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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: 2020
Dec 4, 2020

Admittedly, when I develop topics and content for the podcast I am generally catering to the mid to large plan market. Today, I am excited to welcome Chad Parks, the Founder & CEO of Ubiquity Retirement + Savings to discuss the world of small retirement plans. As you will hear, Chad brings his years of experience and is not shy to share his perspectives. We talk about everything from how do you define a small plan, how they are similar and different from mid to large plans, to the launch of PEPs, and potential changes to retirement plans with a new administration. We also get Chad looking into his crystal ball. Even if you don’t sponsor or support “small retirement plans”, there is a lot of great info here that might help you when your friend who does have a small plan has some questions. 

 

Before we get started, as we go into the New Year, tis the season of giving, please consider either sharing the podcast with a friend, or leaving a rating or review on your favorite podcast app. Either or both of those help us to grow our audience and continue to attract great guests like Chad. 

 

Guest Bio

Chad Parks is CEO and founder of the first online and flat-fee retirement service for small businesses: Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, formerly The Online 401(k). Known for his unique and irreverent approach to business and the financial industry as a whole, Chad is regularly quoted in national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fox Business, Yahoo! Finance, USA Today, CNN Money, Bloomberg Wealth Manager, Business Week, Entrepreneur and Plan Sponsor for his passion for small business and entrepreneurship.

 

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 13, 2020

If you have stable value investments on your mind, my conversation today with Debbie Vince & Ken Sommers of New York Life should address your questions or concerns. We start with Debbie providing some background on stable value investments, how they work and some pros and cons compared to other cash equivalent options in workplace retirement plans. Then we transition to Ken for his thoughts on the realities of managing stable value investments in an historic low interest rate environment. Great stuff, if we missed anything shoot me an email to feedback@401kfridays.com. 

 

Disclosures:

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of Debbie Vince and Ken Sommer as of [date podcast recorded] and are subject to change without notice.  Any forward-looking statements may not come to pass.

The information provided in this podcast is general in nature and is provided solely for educational/informational purposes. It is not intended as investment advice nor as a solicitation for any specific investment.

Stable value investments seek capital preservation, but there can be no assurance that this goal will be achieved. Returns will fluctuate with changing interest rates and market conditions.  A stable value fund is not a mutual fund. Money market funds are not guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency. They generally seek to preserve the value of an investment at $1.00 per share, but it is possible to lose money by investing in a money market fund. All investing involves risk, including the loss of principal.

 

Guest Bio

Kenneth Sommer is a Managing Director and Head of the Investment Grade Portfolio Management team of NYL Investors' Fixed Income Investors. He joined New York Life in 2005 and has over 17 years of investment experience. He is responsible for managing all multi-sector third-party fixed income portfolios, including retail mutual funds and institutional separate accounts. Previously, Mr. Sommer was a sector specialist overseeing all corporate bond execution for the Investment Grade Portfolio Management team. Prior to joining New York Life, he was an Investment Analyst at MetLife Investments. Mr. Sommer received a B.S. from Binghamton University and an M.B.A. from Fordham University.

Deborah Vince is a V.P of Sales for New York Life. Debbie joined New York Life in 2009, and has more than 22 years of experience in financial services, including 19 years in the retirement plan industry. In her current role, she is responsible for Stable Value investment business development in the Western region. Prior to joining New York Life, she was a Senior Vice President with National Retirement Partners (NRP) and worked as a Retirement Plan Consultant at 401k Advisors and helped launch Retirement Plan Advisory Group (RPAG). Debbie received a BS in Business Management from the University of Redlands. She maintains FINRA Series 6, 7, and 63 registrations and holds life and health licenses in all states.  She is currently a board member for Su Casa – Ending Domestic Violence in Southern CA.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, her dog Bodhi, cooking and travel. 

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 6, 2020

Could Retirement Income be the hot topic of 2021? It was supposed to be the hot topic of 2020, then we got a little derailed. To chat through this with be today, I am excited to have Doug McIntoch, Vice President of Investment with Prudential Retirement. We go through all the stuff you would expect us to. What is retirement income, what are the employer attitudes, what are employee attitudes, what are the lingering concerns despite the new protections provided in the SECURE Act. We also delve into public policy, the legislative environment and where we go from here. I hope you get as much out of this as I did!

 

Guest Bio

Douglas S. McIntosh, Jr. is vice president of Investments for Prudential Retirement. In this role, Doug supports the investment product function, working across the enterprise to source best-in-class investment & guaranteed solutions for retirement investors on Prudential’s recordkeeping platform and beyond. His team also oversees third-party asset managers that deliver on the promise to help Americans retire with dignity. 

Along with product development responsibilities, he works closely with the firm’s Regulatory and Legislative Affairs groups to promote understanding and use of investments and guaranteed outcome vehicles within DC plans. This work has taken him to the Department of Labor and both houses of Congress, and he is a frequent speaker at industry conferences (eg Institutional Investor, Pensions & Investments, SPARK).

Prior to his current role, Doug held the position of vice president, Investments within Prudential Annuities, in which he led all aspects of sales support and strategic direction for that division’s investment platform. Doug previously held the position of vice president, Distribution for Prudential International Investments, creating custom principle-protected and lifelong income products for the world’s largest asset aggregators. Earlier in his career in the United States, Doug held the role of vice president, Distribution for Prudential IncomeFlex within Prudential Retirement. 

Prior to working for Prudential Retirement, Doug was Director, International Sales for Mentor Ophthalmics, a specialty medical manufacturer, where he ran distribution in Europe, Asia and Latin America. This work was an outgrowth of his time working hands-on with patients in a large, international vitreoretinal medical and surgical practice (Retina Associates). As a result, he sat in on ophthalmic surgeries on six continents (if we include Australia). Direct interaction with patients and practitioners, in both the office and surgical suite, gave Doug a deep understanding of ocular anatomy, pathology and surgical technique, an interest which he maintains until the present.

 

Doug holds an MBA with Distinction in International Management & Finance from Cornell University, and received a B.A. in English & Communications from Fairfield University. Doug is currently a board member of both the Connecticut Secure Retirement Authority Board, and the Center for Latino Progress, and was formerly the chairman of the Pension Board for the Town of West Hartford CT. He speaks Spanish, French and Italian in addition to English, plus a little Portuguese. 

 

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 9, 2020

Today’s episode came by request from several listeners, so thank you for that! The topic is retirement plan fees. My guest is Jim Scheinberg, Managing Partner of North Pier Search Consulting and North Pier Fiduciary Management. We started off with some basics on fees, then get into some of the tricker considerations such as how do you charge fees to plan participants, per head or pro-rata, how do you account for proprietary products when evaluating fees, whether institutional share classes are really the best choice and much more. We also left some things on the table as we ran out of time, so please send me your feedback and questions to feedback@401kfridays.com and I will get that worked into a part two with Jim. Also, the timing of that will be based on your feedback, the more we get, the sooner he will be back!

 

Also, if you have been enjoying the the podcast, next time you are on your favorite podcast app please leave us a rating or review. Those go a long way to help more people find the podcast and to help our show continue to grow. 

 

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

 

Guest Bio

Born and raised in the North Suburbs of Chicago, Jim Scheinberg 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 is a published author, a frequently quoted resource to journalists, a regular speaker at industry conferences, and guest on finance podcasts. Jim also regularly serves as a consulting expert for U.S. government regulatory agencies and as an expert witness for ERISA litigation. He is also a member of the Chancellor's Cabinet of UCLA, sitting on the Board of Visitors of the Political Science Department. Jim passionately serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for foster care youth in the Los Angeles County Children's Court system.

Jim 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 with institutional fiduciary clients. 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, participant-directed plan sponsors. In 2008, Jim and key members of CSG founded North Pier.

Professional Activities

Member of the Board of Visitors of the UCLA Political Science Department
Member of the Sharpe Fellows Selection Committee of the UCLA Economics Department
Member of Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA)
Court Appointed Special Advocate for the Los Angeles County Children's Court

 

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 2, 2020

When it comes to M&A activity in the retirement service provider ecosystem, there has been a lot of activity to say the least. This is something my guest, Dick Darian, the CEO of Wise Rhino Group saw coming and has been actively involved in. During our conversation we hit on a few recent headline grabbing announcements, how the traditional lines between traditional service provider roles continue to blur and the argument for how all of this M&A activity benefits employers, their retirement plans and participants. Dick also shares his thoughts on one of my observations that the M&A trends seem to be moving in the opposite direction of the litigation trends. Good stuff. 

 

If you liked what you heard today, check out my prior conversation with Dick back in February of 2019. In the coming weeks on the podcast we have thoughts on how the upcoming election could impact retirement plans, you might have seen a few headlines about that, we will tackle stable value funds in  this low interest rate environment.

 

Finally, if you are want to have a little fun while listening, my microphone died while recording this episode, see if you can tell when I had to switch things out. That’s it, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dick!

 

Guest Bio

Dick Darian is a Partner at Wise Rhino Group. He lives in Charleston SC with his wife Mary and various four-legged friends. He enjoys spending time with family above all, especially his granddaughters Poppy, Parker, and Lottie!

 

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.

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Education: University of Arizona

Top 5 Albums of all time:
Pink Floyd – Dark Side of The Moon
Beatles – Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks
The Feelies – Crazy Rhythms

Musical artist you would most like to have a meal with (alive or dead):
Frank Sinatra

Song Lyric that best describes you:
Though you might hear laughing, spinning, swinging
Madly across the Sun
It’s not aimed at anyone
It’s just escaping on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facing
-“Mr. Tambourine Man” – Bob Dylan

Musical Artist you would most like to see perform (alive or dead):
James Brown

 

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 25, 2020

Tis the season for talk about elections and boy do we have that today. To lend some muscle to the conversation I have Nevin Adams with the American Retirement Association. We start at the top of the ticket as they say and discuss how who sits in the White House could impact retirement policy going forward, we hit on what that would mean to the priorities and focus of various government agencies, then we move to congress as a whole and hit on how influential races and committee leadership roles influence things. Finally, as we recorded this prior to the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we have some written bonus content from Nevin you can find in the podcast notes in your podcast app about how a new Supreme Court justice could impact workplace retirement plans litigation. Check that out when you have a chance. 

 

While you are there, if you have been enjoying the podcast please leave a review or comment. That goes a long way to help more people find the podcast, continue to grow our audience and help me bring you great content and guests like Nevin. 

 

Bonus Question: Could a new Supreme Court Justice impact retirement litigation now or in the future?

Bonus Answer: Unlike many issues that come before the court, there don't seem to be the same kind of partisan splits in retirement issue outcomes.  In fact, the most recent case - the Intel decision that set the "actual knowledge" standard for participant awareness of disclosures was UNANIMOUS. 

The bottom line is that while every new justice brings a different experience and perspective to issues, but the impact of RBG's replacement is more likely to impact the legislative balance than it is the leaning of the Supreme Court.

 

 

That’s it, I hope you enjoy our conversation!

 

Guest Bio

Nevin E. Adams, JD, is Chief of Content Officer for the American Retirement Association, where he is responsible for all marketing and communications for the organization, as well as its sister organizations, ASPPA, the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA), the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA), and the National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association (NTSA).

Previously he was the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Director of Education and External Relations, Co-Director of EBRI’s Center for Research on Retirement Income and Director of the American Savings Education Council, and prior to that spent a dozen years as Global Editor-in-Chief of PLANSPONSOR magazine and PLANSPONSOR.com, as well as PLANADVISER and PLANSPONSOR Europe magazines. He was the originator, creator, writer and publisher of PLANSPONSOR.com’s NewsDash. He began his retirement services career at Northern Trust in Chicago, where he later served in a variety of management roles, culminating in the development of a proprietary recordkeeping platform, and at Wachovia Bank, leading their defined contribution/recordkeeping businesses.

He has been honored three times by the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) with their Media Recognition Award (in 2002, 2004 and 2013), and has regularly been noted as one of the Most Influential People in Defined Contribution by the 401kWire. He graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois and after a number of years working with retirement plans, also received his JD from DePaul 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!

Sep 18, 2020

A few months ago, Vanguard made a significant announcement about the future of their recordkeeping business. To be honest, there was a lot of confusion and questions about the rationale, details and what the future holds for them. To address those and many more questions I am excited to have Dean Edwards, a Principal and Head of Institutional Strategy and Market Leadership with Vanguard join me on the podcast. Our conversation has a great beginning, middle and end. You don’t want to miss any of it. I learned a lot from Dean, and hope you do as well. 

 

Coming up on the podcast we have conversation about politics, elections and 401(k) plans, in another episode we dive into some of the driving forces behind the M&A activity in the retirement ecosystem, we are going to explore best practices on plan fees and much more as we look to close out the year that has been 2020. If you aren’t subscribed to the podcast, take care of that today by searching 401(k) Fridays on your favorite podcast app or going to 401kfridays.com/subscribe

 

Guest Bio

Dean Edwards is a principal, a member of the Institutional executive leadership team, and the head of Vanguard Institutional Strategy and Market Leadership.  In this role, he oversees the strategy and innovation agenda for participant advice, the digital client experience, institutional product and service development, and thought leadership.  Dean has more than 15 years of experience in the asset management and recordkeeping industries.  In previous roles, he was responsible for the development and launch of Vanguard's participant advice and guidance offer, oversight of all plan participant marketing and digital experiences, recordkeeping operations and contact center, and leadership of the mega-market client service teams serving our largest 401(k) plan sponsors.  He also served as an engagement manager on Vanguard's internal strategy consulting team.  Dean earned a dual B.A. in business administration and communications at Ursinus College and an executive M.B.A. at Villanova University. He has also completed his Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) 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!

 

Episode Disclosures:

For more information about any fund, visit institutional.vanguard.com or call 800-523-1036 to obtain a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are contained in the prospectus; read and consider it carefully before investing.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.

Vanguard is client-owned. As a client owner, you own the funds that own Vanguard. 

Vanguard Digital Advisor’s services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc., a registered investment advisor. Go to vanguard.com/digitalbrochure for important details about this service. Vanguard Digital Advisor’s financial planning tools provide projections and goal achievement forecasts that are hypothetical in nature. They are provided for educational purposes only and are not guarantees of future results.

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc., a registered investment advisor, or by Vanguard National Trust Company, a federally chartered, limited-purpose trust company. The services provided to clients who elect to receive ongoing advice will vary based upon
the amount of assets in a portfolio. Go to vanguard.com/brochurepas for an overview of the service.

Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor of the Vanguard Funds.

Sep 11, 2020

Hard to believe, but the economic and financial market impact of COVID-19 first materialized about seven months ago. Since then, we have been seen record breaking market volatility, a spike in unemployment, a recession in the U.S. economy, and dramatic changes to daily life and routines. With all that said, how are retirement savers weathering this storm? To share some details, I am excited to welcome back Nathan Voris, a Managing Director of Business Strategy with Charles Schwab Retirement Plan Services. In his role, Nathan is responsible for leading the client experience, platform, and product development strategy to help retirement sponsors, consultants, and participants meet their goals. During our conversation, he pulls from his observations and conversations as well as a the recent 2020 401(k) Participant Survey they recently completed. We covered everything you would expect us to. Some things are you would expect, and others aren’t. I f we missed anything please let me know. Shoot me an email to feedback@401kfridays.com or send me a note on LinkedIn. 

 

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

 

Guest Bio

Nathan Voris joined Schwab Retirement Plan Services in 2016. He is responsible for leading the client experience platform and product development strategy to help retirement sponsors, consultants, and participants meet their goals.

Mr. Voris previously worked at Morningstar, where he held several roles within Morningstar Investment Management, including portfolio management and asset allocation responsibilities. His most recent focus there was on product development and strategy for the retirement solutions, including wellness, advice and managed accounts, and target-date solutions.

He was also previously a consultant with R.V. Kuhns & Associates, where he worked with defined contribution plan sponsors to help improve asset allocation and solve other needs of plan participants. In that role, Mr. Voris was responsible for all aspects of portfolio construction, including asset allocation and manager selection/duediligence for plan sponsors, retirement plan providers, and asset managers. He began his career working for defined contribution plans, including Wal-Mart and the Ohio Public Employees’ Retirement System. Mr. Voris has earned a bachelor’s 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!

 

Sep 4, 2020

The 401(k) world if nothing else loves its acronyms. Today, I am excited to welcome Alison Cohn, a Partner and attorney with Ferenczy Benefits Law Center to the podcast! Alison brings her quick wit and enthusiasm to a conversation around PEPs, MEPs, and SEPs which can generally be confusing or just plan dull. With new regulations coming online, understanding the differences, pros and cons and decision points will be important as we head into 2021. Also, I loved her analogy involving ships and barnacles. I will definitely be stealing that one in the future. 

General reminder, if you have been enjoying the podcast, please share with a friend, colleague or give us a shout out on social media. As our audience continues to grow, so does the caliber of guests I am able to bring to keep you informed and sometimes entertained. 

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

 

Guest Bio

Alison J. Cohen, J.D., APA, APR is a Partner with Ferenczy Benefits Law Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  Alison 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 audits 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, and received NIPA’s Excellence in Education Award in 2019.  The award recognizes outstanding educators within the national membership who have made significant contributions and improvements to NIPA’s educational programs.  She holds designations as an Accredited Pension Administrator (APA) and Accredited Pension Representative (APR) from NIPA.  Alison is also the current President of the Pension Education Council of Atlanta.  In 2019, Alison assumed co-authorship of “ERISA: A Comprehensive Guide,” along with Ms. Ilene H. Ferenczy.

 

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 28, 2020

A major challenge for let's call it 40% of the workforce here in the United States is access to a retirement plan at work. Recently, several states have launched retirement plans to help provide more access to workers and close the coverage gap. To discuss this and more, I am happy to welcome back to the podcast, Lisa Massena, Principal at Massena & Associates. During our conversation Lisa shares her experience and insights helping launch the state retirement plan in Oregon and now actively partnering with other states and institutions looking to improve retirement security for millions of workers. 

 

Coming up on the podcast, we have episodes which hit on the new Pooled Employer Plans or PEPs, the impact of COVID on workplace retirement plans, a conversation with Vanguard about their decision to partner with Infosys, thoughts on retirement policy in the upcoming election and more! If you are not subscribed to the podcast, take care of that today by searching 401(k) Fridays on your favorite podcast app or going to www.401kfridays.com/subscribe. 

 

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

Guest Bio

Lisa A. Massena, CFA, is a retirement leader partnering with governments and service providers to develop savings programs focused on increasing private sector retirement coverage.

In 2020 Lisa founded Massena Associates to help clients successfully navigate new spaces, achieving on-budget implementation, state of the art operations, and happy users.

Services to support these outcomes include strategic advice on market position and opportunities; financial analysis; program design and development; implementation planning and support; issue expertise and testimony; marketplace updates and education; and communication.

Prior to establishing Massena Associates, Lisa served on the Government Savings team at Ascensus, the nation’s largest independent recordkeeper, and as the founding Executive Director of the OregonSaves program. She has also held executive positions at State Street and mPower. Lisa is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a graduate of Portland 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!

Jul 24, 2020

We have talked about Regulation BI and the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule before on the podcast, however, it has been a while. Reg BI is now live and the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule has been revamped after its prior version was vacated a while back. To share an overview of what each are, the impact on plan sponsors, participants and industry I am happy to welcome Chris Giorgi and Carrol Waddel, both with Empower Retirement to the podcast. Chris provides great background and perspective on the legal front as Associate General Counsel and Carrol offers her insights on how all of this will impact plan sponsors and workplace retirement plan participants. We also hit on the role of advice in the post COVID world and what that could mean for all involved. 

 

That’s it for now, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Chris and Carrol!

 

Guest Bios

 

Chris Giorgi is Assistant General Counsel for Empower Retirement. Prior to joining Empower, he served as Senior Counsel in the legal and compliance department for Putnam Investments and as Director of the ERISA compliance team for The Hartford. He has 27 years of experience in ERISA legal and compliance matters. 

Chris holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from Suffolk University and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. He is the co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s ERISA Committee and a member of various industry groups, including the ICI Pension Committee. He also maintains FINRA Series 6, 26 and 63 securities registrations and holds FINRA Series 7 credentials. 

 

Carol Waddell is Senior Vice President and Head of the Retirement Solutions Group for Empower Retirement. In her role, she oversees the teams that deliver guidance, advice, managed accounts, and financial wellness and planning across all corporate and government defined contribution segments for Empower and leads the consumer IRA, taxable and Empower Brokerage businesses. 

Previously, Carol served as Head of Product and Marketing for J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services. At J.P. Morgan, she led product management and development, which included products, services, tools and websites for advisors, plan sponsors and participants, and oversaw the firm’s marketing strategy and communications, segment management and award-winning participant experience. 

Carol has also worked for T. Rowe Price, where she served in various leadership roles. In addition to providing oversight for defined contribution, defined benefit and nonqualified plan product development and marketing — including customer digital channels; investment products; and services for intermediaries, plan sponsors and participants — she contributed significantly to the firm’s overall retirement income and target date product strategies. Carol has also served at Citibank in a variety of positions focused on marketing and customer experience. 

Carol holds an MBA from Loyola University Maryland. She currently maintains the FINRA Series 6 securities registration and holds FINRA Series 7 and 24 credentials. 

 

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!

Jul 10, 2020

Is private equity on its way to 401(k) plans? What actually is private equity? How could this work? What is the investment need that is not being filled? We discuss all of this and more with Doug Keller, Head of Private Wealth and Defined Contribution at the private equity firm Pantheon. Coincidentally, Doug and his firm were also one of the private equity firms to request the information letter from the Department of Labor that has been making headlines and prompting a lot of questions. I learned a lot from this conversation, I hope you will also. If we missed anything today let me know. Send me an email to feedback@401kfridays.com or shoot me a message on LinkedIn. 

 

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

 

Guest Bio

Doug Keller, Head of Private Wealth and Defined Contribution (joined 2013, 10 years of private markets experience)

Doug is Head of Private Wealth and Defined Contribution at Pantheon. He focuses on the origination, structuring and marketing of registered and unregistered offerings to clients globally. He previously worked in the Merrill Lynch Alternative Investments group where he was involved in screening, structuring and offering private equity and private real estate investments through the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management platform. He has a BA in Economics from Tufts University. Doug is based in New York.

 

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!

Jul 3, 2020

With the COVID related volatility in the financial markets and the impact on employees and businesses, one question lingering in the back of employers minds has been, am I more likely to be the target of a 401(k) lawsuit now? To answer this and some other topical questions that have come up, I am excited to welcome back Carl Engstrom, a 401(k) plaintiff’s attorney with Nichols Kaster. Carl and his firm have numerous lawsuits against retirement plan sponsors and to date have garnered over $150 million of dollars in settlements on behalf of 401(k) plan participants. In addition to some answers on the first question, we hit on why employers are getting sued, where 401(k) litigation is likely headed and some thoughts on other timely developments. With that said, since we recorded the episode and our release date, there have been a few announcements on private equity and ESG investment strategies we did not discuss. As those situations evolve, we will surely revisit them in the future. 

Guest Bio

Prior to joining Nichols Kaster, Carl worked as a judicial law clerk for Judge Natalie E. Hudson of the Minnesota Court of Appeals and for Judge Philip C. Carruthers and Judge Tamara G. Garcia of the Fourth Judicial District of the State of Minnesota.

During law school, Carl was a staff member and articles submission editor of the Minnesota Law Review, where his note on the Fair Labor Standards Act was published in April 2012. Carl was on the Dean’s List all three years at law school and received four Faculty Book Awards given to the top-performing student in a course. Carl also worked as a research assistant to Professor Daniel Schwarcz. Carl began his legal career in 2010 as a Law Clerk with Nichols Kaster.

Carl’s passion for helping people save for retirement began before law school, when Carl spent six years working as a Certified Financial Planner, with a particular focus on helping clients plan and save for retirement.

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!

Jun 26, 2020

Recently, there has been a lot of money, trillions of dollars, pumped into the markets and economy. What is the impact on inflation, how could this impact the broader markets, what do near zero interest rates mean? To tackle this and much more, I am happy to welcome back Rich Weiss, a Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Multi-Asset Strategies for American Century Investments. Rich brings some great stories, ability to break down complex topics and make them understandable and a few jokes to the podcast today. 

 

Before we get started, we have some great new episodes coming up featuring my conversation with a 401(k) plaintiff’s attorney, another one talking with one of the private equity firms who applied for the recent DOL information letter to get their thoughts on allowing private equity in 401(k) plans and a detailed look at Regulation BI which takes effect on June 30th. If for any reason you are not subscribed to the podcast, you can take care of that by searching 401(k) Fridays on your favorite podcast app or by visiting 401kfridays.com/subscribe. 

 

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!

Jun 19, 2020

Student debt or student loans has been a hot topic and a challenge for millions for several years now. So much so that employers are now including some type of student loan assistance in their benefits program or even their 401(k) plan. There was also a provision in the CARES Act which addressed what employers can do to help employees who have student debt. To chat about this and more, I am excited to welcome Romy Parzick, the CEO of Vault to the podcast. During our conversation, she effortlessly addresses every question I could think to ask her about student loans, what the current reality of student debt is, the impact from COVID, how employers are addressing them in their benefits programs, will the 401(k) matching program gain traction and what she sees still on the horizon. 

 

Before we get started, I apologize for the gap in episodes early this month. We are back on track and will be putting out more valuable episodes here in the coming weeks. As a reminder, if you have an idea for a guest, topic or question we should address on the podcast please either message me on LinkedIn or shoot me an email to feedback@401kfridays.com. 

 

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

 

Guest Bio

Romy Parzick is the CEO of Vault, bringing two decades of fintech innovation, operational excellence, and leadership experience to the organization. Her work spans the consumer and commercial finance sectors, where she has worked across organizations to launch new products, drive operational scaling, transform struggling business units, and manage large-scale change initiatives.

 

Prior to taking the helm at Vault, Romy led operations and client experience for the commercial division of a $4B consumer payments company and implemented national consumer advocacy initiatives at the Financial Health Network and as EVP of a leading Community Development Financial Institution. 

 

Passionate about leveling the playing field for women and minorities, Romy is an active and outspoken First Movers Fellow and advisory board member with the Aspen Institute. She holds an M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon 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!

May 29, 2020

This week, I am happy to share my conversation with Tom Clark, ERISA Attorney and COO of the Wagner Law Group! Tough to put a nice bow around this one, as we delved into a host of issues retirement plan sponsors face in the wake of COVID and as people start planning for their businesses to reopen. We hit on plan design issues, employee education, fiduciary considerations and much more. Tom has been a regular guest on the podcast, had to go back and confirm but this was his fifth episode on the podcast If you like what you heard today, be sure to check on his prior appearances on the podcast. He consistently brings his A game!

Before we get started, a big welcome to our new listeners. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast app or by going to 401kfridays.com/subscribe. This way, you will always know when we have a new episode for your enjoyment. 

Guest Bio

Tom Clark serves as the firm's Chief Operating Officer and leads the firm’s St. Louis office. 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 covered service providers in meeting their ERISA compliance needs. Mr. Clark’s vast litigation experience complements the firm’s strong and growing ERISA and employment litigation department and includes work on landmark ERISA cases involving complicated ERISA fiduciary duty issues. He has been quoted extensively as an ERISA and employee benefits expert by outlets such as Reuters, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and Forbes. Mr. Clark teaches ERISA fiduciary law as an Adjunct Professor at The Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, his alma mater. He is a co-author of the Second Edition of "ERISA: Principles of Employee Benefits Law," the only treatise of its kind that provides an overview of the regulation of employee benefit plans by highlighting the central principles and competing policies of employee benefits law in a compact and accessible format for a broad audience of readers.

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!

May 15, 2020

This week I had a timely conversation with a new guest, Chris Anast, CFA, and Senior Vice President, Senior Retirement Strategist with the Retirement Strategy Group at American Funds, part of Capital Group. We focus mostly on the paper he authored with DCIIA about the "Five Practical Barriers to Better Retirement Outcomes.” Interestingly, this was released shortly after the world was turned on its ear with the COVID pandemic. While I wont’ steal his thunder on the five practical barriers, I will say we thoroughly vet if their findings are still relevant today. Towards the end, we take a little tangent and think about other barriers employees face on their journey to retirement and how employers can help. You can find a copy of the report and more information on this episode at 401kfridays.com/barriers

 

Before we get started, thank you to all of our loyal listeners. I hope the content has helped you navigate this crazy time in the markets and economy. As a reminder, please share the podcast or any takeaways you have with friends, colleagues or anyone you feel could benefit. They can find us by searching 401(k) Fridays on their favorite podcast app, or by going to the website at 401kfridays.com. 

Guest Bio

Chris Anast, CFA, is a Senior Vice President, Senior Retirement Strategist with the Retirement Strategy Group at American Funds, part of Capital Group. Chris has 20 years of institutional investment experience and joined Capital Group in 2017.

Prior to joining Capital, Chris was a Director, Chicago Investment Practice Leader, and a Senior Investment Consultant at Willis Towers Watson. His primary responsibilities at Willis Towers Watson included leading the investment consulting practice for the Central United States, participating on strategic leadership roles for the global business, and lead investment consultant on Fortune 500 companies for defined benefit and defined contribution plans on both and advisory and delegated/OCIO basis.

Chris was also one of the founding members of the Mesirow Financial Investment Strategies defined contribution practice offering 3(21) and 3(38) fiduciary services.

He has been a regular contributor to DCIIA Plan Design and Administration Committee including a primary author of the DCIIA white paper, “Defined Contribution Plan Success Factors”.

Chris has a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Florida. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He is a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute of Chicago and participates in other organizations such as EBRI, PSCA, and WISER.

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

May 8, 2020

One common question amongst employers during the COVID-19 pandemic has been how their employees have been reacting in their 401(k) plans. To delve through this, I am excited to welcome back Josh Dietch, VP of Retirement Thought Leadership at T. Rowe Price. During our conversation, we hit on a few of the obvious thinks like stats around investment and contribution changes, but quickly delve into some of the bigger challenges retirement savers face as a result of recent events. Josh also shares some eye popping numbers on the new CARES act provisions and how their clients are approaching them. Since we missed this point in our conversation, Josh is pulling his data and observations from the over 5,700 retirement plans and 2 million participants that T. Rowe Price works with.

 

Before we get started, if you have been enjoying the podcast please mention it to anyone you think would benefit from listening. If they already like podcasts, suggest they search 401(k) Fridays on their favorite podcast app, if they are new to podcasts, you might have to explain a few things to them.

Guest Bio

Joshua Dietch is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., and the group manager of Retirement Thought Leadership. Joshua joined T. Rowe Price in 2017 and is responsible for leading a team of researchers and writers who create retirement thought leadership in support of the firm's workplace retirement, intermediary, and institutional businesses. Prior to joining the firm, he held a number of senior industry roles, including head of Retirement and Institutional with Strategic Insight, managing director with Chatham Partners, director of Product Marketing and Management with ADP Retirement Services, and associate director of Institutional Markets with Cerulli Associates. In addition to his current role at T. Rowe Price, Joshua is an Executive Committee member of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association and is chair of its Retirement Research Board. He earned a B.A. in history from Bates College and is a Series 7 and 66 registered representative.

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

Apr 24, 2020

Have questions about where the financial markets are today, interested in how things could unfold as the world re-opens? We cover this and more with my guest Frances Donald, a Managing Director, and Global Chief Economist & Global Head of Macroeconomic Strategy for Manulife Investment Management. In her role, Frances forecasts global macroeconomic and financial trends, analyzes the economy and capital markets for potential opportunities and risks, and serves as a thought leader both within the firm and externally. As you will hear, Frances makes this all very understandable and has some good stories to help explain some very unique events we are living through. 

Before we get started, if you are not receiving invites to our new Webinar Wednesdays events you aren’t on our email list. To take care of that, go to 401kfridays.com/subscribe. What is Webinar Wednesdays, well it is a timely webinar series that I host every other Wednesday where we digest timely retirement related issues plan sponsors should be thinking about. Take care of that today, and you will get an invite to our future events and more info. 

Thats it, I know you will enjoy my conversation with Frances. 

Guest Bio

Frances Donald is Managing Director, Global Chief Economist & Global Head of Macroeconomic Strategy for Manulife Investment Management. In her role, Frances forecasts global macroeconomic and financial trends, analyzes the economy and capital markets for potential opportunities and risks, and serves as a thought leader both within the firm and externally. As a senior member of the asset allocation team, she coordinates global macro research, assists in the team’s return forecasts, and contributes to portfolio positioning views. Prior to joining Manulife, Frances worked as a financial economist for Scotiabank in Toronto, and before that as a global macro analyst for Pavilion Global Markets in Montreal. Earlier in her career, she held various positions at Deloitte, Roubini Global Economics, and Bank of Canada. Frances earned a B.A. (Honours) in Economics from Queen’s University and a Master’s in Economics from New York University. She’s a frequent public speaker and regularly appears in international media, including Bloomberg and CNBC.

Education: Queen’s University, BA in Economics, 2008; New York University, MA in Economics, 2010

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

Apr 17, 2020

I hope this episode finds you safe and healthy during these crazy times. This episode had a lot of twists and turns to get to you. My guest today, Sherrie Boutwell, ERISA Attorney with Boutwell Fay and I had planned this originally as a conversation about some of the trickier distribution scenarios employers face and what to do about them. As things unfolded, we felt it would be helpful to include some commentary on the new COVID related distribution and loan options. So, we start with COVID related topics and then pivot to some of the trickier distribution options that relate to divorce, death and hardship requests. 

Before we get started, with many conferences and other traditional sources of information for people wanting to keep up with retirement plan information postponed or canceled, please share the podcast with your friends, colleagues, within a professional group or with anyone who has an interest in key topics and trends to managing 401(k) plans. You can send them to 401kfridays.com or suggest they search 401(k) Fridays on their favorite podcast app. 

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

Guest Bio

Sherrie Boutwell has focused for thirty years in the areas of employee benefits law and ERISA, with an emphasis on retirement and deferred compensation plans. She advises and counsels a broad range of clients, including employers, employees, plan fiduciaries, financial institutions, government agencies and trade associations, on a wide range of employee benefits matters.  Sherrie has extensive experience and is a highly sought after speaker and writer on employee benefits topics.

Sherrie has represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, arbitrators from the American Arbitration Association and the United States District Court with respect to employee benefits issues.  Sherrie has experience working with the unique deferred compensation issues that arise in the non-profit and governmental employer arena and also has many years of experience in the design and operation of non-qualified executive deferred compensation plans including the requirements under Section 409A of the Code.

Sherrie takes pride in bringing a practical and down to earth approach to resolving complex benefits issues involving qualified plans, non-qualified plans and health and welfare plans.

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

Apr 10, 2020

I hope this episode finds you safe and healthy in these unprecedented times. There are a lot of questions about coronavirus, the new CARES Act, the bear market. All of these moving parts also brings up inevitable concern in the back of many employers heads, will we be sued over how we have handled our 401(k) plan during this time in the future? To help wade through this I am happy to welcome back David Levine, ERISA Attorney with Groom Law Group to the podcast. He shares his perspectives on administrative or business decisions employers are being asked to make. We also delve into the fiduciary considerations and decisions employers are currently or could be faced with in the future. David also delves into what we have learned from some recent major 401(k) litigation, including one that went to the Supreme Court. While we tackled a lot, if we missed something shoot me an email to feedback@401kfridays.com and we will get you an answer or address it on a future episode!

Before we get started, you have my commitment during this time to continue with our weekly episodes where we tackle a timely and relevant workplace retirement plan topic. With many conferences and other traditional sources of information for people on hold, I would encourage you to share the podcast with your friends, colleagues or within a professional group. You can send them to 401kfridays.com or suggest they search 401(k) Fridays on their favorite podcast app. 

Guest Bio

David N. Levine is a principal at Groom Law Group, Chartered.  Mr. Levine advises plan sponsors, advisors, and other service providers on a wide range of employee benefits matters, from health and welfare to retirement and executive compensation matters.  

 

Mr. Levine 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.  Mr. Levine regularly speaks on plan design, fiduciary governance, and legislative issues.  He is recognized in the Chambers USA guide for Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation.  Mr. Levine received his J.D., from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his B.A., with general and departmental honors, from Johns Hopkins 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 175 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Apr 3, 2020

I hope this episode finds you safe and healthy! While there is no specific Coronavirus talk today, the concept of managed accounts could get a boost once the dust settles in the financial markets. To help us navigate things I am excited to welcome back David Blanchett, who is the head of retirement research for Morningstar Investment Management. We touch on many of the basics of managed accounts, then look at how they compare to TDFs, roboadvice, and how they are currently offered in workplace retirement plans. We also discuss where things are headed and how managed accounts could change some thinking about investment default options in retirement plans in the future. 

Before we get started, two thoughts. First, if you are not subscribed to the podcast take care of that today. You can click subscribe on your favorite podcast or go to 401kfridays.com/subscribe as well. Second, if you like what you hear from David or our other guests on the podcast I would encourage you to follow them on social media. They usually have some pretty informative and timely things to share. 

Guest Bio

David M. Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP® is head of retirement research for Morningstar Investment Management LLC. In this role, he helps develop and maintain methodologies relating to wealth forecasting, general financial planning, automated investment selection, and portfolio assignment for Morningstar Investment Management LLC. Prior to joining Morningstar, he was the Director of Consulting and Investment Research for the Retirement Plan Consulting Group at Unified Trust Company. He has published over 100 papers in a variety of industry and academic journals. His research has received best paper awards from the Academy of Financial Services (2017), the CFP Board (2017), the Financial Analysts Journal (2015), the Journal of Financial Planning (2007, 2014, 2015, 2018), and the Retirement Management Journal (2012). 

He is currently an Expert Panelist for the Wall Street Journal, an Adjunct professor of Wealth Management at The American College, a member of the Executive Committee for the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA), and a member of the ERISA Advisory Council.  In 2014, InvestmentNewsincluded him in their inaugural 40 under 40 list as a “visionary” for the financial planning industry, and in 2014, Money named him one of the brightest minds in retirement planning. 

He 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, 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 175 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Mar 27, 2020

If you are looking for a great conversation about the realities, challenges and opportunities for individuals on their journey to retirement, this is the episode for you. If you want information and perspectives on the coronavirus, hold onto that thought for a minute. This episode features my conversation with Katherine Roy, Managing Director, Chief Retirement Strategist and Head of Individual Retirement for J.P. Morgan Asset Management. During our conversation we hit on many of the key points and Katherine’s perspectives on J.P. Morgan’s recently released Guide to Retirement. We talk about what she wishes people spent more time thinking about, thoughts on how your prioritize different savings goals, how employers can better support their employees as they prepare for retirement, an urban legend or two and one of Katherine’s favorite topics, the Roth 401(k) feature. You can find a link to JP Morgan’s Guide To Retirement and more information from this episode at 401kfridays.com/retirement2020. Great stuff, be sure to check it out. 

 

Before we get started, this episode was recorded prior to recent major market events driven by the Coronavirus. Everything we talk about is very relevant, but if you want to hear more about that, there is double header episode this week where we provide updates for employers about Key 401(k) Plan Management Considerations During COVID-19. That one features yours truly, be sure to check that out as well. 

 

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

Guest Bio

S. Katherine Roy, Managing Director, is Chief Retirement Strategist and Head of Individual Retirement for J.P. Morgan Asset Management. In this role, Katherine is responsible for delivering timely personal retirement-related insights to financial advisors. Focused on the retirement income-related landscape for more than 15 years, Katherine specializes in identifying themes, strategies and solutions that can help advisors successfully partner with individuals in the transition and distribution life stages. 

Katherine is consistently ranked as a top speaker at major industry and firm-specific conferences and events. She also has been interviewed and quoted in the financial press on a variety of key retirement planning topics. 

Prior to joining the firm, Katherine was Head of Personal Retirement Planning & Advice at Merrill Lynch, where she led strategy and innovation in retirement income solutions for individuals, and the retirement planning, advice and guidance programs available to integrated benefits plan participants. She also held several roles in financial planning product development, participant communications and consulting, and interactive client experience initiatives. Katherine received a B.A. from Yale University and is a Certified Financial Planner®.

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

Mar 27, 2020

This episode is a first in nearly, 200 episodes. We don't have a guest. With as quickly as the financial markets, business conditions and the economy are changing I thought it might be helpful to share some timely information. My commentary is derived from a recent webinar I hosted and covers a brief update on the financial markets, ideas to communicate with employees, process to suspend your match, plan administrative questions and fiduciary considerations. 

We have also have a second episode this week which I released separately which follows our more traditional path. It features my conversation with Katherine Roy of J.P. Morgan discussing her perspective on their Guide to Retirement report. 

Finally, if you like this episode and would like me to do more of them when the times call for it, let me know. Either shoot me an email to feedback@401kfridays.com or leave a comment on LinkedIn. Hope you 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 175 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Mar 20, 2020

In this unprecedented economic and market environment it is more important than ever for employers and their retirement service partners to work well together. This week I am excited to welcome back Tom Kmak, the CEO of Fiduciary Benchmarks to share his perspectives. Tom has a great message that is simple in concept but not always followed by employers or their service partners. We also delve into his forward looking thoughts around the effectiveness of workplace retirement plans, creating retirement income for employees, as well as some potential threats and obstacles for employers and the retirement industry. If you like what you hear from Tom today, be sure to check out our prior conversations on the podcast as well. 

 

Before we get started, I would encourage you to look up and follow our guests on the podcast on LinkedIn and Twitter. They love the connections and have a lot to share. Also, if for any reason you are not following me on LinkedIn or Twitter or you are not subscribed to the podcast you can take care of that today by going to 401kfridays.com/subscribe. 

Guest Bio

Tom Kmak is the CEO and co-founder of Fiduciary Benchmarks, 2007 to current.  Fiduciary Benchmarks (FBi) is a financial services technology firm that helps clients protect their current revenue streams via their patented benchmarking service.  Since being founded in 2007, FBI has developed other technologies that help services providers grow their business, manage their business as well as provide research and competitive intelligence on a number of retirement related issues.  Their most recent innovation, the Business Management Dashboard, has been selected by a number of the most prestigious Advisory firms in the business.

Prior to founding FBi, Tom Started the JPMorgan Retirement Plan Services business in 1990 with American Century.  Upon leaving in October 2007, that business employed 1,100 people serving 200 large plan sponsors with over 1.5 million participants and more than $115 billion in assets.

During his 18 years with Retirement Plan Services, the company initiated numerous industry firsts including no blackout conversions and the innovative employee education program, Audience of One.  Tom also served on the Executive Committee for JPMorgan’s asset management business.

Named by Ingram’s magazine as one of Kansas City’s inaugural class of “Forty most influential people under Forty,” Tom is a recognized expert in the retirement services industry who has been a featured speaker at various conferences and has published articles in some of the most well-known periodicals in the industry.

Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from DePauw University with B.A. degrees in Economics and Computational Mathematics.  First graduate of Management Fellows Program and 3 year letterman in inter-collegiate basketball.

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

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