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401(k) Fridays Podcast

The 401(k) Fridays Podcast features a weekly conversation with an expert guest to help employers and their service partners keep up with workplace retirement plan topics and trends. Listen today, improve your retirement plan tomorrow!
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Feb 3, 2023

Bonds, or fixed income investments did not have a great year in 2022 to say the least. The big question is now what? To delve into that, I am excited to have Michael J. Collins, CFA, and Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager for Core, Core Plus, Absolute Return, and other Multi-Sector Fixed Income strategies at PGIM. We start with commentaries on performance, then move to interest rates, different areas of the bond market and most importantly, what, if anything plan sponsors should be doing in their 401(k) or workplace retirement plans. Also, Michael mentions the graph below, you'll have to listen to get the proper perspective. That’s it, I hope you enjoy!

Guest BIo

Michael J. Collins, CFA, is a Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager for Core, Core Plus, Absolute Return, and other Multi-Sector Fixed Income strategies. Previously, Mr. Collins was a High Yield Portfolio Manager and Fixed Income Investment Strategist. Earlier he was a credit research analyst, covering investment grade and high yield corporate credits. Additionally, he developed proprietary quantitative international interest rate and currency valuation models for our global bond unit. Mr. Collins began his career at the Firm in 1986 as a software applications designer. He received a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from Binghamton University and an MBA in Finance from New York University. Mr. Collins holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (FLMI). He currently serves as the Treasurer on the Board of CEA, a non-profit that provides education and employment for people with disabilities.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 250 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode every other Friday!

Jan 20, 2023

If you are at all involved with workplace retirement plans, you would have to have been living under a rock to have not heard about SECURE 2.0. It is a hot topic, while also ambitious and even confusing. With all those factors, I couldn’t think of a better person to join me to wade through all this than Alison Cohen, Partner at the Ferenczy Benefits Law Center. We do cover a lot ground today so get ready. Also, while there has been a lot announced, keep in mind many new provisions don’t go into affect for one or more years and we still will need guidance from the IRS or others to answer many basic and logical questions.

 

Guest Bio

Alison J. Cohen, J.D., APA, APR is a Partner with Ferenczy Benefits Law Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She advises clients on many issues related to qualified retirement plans, including design, mergers and acquisitions, audits, and operational issues. Alison commonly works with clients that have operational issues to guide them through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and/or Department of Labor (DOL) corrective programs, prepare corrective filings, and prepare and support clients through an audit conducted by the IRS and/or DOL.

Alison is a member of the Georgia and California State Bars. Prior to joining Ferenczy Benefits Law Center, Alison worked at a large bundled service provider for nearly 16 years as an Associate Vice President, Compliance Manager and Regulatory Liaison. As part of her responsibilities there, Alison served as a national speaker on audit and correction issues. She served on the Employee Plans Subcommittee of the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax-Exempt and Governmental Entities (ACT).

Alison has been actively involved with the National Institute of Pension Administration (NIPA) serving as a speaker, author, and developer/teacher. In 2019, Alison received NIPA’s Excellence in Education Award, which recognizes outstanding educators within the national membership who have made significant contributions and improvements to NIPA’s educational programs. Alison holds designations as an Accredited Pension Administrator (APA) and an Accredited Pension Representative (APR) from NIPA.  Alison is the former first President and an active member of the Pension Education Council of Atlanta (PECA). Alison is a co-author of The Plan Correction eSource and in 2019 she also assumed co-authorship of ERISA: A Comprehensive Guide. Alison speaks frequently on qualified retirement plan topics and issues, bringing a sense of humor and practical solutions to clients, colleagues, and industry professionals.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 250 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode every other Friday!

Dec 16, 2022

Here we go with a 401(k) Friday’s Podcast first, three guests and a great topic. Today we dive into the recent announcement that three major recordkeepers are launching the Portability Services Network. Joining me to discuss what this means is Dave Gray from Fidelity, Greg Long from Alight and Steve Holman from Vanguard. We tackle what is an automatic rollover, the problems it solves for employees and employers, how it works and whether the DOL and others think this is a good idea. This could have been a disaster having three guests, each with a lot to say, but it turned out well. I hope you enjoy!

 

Guest Bios

Dave Gray is a member of the Workplace Investing Executive Management Team and serves as the Head of Workplace Retirement Platforms, Workplace Investing for Fidelity. Dave leads Fidelity’s defined contribution and multi-product platform and product development teams across sites in the US, India, and Ireland. The teams are responsible for developing and managing market-leading solutions and customer experiences and the continuous modernization of the Workplace Retirement platforms, leveraging cloud technologies. Dave also has principal responsibility for next generation defined contribution plan innovation, notably digital assets and the blockchain. In addition, Dave was appointed to the Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council. 

Prior to joining Fidelity, he worked at Charles Schwab where he served as a member of Schwab’s Retirement Plan Services executive leadership team responsible for client experience, product management, and business strategy. Previously, Dave served as a Vice President at Standard Insurance Retirement Services where he built and led the client relationship management organization, and earlier as a member of Invesmart’s executive team responsible for general management of the retirement plan business. 

Dave earned a Bachelor of Arts from Tennessee Temple University. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24, and 66 licenses. 

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 225 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode every other Friday!

Dec 9, 2022

It’s been a little while since we tackled financial wellness, there has been a lot going on in that area so I was glad to be able to connect with Brent Hines, the co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the educational non-profit, Foundation for Financial Wellness. The Foundation’s mission is to improve people’s lives by empowering them with the knowledge and the motivation to take control of their financial lives. During our conversation, we compare definitions of financial wellness, talk about how to design and deliver effective programs with employers and discuss training and certification programs for employers and the industry.

 

For additional information we discussed in the episode, here is the link for Brent's Tedx Talk and the Financial Wellness Professional Certification program. 

 

Great stuff, and I hope you enjoy!

 

Guest Bio

Brent Hines is the co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the educational non-profit, Foundation for Financial Wellness. The Foundation’s mission is to improve people’s lives by empowering them with the knowledge and the motivation to take control of their financial lives.  The Foundation’s curriculum is rooted in the principles of Behavioral Finance which makes every class topic taught by the Foundation unique, innovative, and extremely valuable.

Brent’s vision has led to the expansion of the Foundation’s curriculum, delivery, and effectiveness.  Some of today’s most popular class topics are budgeting, debt elimination, insurance, investments, retirement, taxes, and life & legacy planning.

Brent regularly delivers keynote addresses on behalf of The Foundation for Financial Wellness, bringing motivational presentations to corporations, workforce boards, churches, groups, and associations offering real-world financial solutions to thousands of individuals and the organizations of which they are members.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 250 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode every other Friday!

Nov 4, 2022

Every now and then you have a guest that like Prince, or Cher, that simply needs one name to know who they are. Today, I am happy to welcome Shlomo, more formally known as Dr. Shlomo Benartzi, Professor Emeritus, UCLA Anderson, Founder and CEO, PensionPlus. We dive into the compelling and complex topic of the good, the bad and the ugly of auto everything in retirement plans. As implied, auto features are powerful, but may or may not be the best solutions to everything. Love to hear what you agree or disagree with, please share and leave your comments on LinkedIn. I learned a lot, hope you do as well!

 

Guest Bio

Shlomo Benartzi is a behavioral economist interested in combining the insights of psychology and economics to solve big societal problems. He works on creating digital nudges that leverage technology to achieve massive scale and help millions make better financial decisions. He received a Ph.D. from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and is currently a professor emeritus and co-founder of the Behavioral Decision-Making Group at UCLA Anderson School of Management. He is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Wharton Behavior Change for Good Initiative.

 

Benartzi’s work has demonstrated the potential for far-reaching improvement. Along with Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago, he pioneered the Save More Tomorrow™ (SMarT) program, a behavioral prescription designed to nudge employees to increase their savings rates gradually over time. In their original research, Benartzi and Thaler found that SMarT increased employee savings rates from 3.5 percent to 13.6 percent. The SMarT program is now offered by more than half of the large retirement plans in the U.S. and a growing number of plans in Australia and the U.K. The program has also been incorporated into the Pension Protection Act of 2006, enabling approximately 15 million Americans to boost their retirement savings.

 

To help bridge the gap between academic research and the real world, Benartzi has worked with many financial institutions and served on multiple advisory boards. He is currently a senior academic advisor for the Voya Behavioral Finance Institute for Innovation, Acorns, Blast, Lili, Personal Capital and Wisdom Tree.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 250 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode every other Friday!

Oct 21, 2022

I am happy to welcome back another guest who seemingly had predictive powers in prior episodes to briefly reflect on that prediction and give his crystal ball another look. Joining me is Jason Roberts, CEO of Pension Resource Institute and Retirement Law Group and managing partner at Group Plan Systems. Jason also shares input on evaluating some services plan sponsors use that are tougher to compare than say a large cap growth fund. Lot’s of food for thought today, I hope you get as much out of the conversation as I did. 

 

Coming up on the podcast, we are going to delve into the conversation of whether auto everything works in retirement plans, check in on the markets and economy and much more. If you have ideas for a future guest or topic, please send me a message on LInkedIn and we will take it from there. 

 

Guest BIo

Jason C. Roberts is an attorney who focuses on the intersection of tax, ERISA and securities laws and regulations.  He is the founder and CEO of Pension Resource Institute, LLC (PRI) – a consulting firm that helps banks, broker-dealers and investment advisers with compliance, training and practice management focused on serving retirement investors.  Jason is also the founder and managing partner of Retirement Law Group (RLG) – a law firm for plan sponsors, investment professionals and service providers concerning all aspects of retirement-related products and services – and a founder and managing member of Group Plan Systems (GPG) – a professional, independent fiduciary services organization that administers and serves as a “named fiduciary” for employer-sponsored retirement plans.

 

Prior to founding PRI, RLG and GPS, Jason was a partner and co-chair of the Financial Services Group at a leading ERISA law firm and the head of the Investment Fiduciary practice for a national securities law firm.

 

Jason has published numerous articles focusing on ERISA and securities compliance, fiduciary best practices and is a frequent speaker at retirement plan and financial industry conferences. He is a contributing author and faculty member for the Practicing Law Institute, has been repeatedly recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential in Defined Contribution” by the 401(k) Wire and a “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers Magazine.  Jason was also selected by InvestmentNews as one of the “Top 40 Advisors & Associated Professionals under 40” and was tapped by the Wall Street Journal for its Ask the Experts series, answering readers’ questions relating to Department of Labor Fiduciary Regulations.

 

Jason received his B.S.B.A in Finance and Banking from the University of Missouri and his J.D. from UCLA Law School.

 

Outside of work, you can find Jason fishing offshore, gardening, tending a wide range fresh citrus in his grove, cooking, and spending time with his wife, Val, and children, Lola and Spencer.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 225 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode every other Friday!

Oct 7, 2022

If you hadn’t noticed, 2022 hasn’t produced the best results in the financial markets. The questions on everyone’s mind are how did we get here and what’s next? To delve into those and many other questions I am happy to welcome back Rich Weiss, Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer overseeing the Multi-Asset Strategies Division at American Century Investments. Personally, I’m glad we were able to pry him away from CNBC, Bloomberg TV or Fox Business News to share his timely insights! A quick warning, everything we discuss is not puppy dogs and rose petals. I strongly believe in workplace retirement plans, the power of dollar cost averaging, and the long term health of the market. However, these are challenging and unique times in the market and the economy. I felt steering into some of that would be worthwhile.

 

If you have been enjoying the podcast, please leave a rating or review on your favorite podcast app, that helps the infamous algorithms and grows the audience. Enjoy! 

 

Guest Bio

Richard Weiss is senior vice president and chief investment officer, Multi-Asset Strategies for American Century Investments.

Mr. Weiss oversees the team that manages the firm's multi-asset strategies, including the One Choice (Target Risk and Target Date) Portfolios®, Strategic Allocation and investments offered in the Learning Quest® 529 Education Savings Program. He also serves as a member of the American Century Investments Asset Allocation Committee, which is responsible for establishing investment policy and reviewing investment decisions for all of the firm's multi-asset products.

Prior to joining the firm in 2010, Mr. Weiss was executive vice president and chief investment officer of City National Bank, where he was responsible for the bank's investment management group and directed investment policy and strategy. Previously, he was executive vice president and chief investment officer at Sanwa Bank California, where he managed all aspects of their investment department. Earlier in his career, Mr. Weiss held senior investment positions at Vantage Global Advisors, TSA Capital Management, PaineWebber and Mellon Bank.

An investment veteran with over 35 years of experience, Mr. Weiss holds a bachelor's degree in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He has authored several academic papers and is well known for his advanced work in the field of global investing. Mr. Weiss is also a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg Television, Fox Business and Bloomberg Radio.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 225 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode every other Friday!

Sep 23, 2022

Today, I am excited to launch the fall series of episodes and we start with stable value investments. My guest is Steve Horner, CFA and Portfolio Manager in the Corporate and Tax-Exempt Credit group within Fixed Income at Putnam Investments. With the historic interest rate hikes, surging bond yields and talk of recession Steve shares what all this means for stable value funds. We also hit on some of the basics around what a stable value fund is, how they work and a few tips to evaluate and understand what is going on under the surface. We also delve into some more technical elements like wrap insurance and put provisions. Good stuff, I learned a lot and hope you do as well!

Guest Bio

Mr. Horner is a Portfolio Manager in the Corporate and Tax-Exempt Credit group within Fixed Income,focusing on Putnam's Stable Value portfolios. He manages stable value, general account insurance, structured investment-grade, absolute return, and multi-sector fixed-income portfolios. Mr. Horner is responsible for portfolio construction, fiduciary oversight, and the communication of investment team decisions on policy, strategy, and tactics to Putnam's fixed income clients. He joined Putnam in 1997 and has been in the investment industry since 1991.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 225 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode every other Friday!

Jul 8, 2022

This week, we tackle M&A Mania in the retirement space. My guest is Dick Darian, Founding Partner of the Wise Rhino Group, a firm dedicated to working with both buyers and sellers in the retirement market. We hit on what he sees coming in the M&A market after a torrid pace for the last several years. We also cover the what Dick sees as the driving forces behind the M&A activity that are of interest for both employers and the broader retirement industry alike. Dick also makes some controversial comments that everyone should find of interest. Great stuff and I hope you enjoy!

 

Guest Bio

Dick Darian leads Wise Rhino Group's work with clients on valuation, sell and buy-side execution, pre and post-sale strategy, as well as buy/sell/merger or affiliate strategies. His unique macro analysis and foresight in the retirement industry have him featured often in well-known industry publications.

 

Dick lives in Charleston SC with his wife Mary and various four-legged friends. He enjoys spending time with family above all, especially his five grandchildren. Since relocating from the New York area in 2017, he has begun working with The College of Charleston assisting with classes within the business school's entrepreneurial program.

Dick’s interests beyond family and business include traveling, reading, sports, and music.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 225 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Jun 24, 2022

This week, we tackle a timely topic straight out of the headlines, Bitcoin or Digital assets and 401(k) plans. Joining me is Dave Gray, the Head of Workplace Retirement Platforms & Workplace Investing for Fidelity. We cover all the topics you would expect like why Bitcoin, why 401(k) plans, how can plan sponsors evaluate the whether Bitcoin makes sense for them and a fairly detailed breakdown of the recent DOL Compliance Assistance Release or CAR addressing Bitcoin in workplace retirement plans. We covered a ton of ground, I learned a lot, hoping you do as well. If we missed something, shoot me a note on LinkedIn and we can follow-up. Enjoy!

Guest Bio

Dave Gray is a member of the Workplace Investing Executive Management Team and serves as the Head of Workplace Retirement Platforms, Workplace Investing for Fidelity. Dave leads Fidelity’s defined contribution and multi-product platform and product development teams across sites in the US, India, and Ireland. The teams are responsible for developing and managing market-leading solutions and customer experiences and the continuous modernization of the Workplace Retirement platforms, leveraging cloud technologies. Dave also has principal responsibility for next generation defined contribution plan innovation, notably digital assets and the blockchain. In addition, Dave was appointed to the Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council. 

Prior to joining Fidelity, he worked at Charles Schwab where he served as a member of Schwab’s Retirement Plan Services executive leadership team responsible for client experience, product management, and business strategy. Previously, Dave served as a Vice President at Standard Insurance Retirement Services where he built and led the client relationship management organization, and earlier as a member of Invesmart’s executive team responsible for general management of the retirement plan business. 

Dave earned a Bachelor of Arts from Tennessee Temple University. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24, and 66 licenses. 

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 225 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

May 20, 2022
Finally, the much promised episode about ESG investing & retirement plans. Sorry it took so long, but it's definitely worth the wait. Joining me is Jessica Sclafani, director and defined contribution strategies for MFS Investment Management. We start with the not so simple task of defining ESG, then move to how it is being incorporated into retirement investment line-ups. Along the way, we cover a lot of new ground which should leave you with a better idea of how to navigate the conversation with your plan. I learned a lot, I hope you do as well!

 

Guest Bio

Jessica Sclafani, CAIA, is a director and defined contribution strategist for the Investment Solutions Group at MFS Investment Management® (MFS®). Her responsibilities include leading defined contribution research and the firm's thought leadership agenda, as well as working extensively with the firm's client‐facing teams to represent MFS in the marketplace.

Jessica joined MFS in 2019 in her current role. She previously spent five years at Cerulli Associates as director of US retirement research, where she was responsible for the US defined contribution and IRA markets. Before that, she served as an analyst on the US pensions team at Wellington Management Company for four years.

Jessica earned a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Boston College. She holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 225 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

May 6, 2022

This week, we have my promised update from the defense bar perspective on the many happenings in the world of retirement plans. Joining me is repeat guest David Levine, Principal and Co-Chair of the Plan Sponsor Practice at Groom Law group. We start out with some headline grabbing topics like crypto currency in retirement plans, then we delve into cyber security and data privacy followed but some thoughts on the current and future state of retirement plan litigation. David also shares his perspective on a few suggestions I have heard from plaintiff’s attorneys and he plays word police on me in a few of my questions or statements. Good stuff and I hope you enjoy!

 

Guest Bio

David Levine is co-chair of the firm’s employer-focused practice. He advises plan sponsors, advisors, and other service providers on a wide range of employee benefits matters, from retirement and executive compensation to health and welfare plan matters.

David advises on the design and redesign of complex retirement, executive, and health and welfare plans; ongoing, day-to-day counseling of plan sponsors; in-depth compliance reviews of corporate and governmental benefit programs; alternative products and assets, including venture capital, private equity, and cryptocurrency, for IRA, HSAs, and 401(k) plan service providers; products and compliance for retirement and health service providers, and representation of tax-exempt organizations with respect to issues involving corporate governance, executive compensation, and unrelated business income tax liability.

David was previously the Chair of the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (2011-2013) and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association and serves in a number of leadership roles in the American Bar Association Tax Section’s Employee Benefits Committee. David regularly speaks on plan design, fiduciary governance, and legislative issues and contributes a recurring column to NAPA Net — The Magazine. He is recognized in the Chambers USA guide for Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation.  

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 225 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

Apr 22, 2022
This week we have an action packed episode where we reflect back on the first quarter of 2022. What a wild one it was! We then discuss several hot topics that are moving the financial markets today and close with some forwarding looking thoughts on what might be ahead in the coming 6-12 months. My conversation with Jamie Batter, Chief Investment Officer for Lockton Retirement Services, an offering of Creative Planning hits on everything from the war in teh Ukraine, Inflation, Gas Prices, expected moves by the Federal Reserve and much more. I hope you take away as much from this as I did, enjoy!

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 225 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Apr 8, 2022

On this episode we have a little fun and take on some information on 401(k)s that you may or may not have seen on TikTok. You will hear my inspiration for this episode right out of the gate and it is safe to say you can’t always trust what you hear online. Or, at a minimum you need a heavy dose of context. My guest, the multi-tool player David Blanchet, PhD, CFA, CFP is Managing Director and Head of Retirement Research now with PGIM. He does a great job sorting through the various themes of 401(k) information I came across. We had a ton of fun, and I hope you enjoy this episode as much we did!

 

Guest Bio

David Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP®, is Managing Director and Head of Retirement Research for PGIM DC Solutions. PGIM is the global investment management business of Prudential Financial, Inc. In this role he develops research and innovative solutions to help improve retirement outcomes for investors. Prior to joining PGIM he was the Head of Retirement Research for Morningstar Investment Management LLC and before that the Director of Consulting and Investment Research for the Retirement Plan Consulting Group at Unified Trust Company.

David has published over 100 papers in a variety of industry and academic journals. His research has received awards from the Academy of Financial Services (2017), the CFP Board (2017), the Financial Analysts Journal (2015), the Financial Planning Association (2020), the International Centre for Pension Management (2020), the Journal of Financial Planning (2007, 2014, 2015, 2019), and the Retirement Management Journal (2012). He is a regular contributor to the Advisor Perspectives, ThinkAdvisor, and the Wall Street Journal.

He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Wealth Management at The American College of Financial Services and a Research Fellow for the Alliance for Lifetime Income. He was formally a member of the Executive Committee for the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) and the ERISA Advisory Council (2018-2020).

In 2021, ThinkAdvisor included him in the IA25 for "pushing the industry forward." In 2014, InvestmentNews included him in their inaugural 40 under 40 list as a “visionary” for the financial planning industry, and in 2014, Money magazine named him one of the brightest minds in retirement planning.

David holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree in financial services from The American College of Financial Services, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a doctorate in personal financial planning program from Texas Tech University.

When David isn’t working, he’s probably out for a jog, playing with his four kids, or rooting for the Kentucky Wildcats.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Mar 11, 2022

This week I am excited to welcome back Jerome Clark, portfolio manager of the T. Rowe Price Target Date Strategies. For a curveball, we are not going to talk at all about Target Date Funds, instead Jerome shares his insights on how employers can help improve retirement outcomes in the minority community. As you will hear, this is a topic Jerome and T. Rowe Price are both very knowledgable and passionate about. I felt this was a very insightful and impactful conversation, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.   

Guest Bio

Jerome Clark is the portfolio manager of the Asset Allocation Target Date Strategies and oversees the College Savings Plan portfolios in the Multi-Asset Division. He is also a member of the firm's Asset Allocation Committee and serves on the Multi-Asset Steering Committee. Jerome is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.

Jerome’s investment experience began in 1992 when he joined T. Rowe Price, beginning in the Fixed Income Division, where he was the portfolio manager of the US Treasury Long-Term Bond Strategy. He then began managing asset allocation portfolios in 2001. Previously, he was also a captain in the United States Marine Corps and spent three years as a mathematics instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Jerome earned a B.S. in mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy and an M.S. in operations research from the Naval Postgraduate School. He also earned an M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University. Jerome also has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.

CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Mar 4, 2022

This week I am excited to welcome back Rob Arnott, Founder & Chairman of Research Affiliates to dive into the trick topic of inflation and its impact on the markets. We also dive into the challenges of rising rates, equity valuations and whether the investment realities of commercial real estate has changed. A quick note, we recorded this episode prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so there is not much talk of those events. That’s it, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Rob!

 

Guest Bio

Rob Arnott is the founder and chairman of the board of Research Affiliates, a global asset manager dedicated to profoundly impacting the global investment community through its insights and products. The firm creates investment strategies and tools based upon award-winning research, and delivers these solutions in partnership with some of the world’s premier financial institutions. Rob plays an active role in the firm’s research, portfolio management, product innovation, business strategy and client facing activities. With Chris Brightman, he is co-portfolio manager on the PIMCO All Asset and All Asset All Authority funds and the PIMCO RAE funds.

Over his career, Rob has endeavored to bridge the worlds of academic theorists and financial markets, challenging conventional wisdom and searching for solutions that add value for investors. He has pioneered several unconventional portfolio strategies that are now widely applied, including tactical asset allocation, global tactical asset allocation, tax-advantaged equity management, and the Fundamental Index approach to investing. His success in doing so has resulted in a reputation as one of the world’s most provocative practitioners and respected financial analysts.

In 2002, Rob founded Research Affiliates as a research-intensive asset management firm intent on delivering innovative and impactful products and insights. Using a unique business model, Research Affiliates delivers investment solutions globally in partnership with leading financial institutions. Rob served as chairman and CEO from 2002 to 2018.

Prior to establishing Research Affiliates, Rob managed two asset management firms. As chairman of First Quadrant, LP, he built up the former internal money manager for Crum & Forster into a highly regarded quantitative asset management firm. He also was global equity strategist at Salomon Brothers (now part of Citigroup), the founding president and CEO of TSA Capital Management (now part of Analytic Investors, LLC), and a vice president at The Boston Company.

Rob has published more than 130 articles in such journals as the Journal of Portfolio ManagementHarvard Business Review, and Financial Analysts Journal, where he also served as editor in chief from 2002 through 2006. In recognition of his achievements as a financial writer, Rob has received eight Graham and Dodd Scrolls, awarded annually by CFA Institute to the top Financial Analysts Journal articles of the year. He also has received four Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy awards from the Journal of Portfolio Management. He is co-author of The Fundamental Index: A Better Way to Invest (Wiley 2008).

Rob Arnott received a BS summa cum laude in economics, applied mathematics, and computer science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

 

Feb 18, 2022

Day by day, year by year, technology plays are bigger and more important role in our lives. When it comes to retirement savings, how could technology impact things? To share some insights, I am happy to welcome Dave Castellani, Operating Principal with the venture capital firm Brew Lane Ventures. Dave has a unique background as a technology guy who has done a few tours in the retirement world. During our conversation we hit on how development in technology could impact retirement plans, some great working definitions of machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and much more. We also hit on blockchain and close with a real whopper that could change everything that you will have to hear for yourself. 

 

Guest Bio

David brings 30+ years of technology and operating leadership across financial services and startups to Brewer Lane. Most recently, he was SVP and Head of Technology at New York Life, where he led the company’s initiatives across digital transformation, data and analytics, and cyber. Previously, David held other operating executive roles at New York Life, Prudential, and Cigna. He has also co-founded two technology startups: Mi8, an early pioneer in hosted exchange services, and Qv21, a transportation management software provider.

 

David received his BA from the College of the Holy Cross.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

Feb 11, 2022

Today, I am excited to share the latest installment of what has become almost an annual conversation with Jerry Schlichter, Managing Partner of Schlichter Bogard & Denton. If you are in the world of 401(k) plans, you need no introduction to the plaintiff attorney who has secured over $600 million in settlements, is now 2-0 in the Supreme Court and has changed the workplace retirement landscape. Our conversation this year should not disappoint. Be sure to stick around for the end to get Jerry’s input on the roles of the DOL and plaintiff’s bar.  

 

If you are new to the podcast, be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast app. If you like what you hear, please share with a friend, colleague or on social media. 

 

That’s it, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Jerry!

Guest Bio

Jerry Schlichter is founding and managing partner of Schlichter Bogard & Denton. His expertise and national leadership in complex litigation, including in financial and railroad cases, has been recognized by numerous publications, courts, and commentators throughout the country. Jerry has been designated legal counsel for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers for many years and is currently designated legal counsel for the United Transportation Union and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He has represented railroad workers in trials in many states and has had record-setting jury verdicts in numerous jurisdictions. Throughout his career, he has also handled major precedent-setting class action and mass tort cases on behalf of individuals.

Jerry has been featured in numerous national publications, including The New York TimesReutersBloombergUSA Today, and the The Wall Street Journal, for his and the firm’s success in pioneering claims of excessive fees in defined contribution plans, obtaining precedent-setting results involving claims of excessive fees against large employers, and for the reduction in fees his cases have caused throughout the retirement industry. He’s been called “The Lone Ranger of the 401(k)” by The New York Times, “public enemy no. 1 for 401(k) profiteers” by Investment News, and “the industry’s most feared attorney” by Chief Investment Officer.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

Jan 28, 2022

I am excited to get to get the podcast kicked off this year with a fast paced and wide ranging conversation with Peter Mollouk, President & CEO of Creative Planning. The main focus was employee education, how it has evolved and where it could go from here, the roles automatic plan design features and education have in helping employees on their path to retirement, who should pay for employee education, and much more.

 

Before we get started, if you are not subscribed to the podcast take care of that today, go to your favorite podcast app and search 401(k) Fridays and hit subscribe. We have a ton of great new episodes in the queue to share with you this year. You may also explore over 250 prior episodes, most of which are still relevant today.

 

That’s it, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Peter!

Guest Bio

Peter Mallouk, JD, MBA, is the President and CEO of Creative Planning and affiliated companies. Peter’s companies provide comprehensive wealth management services to its clients, including investment management, financial planning, tax planning, retirement plan consulting, estate planning services, and charitable planning.

Creative Planning provides wealth management services to high net worth clients, manages over $100 billion* for clients in all 50 states and abroad, is featured as the #1 Independent Wealth Management Firm in America by Barron’s, (2017) and has been featured in CNBC’s wealth manager rankings as the ‘#1 Wealth Management Firm in America’ in 2014 and 2015. The New York Times, in an article about the firm, said “Creative Planning is at the vanguard of a profound shift in finance.” (2017)

Peter has been featured in Barron’s as one of the ‘Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors in America,’ having won the award for three consecutive years (2013-2015). Peter is featured on Worth magazine’s ‘Power 100’, featuring the most powerful men and women in global finance (2017 & 2018). Creative Planning was featured in Forbes in 2016 as the #1 RIA for growth over the last 10 years prior, and Financial Times’ ‘Top RIA List’ (2014-2020). Creative Planning is also featured in Ingram’s magazines’ issues on ‘Best Wealth Manager’ (2020) and ‘Corporate Champion’ (2018) and Kansas City Business Journal magazines’ issue on ‘Best Places to Work’ (2020).

Peter graduated from the University of Kansas in 1993 with four majors, including degrees in Business Administration and Economics. He went on to earn a law degree and Master of Business Administration in 1996, also at the University of Kansas. Peter is the recipient of the University of Kansas School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award, becoming the second youngest recipient to receive the award. His wife Veronica holds the spot of the youngest!

Peter is the founder, current executive board member, and former five-year Chairman of KCCAN!, an organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the quality of life of children in Kansas City. He is also the founder and current executive board member of Pathway Financial Education, an organization dedicated to providing teenagers, adults, and business owners in under-resourced communities with actionable financial education. Peter is a recipient of the Ernst & Young Central Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2017).

Peter and his wife Veronica are the recipients of the Giving the Basics Human Dignity Award for their contributions towards helping those less fortunate meet basic needs, and recipients of the Variety Presidential Citation Award for their work supporting those with special needs. Peter has served on the boards of Pathway to Hope, American Stroke Foundation, St. Michael’s Finance Council, Kansas City Hospice and KCCAN!

Most recently, Peter founded Pathway Financial Education, a Kansas City-based nonprofit that provides free financial training and education to small business owners, adults, and youth in under-resourced communities. Pathway was born from a vision that Peter had after recognizing an unmet need in under-resourced communities of comprehensive financial education and training. Pathway opened its doors April 13, 2021.

Peter and Veronica have three children – Michael, JP, and Gabby.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Dec 3, 2021

As we take the turn into the holiday season, what will holiday shopping look like this year? Will the supply chain challenges, inflation, or other elements bring major changes? How could this impact the economy and financial markets? To help dissect all of this and more, I am happy to welcome back Rich Weiss, senior vice president and chief investment officer, Multi-Asset Strategies for American Century Investments. Also, don’t miss when Rich get’s his crystal ball out and gazes into it for 2022. 

 

Guest Bio

Richard Weiss is senior vice president and chief investment officer, Multi-Asset Strategies for American Century Investments.

Mr. Weiss oversees the team that manages the firm's multi-asset strategies, including the One Choice (Target Risk and Target Date) Portfolios®, Strategic Allocation and investments offered in the Learning Quest® 529 Education Savings Program. He also serves as a member of the American Century Investments Asset Allocation Committee, which is responsible for establishing investment policy and reviewing investment decisions for all of the firm's multi-asset products.

Prior to joining the firm in 2010, Mr. Weiss was executive vice president and chief investment officer of City National Bank, where he was responsible for the bank's investment management group and directed investment policy and strategy. Previously, he was executive vice president and chief investment officer at Sanwa Bank California, where he managed all aspects of their investment department. Earlier in his career, Mr. Weiss held senior investment positions at Vantage Global Advisors, TSA Capital Management, PaineWebber and Mellon Bank.

An investment veteran with over 35 years of experience, Mr. Weiss holds a bachelor's degree in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He has authored several academic papers and is well known for his advanced work in the field of global investing. Mr. Weiss is also a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg Television, Fox Business and Bloomberg Radio.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Nov 19, 2021

If you like 90’s movies references, if your curious about who TINA is and you want some good perspective on what is going on with the markets and economy, we have a great show for you today. Joining me is Adam Philips, CFA & CFP, Managing Director for Portfolio Strategy at EP Wealth. Great stuff, hopefully you learn as much as I did! 

 

As a reminder, if you are not subscribed to the podcast, do that today. You can go to your favorite podcast app and search 401(k) Fridays, or go to 401kfridays.com/subscribe and take care of it there. 

 

Guest BIo:

Adam Philips is the Managing Director, Portfolio Strategy / Partner at EP Wealth Advisors® where he helps establish asset allocation strategy as a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. Adam also serves as the voice of the firm’s investment strategy, and frequently provides market commentary across the media and in client communication pieces. Prior to joining EP Wealth Advisors® in 2014, Adam served as a Senior Portfolio Manager at City National Rochdale in Beverly Hills, where he specialized in research and portfolio construction while overseeing nearly $700 million on behalf of high-net-worth individuals, foundations, and trusts. Adam holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California (USC), and earned his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA). In addition, Adam holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designations, and is a member of the CFA Society of Los Angeles and the CFA Institute. Adam was named to the Forbes Best-in-State Next Gen Wealth Advisors in 2019. Adam lives in Palos Verdes with his wife and two children, Hunter and Madison.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Oct 29, 2021

Over the years on the podcast we have talked about the generational preferences and trends of baby boomers, Gen X’rs and Millenials, But not Generation Z. To dig into them, I am happy to welcome back Nathan Voris, Director, Investments, Insights & Consultant Services at Schwab Retirement Plan Services. While the focus is on Gen Z, there are some great observations about financial stress, financial wellness, the financial impact of the pandemic and much more. We also really strive to tie these themes together in a way that can help employers better position services they offer today to attract and retain employees in a hyper competitive market for talent, or maybe this is encouragement to revisit these topics as you look forward. Regardless, good stuff and great input from Nathan. 

 

Guest Bio

Nathan Voris joined Charles Schwab in 2016 and leads the Investments, Insights and Consultant Services teams within Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc.

In this role, Voris brings together multiple teams with shared expertise to develop and enhance partnerships with the Consultant and Advisor community. Prior to his current position, he led the Strategy and Planning team for Schwab Workplace Financial Services, which includes Compliance Solutions, Schwab Retirement Plan Services and Schwab Stock Plan Services.

Voris brings 20+ years of experience in the financial services and retirement plan industries to his role. Prior to Charles Schwab, he worked for Morningstar, where he held several roles within Morningstar Investment Management, and as a retirement plan consultant at R.V. Kuhns & Associates. He began his career as a plan sponsor, working for Walmart and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

Voris earned a bachelor's degree in education from The Ohio State University.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Oct 15, 2021

As part of the evolving conversation around infrastructure and how to pay for it, some potential changes to workplace retirement plans were injected into the conversation. To shed some light on the topic I am happy to welcome back Sam Henson, a Senior Vice President and Chief Client Officer for Lockton Retirement Services. While it is anyone’s guess on what will happen with infrastructure, the important things to take away from our conversation today are the thematic changes to workplace retirement plans that we included in the spending bill. While these may or may not become reality, like in the game of poker, this serves as a pretty good tell on what changes could be debated in the future. 

Guest Bio

Samuel Henson, JD is the Chief Client Officer for Lockton Retirement Services. Lockton is the world's largest privately held insurance brokerage firm. Sam oversees ERISA compliance, DOL/IRS/SEC/PBGC activities, and the legislative landscape for more than 50,000 Lockton clients and 7,000 associates. Our associates use a comprehensive approach as a consultative partner in the areas of regulatory and legislative compliance, investment, pension risk management and vendor management. I would like to connect with other industry-related professionals including attorneys, in-house counsel, compliance officers and government officials.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Sep 10, 2021

For years I have been using Vanguard’s annual “How America Saves” as a reference guide for retirement plan statistics and benchmarks. Today, I am excited to welcome Jeff Clark, a Senior Product Owner in Vanguard’s Strategic Retirement Consulting group and the lead author of How America Saves as well as other retirement research initiatives. As you might expect, this episode focusses on plan design, some statistics, its importance, trends and a few popular topics or ideas that have been discussed where the data does not exactly pan out. I learned a lot, I hope you do as well. 

 

Before we get started, thank you to our listeners who have shared engaged with us on social media. Most of what we post is on LinkedIn, next time you are on there, feel free to share a podcast episode you have enjoyed, or like or comment on a post we create. That goes a long way to helping more people discover the podcast and helps me attract great guests like Jeff. 

 

Guest Bio

Jeff Clark is a Senior Product Owner in Vanguard’s Strategic Retirement Consulting.  He is the lead author of How America Saves as well as other retirement research initiatives.  In addition, Mr. Clark provides strategic and customized analytics designed to help plan sponsors better understand their participants’ behavior and plan design effectiveness.  Mr. Clark joined Vanguard in 1998.  Before Strategic Retirement Consulting, he worked in Participant Services and Compliance Testing and Analysis, assisting plan sponsors with plan design and compliance issues.  Mr. Clark earned a B.A. in economics from Bucknell University.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

Aug 27, 2021

It's been a little while since we have had an episode to discuss what is going on in the world of 401(k) litigation. To dive into that, I am happy to welcome back Carl Engstrom, plaintiff’s attorney with Nichols Kaster to the podcast. As usual, Carl brings a very thoughtful and informed view on what is going on with 401(k) litigation, his thoughts on why some cases move towards settlement and others are dismissed, and the inevitable question of where things go from here. Buckle up, this episode moves fast and covers a lot of ground. I hope you enjoy!

Guest Bio

Carl is the subject matter expert and origination specialist on Nichols Kaster’s ERISA Litigation Team. As a founding member of the ERISA litigation group, Mr. Engstrom has worked in some capacity on every case brought by the group since its inception in 2015.  In that time, the ERISA litigation group has negotiated settlements totaling over $150 million on behalf of retirement plan participants shortchanged by excessive fees and imprudent retirement plan investments. Before joining Nichols Kaster, Mr. Engstrom clerked for judges at both the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Hennepin County District Court.  Prior to entering the legal profession, Mr. Engstrom spent six years working as a financial advisor, providing retirement and investment advice to hundreds of clients, and earning the Certified Financial Planner™ designation.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

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