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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: August, 2017
Aug 25, 2017

On previous episodes of the podcast we've heard from ERISA attorneys, consultants and various other specialists sharing their thoughts on how employers can mitigate their fiduciary risk.  Now, I am proud to share that the experiences of a 401(k) expert witness is no longer unchartered territory for us!  My guest, Jim Scheinberg, the Managing Partner and Founder of North Pier Fiduciary Management joins me for this action packed episode.  We kick things off addressing what role a 401(k) expert witness actually plays during a lawsuit.  Then we quickly begin to stress test some fiduciary messages you might have heard such as “Your process is your protection”, then we delve into whether having the right fiduciary mindset is relevant and while retirement plan fiduciaries are not expected to predict the future, could having some foresight be important to your fiduciary process.  Hopefully you will find our conversation offers some unique and timely perspectives on these and a few other important trends in 401(k) or ERISA litigation that you can bring with you to your next retirement plan committee meeting!

Guest Bio

Jim Scheinberg began his career in venture capital in 1990 moving to general securities with Smith Barney Harris Upham in 1992. He joined Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. in 1994 as an Associate in the Oppenheimer Consulting Group, the firm’s institutional investment management consulting department, where he worked trusts, endowments, foundations and trustee-directed ERISA plans. In 2001, Jim founded what would become the Corporate Services Group of Oppenheimer Co., Inc. (CSG), where he eventually held the position of Director and Senior Vice President. CSG was an industry pioneer in providing conflict free, fee-only investment consulting and fiduciary advocacy for institutional, ERISA plan sponsors. In 2008, Jim completed a lift-out of CSG and founded North Pier Fiduciary Management LLC., with offices in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley. His tenure in the industry has also included experience in hedging and monetization, corporate executive services, and corporate cash management.

Born and raised in the North Suburbs of Chicago, Jim came to Southern California in 1987 to pursue his B.A. in Political Science at University of California, Los Angeles. He achieved the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) designation in 2001 from The Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA®) in conjunction with the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. He has also earned the Accredited Investment FiduciaryTM (AIF®) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary AnalystTM (AIFA®) designations, awarded by the Center for Fiduciary Studies, of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business of the University of Pittsburgh. Jim is currently a member of the Board of Visitors of the UCLA Political Science Department and sits on the William Sharpe Fellows Selection Committee of the UCLA Department of Economics. He is a regularly quoted resource to journalists and speaker at industry conferences. Jim is often engaged as a consulting expert for the U.S. Department of Labor and as an expert witness for ERISA litigation. He is an avid supporter or children’s charities and serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children in the Los Angeles County Children’s Court system.

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 workplace retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over eighty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Aug 18, 2017

More and more frequently when I see a news piece or industry article about 401(k) or workplace retirement plans, a key element is invariably fees.  Going one step further they also tend to highlight the advantages of low cost index or passively managed investments.  Based on my conversations with investment committees and retirement plan fiduciaries, there seems to be a few common reasons for the recent increased popularity in index funds: the industry focus on fees, investment performance of passively managed strategies and 401(k) litigation. To comment on my observations and provide a few of her own on the whole active and passive conversation I am excited to have Sue Walton, a Senior Defined Contribution Strategist with American Funds join me on the podcast.  We also address a few other important elements in the active passive conversation that don’t tend to get a lot of press, but are vitally important to consider. Hopefully there are a few nuggets you can take back to your next 401(k) committee meeting!

Guest Bio

Sue Walton is a senior defined contribution strategist at American Funds, part of Capital Group. She has 19 years of industry experience and has been with Capital Group for one year. Prior to joining Capital, Sue was a director at Towers Watson Investment Services. Before that, she was an investment consultant at Mercer Investment Consulting and Ellwood Associates. She holds an MBA from DePaul University with a concentration in finance and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, economics and international business from Marquette 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 workplace retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over seventy-five prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Aug 11, 2017

Its episodes like these that were one of my primary motivations for starting the podcast, examining current beliefs or messaging in the marketplace and applying contemporary critical thinking to examine if they are still valid and reliable for both employers and employees in workplace retirement plans.  If you sponsor a 401(k) or other workplace retirement plans you have likely been given some off the cuff guidance on how much your employees should be saving for retirement, what is an adequate amount of income someone should be able to replace in retirement, what returns should people expect from their retirement savings and likely many others.  To help stress test these and other topics, I have David Blanchett, Head of Retirement Research at Morningstar to explore things!  He did such a great job so I’m not gong to steal his thunder; but I will say some things you have likely heard hold up, and others simply don’t.  While we tackle some meaty topics, I was incredibly impressed with David’s ability to break all this down in an easy to digest manner, but also tie back why this is important for both employers and employees to get their arms around to improve retirement outcomes.  

 

Guest Bio

David Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP® is head of retirement research for Morningstar Investment Management LLC. In this role, he works to enhance the group’s consulting and investment services and conducts research primarily in the areas of financial planning, tax planning, annuities, and retirement. His research has been published in a variety of industry and academic journals and received a number of awards, most recently the Journal of Financial Planning’s 2014 and 2015 Montgomery-Warschauer Award and the Financial Analysts Journal’s 2015 Graham and Dodd Scroll Award. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and is regularly quoted in the national media. He holds a master‘s degree in financial services from the American College, 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.

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 workplace retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over seventy-five prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Aug 4, 2017

Think for a minute about how much effort you and your retirement service partners have put into encouraging more employees to save and invest properly in your workplace retirement plan.  Now, turn the conversation around.  How much time and energy have you spent thinking about ways to help employees understand how to use their retirement savings to replace their income when they leave the workforce?  To help shed some light on the whole retirement income conversation I’m excited to have Jody Strakosch of Strakosch Retirement Strategies where she brings investment and retirement solutions to the defined contribution market for asset management firms.  Prior to starting her own firm, Jody worked for MetLife where she became a recognized defined contribution and institutional retirement income subject matter expert. She was the key architect of several significant market-first products, supported public policy initiatives, and represented MetLife with the media, at conferences and in industry groups. 

During our conversation we discuss what options employers have available to them, tackle some of the concerns around introducing a retirement income option in your retirement plan and whether or not retirement income strategies will become the next big plan design trend or a lightning rod for fiduciary liability.  Oh, and Jody introduces me to a new word, “automaticity” be sure to listen for that.  Finally, if you like a little enthusiasm and passion, Jody definitely brought to our conversation! 

Guest Bio

Jody Strakosch founded Strakosch Retirement Strategies, LLC to bring investment and retirement solutions to the defined contribution market for asset management firms. Jody offers in-depth retirement market expertise, product development and strategic positioning to align with today’s challenges for investment management and service providers seeking to enhance their profiles in the defined contribution / defined benefit marketplace.

Consulting assignments have ranged from helping investment managers design innovative retirement income solution programs for defined contribution plans, writing public policy and market landscape papers, serving as program manager for an industry- led coalition to increase American’s savings, speaking engagements at client conferences, researching specific target-date fund market opportunities, and strategic initiative development.

Jody is an active member of DCIIA (Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association), on the Advisory Council of WISER (Women’s Institute for Secure Retirement), and a member of the Advisory Board for Institutional Investor’s Journal of Retirement.

Jody worked for MetLife where she became a recognized defined contribution and institutional retirement income subject matter expert. She was the key architect of several significant market-first products, supported public policy initiatives, and represented MetLife with the media, at conferences and in industry groups.

Jody holds the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Wellesley College and the Master of Arts in Gerontology from the Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California.

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 workplace retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over seventy-five prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

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