PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 36

growing your practice / RFPs
The Evolving Use of RFPs
E
ffectively filling out a plan sponsor's request for
proposals has become table stakes for plan advisers
in recent years, as sponsors increasingly rely on these
documents to select finalists to interview.
" In terms of winning new business, 10 years ago it was
15% to 20% through RFPs, " says Chris Donnelly, head of
the national RFP team in his role as chief advisory services
officer at SageView Advisory Group in Newport Beach,
California. " Now it's close to 60% from RFPs, and I think
that trend's going to continue in the future, as more plan
sponsors want that record of due diligence on whom they
hired and why they hired them. "
Sources say, in the past few months, the volume of RFPs
has increased substantially, as organizations that have put
off the process during the pandemic begin to ramp back up.
" In addition to new RFPs, we have companies revisiting
the responses we sent two years ago and asking us about
those, " says Donnelly, whose firm's institutional clients
have an average size of about $100 million in plan assets.
As the RFP process has become a more integral component
of growing an adviser's business, plan sponsors also are
requiring more work from advisers who want to stand out
and make it to the finals. That trend has accelerated as
consolidation has been reducing the number of providers and
increasing the competition among those that remain.
The volume has increased, as has what advisers must do to make the finals
Evaluating Opportunities
As RFPs become more common, a challenge for advisers has
been separating a true opportunity for business from the
plan sponsor that is simply sending out RFPs to benchmark
its existing adviser.
" Being able to qualify opportunities early on is important, "
says Greg Middleton, a senior director with CAPTRUST in
Raleigh, North Carolina. " Because, otherwise, no matter
how much time and energy you put into the RFP, you're not
going to move the needle, and it's just going to become a
distraction. "
To qualify leads, Middleton says, it is important to
connect with the plan sponsor and learn more about its
needs. This can also help lead to a better RFP response.
" [A prospect's] needs aren't always flushed out in the
RFP document, so communicating with [the organization]
upfront by phone or email helps us get better information
to customize our response, " Donnelly says. " If it's not open
to a conversation about why it's doing the project and what
it's looking for, then we have to ask whether this is a real
opportunity. "
Such conversations can also help the firm build a
relationship with a prospect-especially prospects in the
private sector-which can improve the adviser's odds of
making the finals, Donnelly says. That is because it can be
36 | planadviser.com March-April 2022
Art by OYOW
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PLANADVISER - March/April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANADVISER - March/April 2022

A Digital Divide
Staying Power
The Prospects of Staying Virtual
Another Retention Tool
Is It Time to Let Go?
The Evolving Use of RFPs
Best Interest Reasons For a Rollover
Guaranteed Lifetime Income
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - C1
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - FC1
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - FC2
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - C2
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 1
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 2
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 3
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 4
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 5
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 6
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 7
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 8
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 9
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 10
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 11
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 12
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 13
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 14
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 15
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 16
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 17
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - A Digital Divide
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 19
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 20
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 21
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 22
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 23
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - Staying Power
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 25
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 26
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 27
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 28
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 29
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - The Prospects of Staying Virtual
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 31
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - Another Retention Tool
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 33
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - Is It Time to Let Go?
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 35
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - The Evolving Use of RFPs
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 37
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 38
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - Best Interest Reasons For a Rollover
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - Guaranteed Lifetime Income
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - C3
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - C4
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