Strategic Benefits Advisors Inc. (SBA) has launched the Arm’s-Length Vendor Search, a service designed to help organizations make informed decisions about hiring and retaining benefit plan administrators, recordkeepers and other third-party service providers when travel restrictions or budgetary constraints preclude in-person assessments of prospective vendors.
Procurement policies require many plan sponsors to issue a request for proposals (RFPs) on a regular schedule or as contracts with existing service providers expire. For others, vendor searches represent an opportunity to resolve benefit administration challenges and negotiate more favorable pricing for outsourced services.
“Plan sponsors don’t want to put search projects on hold, but they’re unsure how to proceed in the current climate,” says SBA Founding Principal Andy Adams. “We are pleased to provide an elegant, cost-effective solution to this market need. We call it Arm’s-Length Vendor Search not only because it can be done remotely, but also because it eliminates conflicts of interest that occur when searches are performed by parties that earn referral commissions or have an interest in bidding for the same services they are evaluating. These remote searches can achieve everything a traditional search provides, enabling plan sponsors to select vendors with confidence.”
SBA performs vendor searches for a range of outsourced employee benefit services, including defined benefit (DB) plan administration, 401(k) plan recordkeeping, health and welfare plan administration, financial wellness services, actuarial services and investment advisers.
According to Adams, Arm’s-Length Vendor Search engagements start at $25,000 depending on the nature and scope of the plan sponsor’s request.