
Through this partnership, we have expanded our capabilities to provide retirement plan participants with robust financial wellness programs and content specifically designed to increase the amount employees defer into the retirement plan; to improve investing behaviors; and to reduce plan leakage such as from plan loans and hardship withdrawals. Our partnership enables us to provide Financial Finesse’s financial education, which earned the 2012 Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of American Signature Award, to our clients at a discount; this enables them to scale their programs with additional nationwide, phone-based financial coaching, customized benefits-
planning platforms and one-on-one financial planning sessions for employees facing serious financial hardship.
PA: What are the most important issues your plan sponsors face with their company retirement plan, and what specific actions do you take to assist them in overcoming those issues?
CFP: The most important issue that plan sponsors face is the potential for their employees to not be able to retire on their own terms. Maximum impact can only be achieved when all parties in an organization’s retirement plan work together as one cohesive team.
From investment selection to participant education to fiduciary support, our teams’ specialists work together to maximize each plan, enabling clients and their participants to have the best resources to achieve retirement readiness. By building on the foundation of our internal bench strength, we collaborate with each plan’s external partners to enhance the experience and level of service received. We believe that thoughtful plan design, coupled with a measured strategic participant communications program, can effectively push the needle to achieve successful outcomes.
BUSINESS AT A GLANCE
PLAN ASSETS UNDER ADVISEMENT: $5.1 billion
MEDIAN PLAN SIZE (IN ASSETS): $13.9 million
TOTAL PLANS UNDER ADVISEMENT: 92
TOTAL PARTICIPANTS IN PLANS SERVED: 76,000