As a plan provider, learn to say no

by Ary Rosenbaum
Contact

I always believe that regardless of whether it’s business or in regular day-to-day life, that you can’t be everything for everybody. Being honest with that is only half the battle.

A lot of times, I met folks who are interested in starting a registered investment advisory (RIA) firm.  I get calls for my insight on the retirement plan business, as well as my work in drafting advisory agreements for RIA firms and their retirement plan clients to comply with the fee disclosure regulations (which I do for $1,000 on a flat fee basis, cheap plug) here.  I also get asked  on whether I could work on their RIA registration or whether they should use one of those businesses that only deal with RIA set ups and registration. Looking at my experience in doing that and comparing myself to these businesses, I politely tell them that these firms would be a better fit for their RIA registration. It’s not that I couldn’t do the work; it’s just that the fees and length of time in doing the work is probably better by using a business that does nothing but RIA registrations. Perhaps these new RIAs will be a client of mine, perhaps not, but at least I was honest with them.  Again, you can’t be everything for everybody.

I have a friend of mine who works for a great third party administration (TPA) firm in the Northeast. Only problem is that when it comes to smaller plans, the fees are high. Nothing wrong with that, except if you are a smaller plan and were dead set on getting this TPA to handle your plan. Anyway, this salesperson met one of the accountants he was familiar with. The accountant had a lot of opportunity in single employee, defined benefit plans. With a $4,000 minimum for the actuarial work, the salesperson told the accountant that they were better off finding another firm for these plans at less than half what his minimum fee was. Again, you can’t be everything for everybody.

Contrast this with a case at my old TPA. We had a 401(k) plan where the human resources director hated us from day one because we wouldn’t do the work she received from the previous TPA she liked. She was a problem from Day 1, but we took the case because we had a great relationship with a southern RIA firm. So this client was a problem from Day 1, but they seemed to be interested in changing the plan by making it a K-SOP, basically adding an employer stock ownership feature (ESOP) to it.  The client’s advisors asked me about our experience with it and I was honest, I said we had a couple of those cases. Our lack of experience showed up in some of the presentations to the client (of which I was not invited to attend). Story cut short, our lack of knowledge was exposed and not only did we lose the client, the RIA who referred us the client lost the client as well.

Regardless of whether it’s a TPA, RIA, and an ERISA attorney, you know you found an honest provider when they basically tell you that they can’t handle your plan because the plan is not a right fit for their book of business. As a plan provider, you also need to be honest and forthcoming when you can’t do the work. Know your limits and let the potential clients know what they are.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ary Rosenbaum, The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Ary Rosenbaum
Contact
more
less

The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!