PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 18

Industry Leaders
Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year
Community Impact and Giving Back
George Fraser
Fraser Group at RBG
Scottsdale, Arizona
PLANADVISER: How is your team/process/structure unique?
George Fraser: My team structure and process are unique
in that we don't currently, nor have we in the past, handled
personal wealth management business. We specialize in
company 401(k) and nonprofit 403(b) retirement plans. We
provide personalized financial planning but are not compensated
above and beyond our fees for the retirement plan.
We break down our business into simple components,
all based on a quote from Maya Angelou: " People may forget
what you said, people may forget what you did, but people
will never forget the way you made them feel. "
Simply put, we do all the " stuff " everyone else does. We
act as 3(21) fiduciaries, provide plan governance, have quarterly
plan investment reviews and, most importantly, create
excellent plan design. Our work for participants is where we
shine. We provide group and one-on-one meetings on an
ongoing basis. One of our accounts has 55 locations in six
states, and we've been to every one of those locations twice
a year for the past 18 years, providing education and service.
The cornerstone of retirement financial security for most
Americans is the monthly payment they'll receive from Social
Security, and 73% of Americans leave money on the table. A
primary focus of our education is to make sure every team
member has a strategy to maximize this benefit. Multiple
providers have shared that at least 92% of the average
65-year-olds in their book of business have less than $60,000
in their plan account. This along with their Social Security
benefit still requires many to consider working in retirement.
I've been sharing with participants options for a better retirement
life, using their hobbies or assets to create income and
allow them to have a more hopeful retirement. Imagine the
hugs I receive from participants who felt like their options
were limited and I've just told them they could, in the words
of Henry David Thoreau, " live the life you've imagined. "
Community Impact and Giving Back Finalists
* Ken Catanella, UBS Financial Services, Philadelphia,
* Christopher Jamail, TCG - Trusted Capital Group,
Austin, Texas
* Kathleen Kelly, Compass Financial Partners, a
Marsh McLennan Agency company, Greensboro,
North Carolina
* Renee Scherzer, 401K Resources, Scottsdale, Arizona
PA: What challenges does the retirement plan industry
face, and what role do you have in addressing them?
Fraser: I believe the retirement plan industry needs to wholeheartedly
refocus on participant outcomes and simplifying
the way we educate. My work regarding " Social Security as
a winning lottery ticket, " " Pennies on the DollarĀ®
" [recent
research published out of UCLA] and " Retirement Life Hacks "
are all steps in the right direction. I'm honored to be working
with Shlomo Benartzi and his team on a pilot research
project about decumulation that I believe is the next, and
very important, piece of the retirement puzzle.
PA: What is an important experience you've had getting
involved in your local, regional or global community?
Fraser: My first experience with Region 9 Head Start was
with the Foundation for Early Childhood Education, in
El Monte, California. I was one of several advisers being
presented to enhance the service and reduce the cost on
their 403(b) plan. I went to the meeting with my plan to
educate and inspire the committee and share with it how
I could improve the plan. Instead, I left, educated and
inspired about the wonderful work that the organization
conducts each and every day for children and families in
need. This interaction ultimately led to my meeting with
the executive director for all of Region 9, encompassing
Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.
From this meeting, the idea of a scholarship program was
conceived, and, thanks to my generous colleagues in the
financial industry, we're on track to nearly $250,000 after
only four years of the program.
PA: What advice can you give your industry peers about
developing a successful philanthropic or charitable vision
for a firm?
Fraser: My first interaction with Region 9 Head Start was
about winning a new retirement plan account. It ultimately
became unimportant based on the immense satisfaction
one feels helping those who are less fortunate.
It seems our business is about creating wealth-often
about creating more wealth for people who are already
wealthy! As one of my CFOs [chief financial officers] succinctly
put it, " You can have a wonderful life and not necessarily be
wealthy; it's about the contributions you make to society. "
The work with Head Start has been life-changing, and I
recommend to all my colleagues to take the time and find
those who need a lift up. In the end, you'll get the same lift!
18 | May-June 2022

PLANADVISER -May/June 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANADVISER -May/June 2022

PLANADVISER Industry Leaders Awards
Paving the Way
2022 DCIO Survey
Fool's Gold for 401(k)s?
Design and Stability
A Collective Effort
Cryptocurrency In DC Plans
Real Estate Fund Investments
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Cover1
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Cover2
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PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 9
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - PLANADVISER Industry Leaders Awards
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PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 19
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Paving the Way
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PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 23
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 2022 DCIO Survey
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PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Fool's Gold for 401(k)s?
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 31
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PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 33
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Design and Stability
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 35
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - A Collective Effort
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 37
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 38
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Cryptocurrency In DC Plans
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Real Estate Fund Investments
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Cover3
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Cover4