PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 21

Dyson: I've got one real quick thing. ...
When I do adviser RFPs, the advisers can
bid or the recordkeeper can bid on an
asset-based fee. But I require the adviser
to provide a flat-fee quote.
PA: How important is it to show a track
record of success with other plan sponsors?
What about for someone just
starting out?
" When I do adviser RFPs, the
advisers can bid or the recordkeeper
can bid on an asset-based
fee. But I require the adviser to
provide a flat-fee quote. " -DYSON
Middleton: I think there are many
different ways you can define success.
Or better yet, there's a way to present success. And the way
you present that is through the type of relationship a plan
sponsor can have with you.
For instance, what are the three or four things you'll be
able to help them navigate through to have a successful
retirement plan offering to help their participants potentially
achieve a dignified retirement? Those are the bigger
questions that we'd want to focus attention toward.
Now, if it is an absolutely cold RFP, and you don't have
a relationship with the sponsor, it doesn't really matter.
If you don't feel like you have the references, then that's
probably not the best use of your time. [Clients] that you
can develop, that you have relationships with, or clients
where you've got centers of influence or contacts that can
speak on your character and on your ability to be a good
advocate for sponsors, those are probably the better opportunities
to pursue.
[It's also good] to focus on things that are local. There
are RFPs all over the country. But focus on your backyard.
You'd be amazed at how many opportunities are right
there, and, as your practice evolves, then some of those
other opportunities will come up.
If you're part of a larger organization, you do benefit from
having the reference list of a firm that's got 4,000 institutional
clients. Not everybody is like that. But people can still
have extremely successful outcomes with RFP engagement
and have tremendous practices that they develop.
Dyson: I've seen case studies make the difference in
winning or losing. But I want to elaborate that the case
study has to be very specific. If the adviser says, " We have a
plan similar to yours where we did an education campaign,
and we increased enrollment by 10%, " that's not what I'm
talking about.
The adviser needs to say something more like " We work
with a manufacturing firm with three different state locations-in
Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska-and their population
is about 1,700 people. " The more specific the example
is, the more it becomes real to the plan sponsor, and that
makes a huge difference.
Also, every adviser firm needs to come up with an
answer that's different from everybody else's. ... If you
write an answer and anybody else can say it, then that
is not the right answer. If you say, " Our difference is our
people, our passion and our process, " that's something that
every other firm can say, as well-so that's no good.
I'll give a very specific example of a local boutique shop
here. Several of the advisers came from recordkeepers, and
they said, " We are different because we came from recordkeepers.
That's where most of your administrative problems
are, and we understand that better than anyone else. "
That would be difficult for most adviser firms to say they
are like that, [so it made them stand out].
So I give that example. But your answer has to be as
different as you can possibly make it.
Middleton: I would just add that advisers cannot be RFPcurious;
they have to be disciplined, not only for how they
engage [with RFPs] but how they respond to them as well.
[An RFP] is the price of admission to get to the finals now.
If advisers aren't committed to spending the time it
takes to fully vet, understand, plan and respond to an
RFP, it's not going to pass. ... RFP engagement shouldn't
be based on hope. It's something advisers need to be very
disciplined about and to be very focused on.
Eric Dyson is the executive director of his own company,
RFP 401k Advisor in Plano, Texas. He provides consulting
services in conducting ERISA adviser searches and RFPs
for plan sponsors and will provide expert witness services;
he will serve as an ERISA plan committee member. He has
28 years experience in financial services, the majority of
which have been as an ERISA adviser. He has served as
an ERISA 3(21) adviser and an ERISA 3(38) adviser aiding
clients on defined contribution plans and defined benefit
plans, ERISA or non-ERISA.
Greg Middleton is senior director, marketing, adviser group
at CAPTRUST in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is responsible for
the department's marketing operations; sales enablement
and business development support
function; conference
and event support; and overall program and initiative execution.
In his two decades at CAPTRUST, he has held multiple
roles within the adviser support group and marketing teams
focused on a broad array of financial adviser growth, service
and practice management needs, in addition to developing,
supporting and enhancing the CAPTRUST brand.
Plan Management | Winter 2023 | 21

PLANADVISER - Winter 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANADVISER - Winter 2023

Publisher’s Note
Just the Facts
On the Move
Nuts & Bolts
What’s Next?
Best Foot Forward
2023 PLANADVISER National Conference
Cybersecurity Conference
Let It Ride
Cultivating Connections
The Risks of Custom TDFs
Managed Account Services
Be Sure They Get the Message
End Paper
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Cover1
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - FC1
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - FC2
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Cover2
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 1
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Publisher’s Note
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 3
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Just the Facts
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 5
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 6
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 7
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - On the Move
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 9
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 10
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 11
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Nuts & Bolts
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 13
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - What’s Next?
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 15
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 16
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 17
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 18
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Best Foot Forward
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 20
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 21
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 2023 PLANADVISER National Conference
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 23
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 24
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 25
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Cybersecurity Conference
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 27
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Let It Ride
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 29
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 30
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 31
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Cultivating Connections
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 33
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - The Risks of Custom TDFs
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 35
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Managed Account Services
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - 37
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - People-Savvy
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Be Sure They Get the Message
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - End Paper
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Cover3
PLANADVISER - Winter 2023 - Cover4