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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: December, 2017
Dec 29, 2017

No interview with a retirement industry expert today.  This episode shares my top ten highlights and themes from nearly 100 conversations on the podcast!  

Be sure to check out our first two episodes of 2018 which are my two part conversation with Jerry Schlichter, the plaintiffs attorney driving much of the 401(k) and other retirement plan litigation against employers! Part 1 will be posted on Friday, January 5th and Part 2 on Friday, January 12th.  

Don't forget that if you have been enjoying the podcast please mention it to a friend, share on social media or leave a review on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.  All of that goes a long way to helping grow our audience, attract high quality guests and keep sharing high quality timely content.  

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 ninety prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

Dec 15, 2017

Every now and then its a little fun to go off the beaten path of 401(k) plan topics and explore something related, but different.  In the past, we have done that with international retirement benefits, the importance of company culture and on this episode we delve into health benefits programs.  For this episode, our last full episode of 2017, my guest Ed Fensholt, an ERISA Attorney and Senior Vice President and Director of Compliance Services with Lockton Benefits Group keeps things interesting and entertaining as we explore his list of the five important heath plan trends for 2018. 

What really jumped out to me was that so much of what we talked about had direct parallels or overlapped many of the retirement plan topics we have explored on the podcast.  I’m not going to steal any of Ed’s thunder and give away his list, but what I will tell you is don't miss the last point. 

Guest Bio

Ed Fensholt is a Senior Vice President and Director of the Compliance Services national practice at Lockon. Our team of attorneys supplies our clients and the Lockton associates who serve them with a broad range of compliance-related support for employee benefits issues arising under ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, the Internal Revenue Code and other select federal and state statutes and regulations, including the Affordable Care Act.

Employers face significant challenges under the health reform legislation and its regulatory coattails. Our practice helps clients understand the impact to their benefits programs and get ahead of significant changes and requirements. Our work in this regard includes detailed analysis, alerts, blog postings, webcasts, seminars and a wide variety of ACA-related tools, checklists, grids, etc.

Ed is a frequent lecturer inside and outside the organization and a published author on employee benefits matters.

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 ninety prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Dec 8, 2017

If you are curious, concerned or confused about what’s going on with interest rates and how it might impact the bond/fixed income market or some of the investments in you 401(k) investment menu, I have great news for you!  My conversation with Brett Wander, the Chief Investment Officer for Fixed Income at Charles Schwab and Jake Gilliam, a senior Mutli-Asset Class Strategist also with Charles Schwab clears a lot of things up!  Brett shares some great economic insights and Jake does an excellent job tying those concepts to how they might impact various investment strategies. 

If you’re thinking, this is going to be really confusing or it might be over your head, stop right there because as usual, we take what can be a complex or maybe what some would call a boring topic and break it down into easy to understand pieces with some great ideas and questions you can bring back to your next investment committee meeting. 

Be sure to listen for some key observations about the overall direction of interest rates, how that may or may not impact your fixed income options, some key questions to ask about the bond exposures in your target date fund and what a yield trap is and how plan fiduciaries could unknowingly already be in one!  I will have to say, despite this being a little bit of a longer episode there isn’t anything i would remove and i have already listened to this several times and have come away with new insights each time.  

Guest Bios

Brett Wander is Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Fixed Income for Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (CSIM). He is responsible for all aspects of the firm's fixed income and money market portfolios, leading a team of more than 20 investment professionals.

With more than 25 years of investment management experience, Mr. Wander has been intimately involved in the design, development and oversight of a wide range of active, indexed and alternative fixed income strategies. His expertise spans a wide range of global and domestic markets and sectors. Prior to joining CSIM in June 2011, Mr. Wander was senior managing director at State Street Global Advisors, where he managed and directed the firm’s $30 billion active fixed-income enterprise. He also held senior fixed-income leadership positions at Loomis Sayles, State Street Research and Payden & Rygel. In those roles, he designed investment processes, developed risk management methodologies, managed investment teams, and consistently generated strong investment performance track records.

Jake Gilliam is a Senior Multi-Asset Class Portfolio Strategist for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. supporting Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc.’s (CSIM) Asset Allocation and Sub-Advisor Oversight Committees. He contributes to strategic decisions for all multi-asset class portfolios as well as several single asset-class portfolios within CSIM and for the Schwab Bank Collective Trust Funds. He works closely with the Chief Investment Officers, Portfolio Managers, Research, and Sub-Advisor Oversight teams on a frequent basis. Mr. Gilliam also represents CSIM’s multi-asset class strategies to the institutional marketplace, clients, and the media.

Previously, he was the day-to-day Senior Portfolio Manager for Schwab Bank’s Collective Trust Funds and Head of Sub-Advisor oversight for CSIM. Additionally, Mr. Gilliam served as interim Head of Asset Allocation and Portfolio Manager for CSIM’s Multi-Asset Class funds. Mr. Gilliam also developed the Schwab Corporate and Retirement Services Institutional Investment Analyst team and oversaw the due diligence process for maintaining the Schwab Focus List™. Earlier in his career, he also worked as a sell-side Equity Research Associate covering the food retail and restaurant industries.

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 ninety prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

Dec 1, 2017

When you take a new job or start with a new company, generally there is a job description, clear roles & responsibilities, a training program or on boarding process to help you get your feet underneath you in your new role.  However, when employers create a retirement plan committee many of the people they tap to be members, and thus plan fiduciaries, have never been a fiduciary to a workplace retirement plan and aren’t really sure what that means and receive no training.  If this sounds at all familiar, my guest today, Don Trone, is the Co-founder & CEO of 3Ethos should be a breath of fresh air! 

Over his career he has trained over 10,000 fiduciaries, has been called the “Father of Fiduciaries” and has testified before the U.S. Senate on fiduciary issues, and much more.  During our conversation, Don shares his experience, good and bad, on what he has learned over the years to help retirement plan fiduciaries embrace their roles & responsibilities in a way that empowers them to make better decisions, protect themselves form liability and have a positive impact of their retirement plan and participants.  As an aside, its not every day that you hear fiduciary and goat rodeo used in the same sentence, that was a new one on me, but it made sense!  

Guest Bio

Don Trone is the CEO and co-founder of 3ethos. Don was the founding CEO of fi360 and the AIF and AIFA designation; founder and President of the Foundation for Fiduciary Studies; and the first person to direct the Institute for Leadership at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. 

Over the past three decades, Don has trained more than 10,000 financial advisors and trustees on the subject of procedural prudence. In 2015 he was named by Investment Advisor magazine as the “Father of Fiduciary” and one of the 35 most influential people in the financial services industry. 

In 2003, he was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Labor to represent the investment counseling industry on the ERISA Advisory Council, and in 2007 he testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on the fiduciary issues associated with the management of retirement plans. 

He is the author or co-author of twelve books on the subject of fiduciary responsibility, portfolio management, and leadership.

Don is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and is the president of his class. He served for ten years on active duty, most notably as a long-range search and rescue helicopter pilot. He has a Master’s from The American College and has completed post-graduate studies in theology from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Trinity Episcopal Seminary.

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 ninety prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

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