Newport Capital Group in Red Bank, New Jersey, winner of the 2016 PLAN- SPONSOR Plan Adviser Large Team of the Year designation, has many strategies in place to onboard and get to know new plan sponsor clients.
The advisory firm believes it is important to “thoroughly understand each
plan sponsor’s goals for its company.” Immediately upon starting with a new
client, the practice sits down with and asks its executives what issues are the
most pressing—both for the company and for individual employees. As Newport
Group puts it, having an “open dialogue during early onboarding sessions” is one
of the keys to long-term retention. It may seem obvious, but having as many of
the initial conversations in person as possible is crucial to establishing rapport.
“Only by assessing the real aims of our clients can we craft a coordinated
retirement strategy that best serves to incent, attract, reward, retain and eventually retire its work force,” says Domenic DiPiero, the firm’s president. Through
this open and in-person dialogue, the adviser may discover that a company is at
risk of losing top talent to a competitor, or that its pension plan’s funding status
is negatively affecting the company’s financial statements, or that the company
has a disproportionate number of older employees who are unable to retire and
are costing the company high health care benefit premiums.
Only once this information is in hand can Newport Capital put its service offerings to work, leveraging in-person service and electronic pathways, such as phone
calls and emails, to assuage the finance department’s constant push to keep retirement benefit costs down while also meeting the human resources (HR) goal of
attracting and retaining the best talent through generous benefits, DiPiero explains.
Drawing on the early, in-person conversations about the goals and challenges of
each employer, the advisory team can make its case for best-practice approaches,
which may include automatic enrollment, re-enrollment and automatic escalation.
In line with Newport Capital’s emphasis on open communication at the onset
of a client relationship, DiPiero says, the firm’s initial process is a “two-way interview” that creates a lasting line of communication with all committee members.
The adviser team’s service model also includes “immediate and ongoing education that consistently engages committee members with topics such as current
best practices, legislative updates and regulatory issues.”
How to make the transition seamless
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