George Castineiras, senior vice president of Client Relations and Business Development for Prudential Retirement, said the key to the new system is to assign collective service responsibility for a book of 40 to 50 plans to a group of three or four rather than to a single relationship manager as has historically been the case.
By assigning a leader and two or three direct reports to that leader – all of whom are held jointly accountable – Castineiras told PLANSPONSOR in an interview that clients should benefit from having a broader range of expertise and diversity of thought utilized to meet their needs. He said the new system should also be more scalable as the size of the business changes.
“If all we did was to say (to relationship managers), ‘You have these 20 clients’ and ‘You have these 20 clients,’ we didn’t solve very much at all,” Castineiras said
Castineiras said the new alignment, which Prudential hopes to have rolled out by year-end, will find five teams servicing East Coast clients, and another five focusing on clients in the Midwest and on the West Coast. Exact team locations and specific personnel assignments are still being finalized, he said.
Castineiras said he anticipated a “small” reduction in staff as a result of the changes as well as the need to relocate some employees to other offices, but that those details also have yet to be worked out.
He explained that clients with roughly $20 million in assets and up will get assigned to one of the new teams and that smaller Prudential plans – which presumably have less-complex needs – will remain in the current client service system. “We just didn’t see any need to make any changes to that (smaller client) group,” he said.