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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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Now displaying: October, 2016
Oct 28, 2016

Episode Description

You might be asking yourself, what else is there and why should I consider any investment vehicle other than a mutual fund?  Well, if those thoughts passed through your head, this episode is a great way to get answers to those questions!  To explore the topic I have Jeff Kletti, a CFA and the Senior Vice President of Investments at Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement Trust with me today.  With all of the attention and focus on 401(k) plan fees and the rapid improvements in technology, alternative investment vehicles such as Collective Investment Trusts, commonly referred to as CITs, Separate Accounts and Exchange Traded Funds otherwise know as ETFs are gaining more assets each year within 401(k) plans.  We start with thoughts on why retirement plan sponsors are even entertaining investment vehicles beyond traditional mutual funds.  Then we unravel how they are either similar or different from mutual funds.  Jeff also provides great questions for plan fiduciaries to ask when exploring alternative investment vehicles. My hope is the that you walk, or drive away for that matter, with a better understand of when alternative investment vehicles could make sense and how to evaluate and determine if they would be suitable or beneficial for your plan and participants.  As a reminder, we release a valuable new episode each Friday, if you are not already subscribed to the podcast, please visit www.401kfridays.com/subscribe or search 401(k) Fridays on your favorite podcast app today!  Now, I hope you enjoy our conversation!

Guest Bio

Jeff Kletti is Head of Investments for Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. In this role Jeff is responsible for leading asset consulting, discretionary asset management, investment operations, and the compliance and risk management activities for Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust’s discretionary clients. Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust provides retirement plan services to more than 5,000 employer-sponsored retirement plans and custody accounts, representing 4 million participants and more than $330 billion in retirement account assets.

Jeff has over 25 years of investment experience. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, he was the director of investment management at Allianz Investment Management SE. In this position Jeff served as president of AIM LLC, a registered investment adviser, portfolio manager AZL Fusion Funds, chairman of the AZL Funds board of trustees, and trustee of the Allianz of America pension committee.

Jeff holds a B.A. in finance from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and an MBA in finance from the University of Minnesota. He is a CFA® charter holder.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Oct 21, 2016

Episode Description

I am proud to say that this episode, well except for the title, was greatly influenced by input I received from our email subscribers!  To everyone who shared feedback on what you wanted me discuss with Tom Clark, ERISA Attorney and Of Counsel at the Wagner Law Group, thank you!  As a reminder, as an email subscriber you get advance notice of many of our podcast guests and the opportunity to submit questions and topics for me to cover with them.  If you have not subscribed to our email list yet, go to www.401kfridays.com/subscribe today and join the community!  In my conversation with Tom, based on your feedback we first focus on the current trends in 401(k) litigation and then close with updates on what employers should know about DOL activities.  Tom, does a great job breaking things down in an easy to understand, yet impactful way which will leave you with plenty to think about going into 2017.  Some of my favorites were his input on how 401(k) lawsuits get started, a behind the scenes glimpse of what plaintiffs’ attorneys must do to bring a 401(k) lawsuit and some changes and decisions many plan sponsors should anticipate in the coming months due to recent DOL activity.  After you listen, love to hear your perspectives on whether 2017 will bring you and your fellow plan fiduciaries, pain or help you continue down a path towards gain!  Send me an email at info@401kfridays.com.  This is a fast moving and information packed episode, enjoy!

Guest Bio

Tom is Of Counsel with The Wagner Law Group, a law firm specializing in ERISA & Employee Benefits, Estate Planning, and Employment, Labor & Human Resources Law. His expertise encompasses all aspects of employee benefits programs, including the design, implementation and compliance of retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and executive and incentive compensation arrangements. He also has a robust practice assisting industry service providers in meeting their ERISA compliance and general business needs. 

Tom is also a well-seasoned ERISA litigator. Earlier in his career, he worked for the law firm of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton including on such landmark cases as Tibble v. Edison, which was heard this year by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Tom is Editor-in-Chief of the Fiduciary Matters Blog, a blog visited over 150,000 times since its first publication in March 2013. He also teaches ERISA Fiduciary Law as an Adjunct Professor at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, his alma mater.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Oct 14, 2016

Episode Description

Alright, let me know if you have heard this one, a lawyer, an insurance broker and a retirement consultant walk into a bar, oh that’s right this is for the podcast.  We’ll have to save that one for another time  However that does resemble the motley crew we have assembled to discuss the evolving world of cyber risk or cyber threats and how they can impact 401(k) and other employer benefits plans.  The lawyer in our conversation is Brian Finch, a partner at Pillsbury Law and member of their Cyber Security Task Force, and the insurance broker is Ben Beeson, SVP and Cyber Risk Practice Leader with Lockton Insurance Brokers.   Our conversation starts with a great background and overview of the risks, bad actors, motivations and methods cyber criminals are using to steal money, data, hack organizations or otherwise wreak digital havoc.   Next we move into how these evolving cyber threats may impact the retirement industry which obviously has trillions of dollars of assets and very sensitive and personal information on millions of individuals.  As a take away, there are some great questions for you to include in your due diligence discussions with your current or potential new service providers, concepts to ensure you explore in your service agreements or contracts and other information to help you walk away with strategies to help keep your employee protected and minimize the risk associated with cyber threats at www.401kfridays.com/cyber.  I took a lot away from the information that Brian and Ben shared, I hope you do as well!

Guest Bios

Ben Beeson leads the Cyber Risk Practice at Lockton Companies, the world's largest privately held insurance brokerage. Ben guides boards of directors and executive leadership on how best to mitigate emerging cyber risks to mission critical assets that aligns with the business strategy. His experience ranges from addressing data security and privacy liability to companies in the utility, financial, healthcare, retail, and hospitality industries, to risks from a cyber attack to the energy, transportation, and manufacturing sectors.

Prior to moving to Washington D.C., Ben spent most of his career in the UK working within the Lloyd’s of London insurance market, an entrepreneurial culture creating innovative solutions to address emerging risks. 

Ben continues to be involved in the development of US Cybersecurity policy having testified before Congress in 2015, his support in the development and roll out of the NIST framework and through his membership of Business Executives for National Security, (BENS).

Ben is a regular author and commentator on Cybersecurity issues with recent appearances on CNN and Fox News and his chapter contribution to the NYSE's first definitive Cybersecurity guide for Directors and Officers entitled "Navigating The Digital Age."

Brian Finch is a partner in the law firm’s Public Policy practice and is based in Pillsbury’s Washington, DC office. Named by Washingtonian magazine in 2011 as one of the top 40 federal lobbyists under the age of 40 and by Law360 as one of its “Rising Stars” in Privacy Law in 2014, Brian is a recognized authority on global security matters. He specializes in counseling on regulatory and government affairs issues involving the Department of Homeland Security, Congress, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies. Brian in particular focuses his practice on assisting clients with matters involving cyber security, national defense and intelligence policies, homeland security concerns, and in general providing proactive advice to mitigate liability in the event of a significant security incident.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Oct 6, 2016

Episode Description

This episode is part two of our three part mini course on constructing a 401(k) investment menu.  In part one, we covered current thinking, trends and benchmark data on investment menu design, questions to ask your service providers before you start and much more!  If you have not listened to that episode, I would encourage you to check it out on iTunes or your favorite podcast app!  Now, back to part two where we discuss the next steps of investment menu design, determining the asset classes you will make available to your participants and then selecting individual investment options.  To help navigate the conversation I have Jamie Axford, a Director at Putnam Investments.  I realize that for some just mentioning the term “asset class” during a plan review or investment discussion can send you scurrying of your phone to check you emails, however I would encourage you to hang in there for our conversation today.  Jamie does a great job of defining some words and concepts that many people have heard but might not have fully understood.  He also provides some great perspective on reviewing different investments, how some investment scoring systems could lead to riskier investments and some other questions you can bring with you to your next 401(k) investment review! 

 

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to the podcast or our email list please go to 401kfridays/subscribe today!  

 

Guest Bio

Mr. Axford is Director, DCIO Consultant Relations, at Putnam Investments. In this role, he is responsible for managing relationships with consultants who are focused on the retirement plan space. Mr. Axford joined Putnam in 2012 and has been in the investment industry since 1989. He holds an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designation and is also a member of the Association of Investment Management Sales Executives (AIMSE). Mr. Axford holds his Series 6, 7, 24, 63, and 65 licenses with FINRA.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

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