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Top Advisors Weigh In: How Plan Sponsor Needs Have Changed

By FA-IQ Staff October 23, 2019

FA-IQ reached out to retirement-focused advisors ranked on the Financial Times FT 401 list of top advisors to ask:

Over the past five years, what's changed about what plan sponsors want? What's driving that demand and how do you respond?

Here's what they said:

Jamie Greenleaf of Cafaro Greenleaf in Red Bank, N.J. has been in business 27 years and manages $5 billion:

Over the past several years we have seen a shift in how we are viewed. Before, we were retirement consultants that handled the retirement plan.

Today, plan sponsors are looking for partnerships that add value to their P&L and their employees.

As healthcare costs rise, employee demographics change and recruitment and retention become more difficult, employers are reviewing the financial impact of benefits on their organization as well as the employee.

Jamie Greenleaf

It is important that we are able to connect the spend to the outcome.

As benefits continue to be the number-one reason an employee will go to work for an organization, our clients look for ways to be innovative and cost efficient. It is a balancing act and cannot be viewed in a vacuum.

Cafaro Greenleaf has always taken a holistic approach to consulting. Today data and technology are more important than ever before and we don’t see this trend changing.

Jay Laschinger of Alliant Retirement Consulting in Alpharetta, Ga. has been in business 22 years and manages $4 billion:

Over the past five years in particular, our clients have been looking for solutions to address financial wellness-related issues such as student debt, budgeting, insurance needs, and other related issues for their employees. Many surveys have shown how many working Americans are stressed out from financial wellness-related topics. Employees are looking to their employer to help them navigate these challenges. Employers are scrambling to find solutions to satisfy their employees. Employers also know that it is in their best interest to help their employees with these challenges, as it is proven that stress related to financial wellness issues can severely impact their job performance.

Jay Laschinger

One of the things driving this demand is the strong job market we are currently experiencing. With unemployment rates at historic lows, employers are looking for additional ways to recruit and retain good employees in addition to offering their competitive benefits package.

As an independent retirement plan consultant, we are providing consulting on various solutions available in the marketplace to address these financial wellness concerns. There are many different products available in the marketplace and we can vet these options so that our clients can choose the best one for their particular needs. We have worked with our clients to develop custom financial wellness programs tailored to meet the ever-changing needs of their workforce. Ultimately, these programs should help participants and employers meet their respective goals and objectives.

Each week we ask Financial Times-listed Top 300, 400, and 401 Advisors to answer pressing questions on the minds of FAs. Responses have been edited for clarity and concision.

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Tags:  Finding and winning new clients , Client retention , ERISA plans/institutional management , Fees and compensation , Retirement planning , Behavioral finance

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