PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 30

managing relationships / participants
they believe their current financial situation warrants
advice, up from 50% last year.
New Revenue Streams
The shift toward advice has also created a growing revenue
stream that has helped plan advisers offset the fee compression
they have experienced on the plan-design and fundselection
sides of the business. Sources advise, however,
that it also requires careful conversations with the sponsor
to level-set expectations about how and when the adviser
might cross-sell services to participants.
When advisers do a good job of building their relationships
with participants
through in-plan services, they
do not need to engage in hard-sell tactics, observes Jason
Chepenik, senior vice president for retirement and wealth
with OneDigital Retirement Services in Orlando, Florida.
Establishing one's brand as a trusted source of financial
services is a sales generator in and of itself, he says.
" We're not hard selling, " Chepenik says. " We're just
making available the fact that we're here as consultants, and
we can help you with your 401(k) plan. If there are things we
do outside of the plan, that's a separate agreement between
us and the client directly.
" It could be them, or it could be their family member or
their kids or someone else they know that needs assistance, "
he continues. " You're not really harvesting the plan, you're
just working with the participants and proving your value. "
FinDec takes a similar approach, concentrating on
providing the best advice to clients and allowing sales to
happen organically based on that good service, says Tolen
Teigen, the firm's chief investment officer (CIO), in Stockton,
California.
Still, working with participants via their 401(k) plan has
been a boon to FinDec's individual client business.
" Most of the time, that's where people are going to get
their exposure [to a financial services firm], " Teigen says.
" They're not getting advice from someone else. When you
have most of your money with one company, and you see
people from that company coming through the door and
offering advice, you get to know them. It's really a natural
handoff from the 401(k) conversation to personal assets. "
Delivering Value
When financial wellness creates better individual
outcomes, that reinforces the value of the plan with the
plan sponsor as well.
" At committee meetings, we always tell a personal story
about how we helped an individual in the plan, " Chepenik
says. " The committees enjoy hearing about it, and that
helps them see our impact, rather than just looking at
statistics about how money is rolling in or out of the plan. "
Introducing a new financial wellness program or advice
offerings to a plan is easier when a plan adviser already has
a good relationship with the plan sponsor, says Jean Duffy,
senior vice president and financial adviser at CAPTRUST,
also in Des Moines.
" When that level of trust is already there, plan sponsors
will understand that I'm acting in their best interest and in
the participants' best interest, " she says. " They know, when
I bring something to the table, I'm doing it for the good of
both the plan participant and the sponsor. "
Such relationships take more time with new clients,
and, Duffy says, it is helpful to emphasize the plan adviser's
role as a fiduciary, whether he is giving advice to the
plan sponsor or to the participants. That could mean, for
example, that even if the sponsor's goal is to have separating
participants remain in the plan, she might advise
them to roll their money over, if that was in their best
interest. Or vice versa.
" It means a lot to plan sponsors that we are independent
and objective, " she adds.
If plan participants approach Duffy about purchasing
additional services from CAPTRUST, she will
know what types of services the firm offers and how much
those might cost. " I'll explain that 'we are one option, but I
want you to talk to other people, as well,' " she says.
Gene Silverman, head of retirement plan services with
UBS Wealth Management USA in Montclair, New Jersey,
says his firm takes on fiduciary status when providing
investment advisory services to plan sponsors.
" It's all about the plan's best interest and the participants'
best interest, " he says. " We don't solicit participants
in plans. We provide education, and some employees may
want to have individual conversations because we've established
trust. If we do a good job in the course of providing
financial education, participants may engage us for additional
support. "
The Role of Recordkeepers
In cases where recordkeepers also offer participant advice
or planning services, it is even more important for all
parties to work together to make sure they offer comprehensive
benefits in a way that makes the most sense for
the participant.
" You have to figure out where the plan sponsor sits,
where the adviser sits, and how much the recordkeeper
can help, " Morris says. " Some employers don't want anyone
selling anything to the individuals in their plan, but others
see value in the service that helps their participants. That
feels different than if you're just selling to them, but it's a
fine line in this industry. "
When it comes to plan participant relationships with
advisers, Joe Smolen, senior vice president, core market,
at Empower Retirement in Parker, Colorado, says he typically
sees three models: 1) The adviser has the resources
to deliver advice and other services at scale and takes the
lead in doing so; 2) The adviser does not offer such services,
or does not offer them at scale, and relies on the recordkeeper
to provide them; and 3) The adviser uses a hybrid
model that involves a partnership between himself and
the recordkeeper.
Sources say, for a successful relationship with both
the plan sponsor and participants, plan advisers need to
clearly set expectations upfront and reopen the dialogue if
let them
30 | planadviser.com September-October 2021
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PLANADVISER - September/October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANADVISER - September/October 2021

Masterminds of the Plan
"PLANADVISER’s 2021 Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers"
How to Optimize Connections
Defining Roles
Building Strategic Partnerships
Different Strokes
Cybersecurity Considerations
Provider Recommendations
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cover1
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cover2
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 1
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 2
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 3
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 4
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 5
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 6
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 7
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 8
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 9
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 10
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 11
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 12
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 13
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 14
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 15
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 16
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 17
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Masterminds of the Plan
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 19
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 20
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 21
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - "PLANADVISER’s 2021 Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers"
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 23
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 24
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 25
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 26
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 27
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - How to Optimize Connections
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 29
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 30
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 31
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Defining Roles
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 33
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Building Strategic Partnerships
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 35
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Different Strokes
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 37
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cybersecurity Considerations
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Provider Recommendations
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 40
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cover3
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cover4
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