Monday, April 06, 2020

Asset Strategy Retirement Plan Consultants is a Federally Registered Investment Advisor providing retirement consulting and investment advisory services to plan sponsors. We become a fiduciary to those plans that we consult and/or advise on.

Fiduciary Oversight

The selection, monitoring, benchmarking and, if need be, removal of investments in accordance with the Plan's Investment Policy Statement (IPS) is the responsibility of the fiduciary to the plan. Further, providing investment advice to participants is an activity that the plan sponsor should not get involved with. Having an independent investment advisor provides the plan with objectivity while adhering to the Investment Policy Statement. It is recommended that your IPS be reviewed at least every two years.

Asset Strategy Retirement Plan Consultants is compensated for our services by the plan sponsor. We have no “conflicts of interest” because we are fee paid and not driven by compensation from an investment company. Our full disclosure enables you to satisfy your fiduciary duties in knowing the costs that you are paying.

Why such a strong commitment to independence? Simple - where money is involved, it is impossible to remain totally objective when your compensation is tied to the advice you give. We cost out our valued services competitively and let the results speak for themselves.

Investment Selection and Monitoring Process

Investment selection and diversification by asset class requires a number of process steps to ensure a quality and compliant conclusion. This is true for both Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution plans. Asset Strategy Retirement Plan Consultants utilizes an extremely thorough process for selecting investment managers with the understanding that “the key to managing risk is diversification.”
With 401k and 403b defined contribution plans, our due diligence process for investment manager selection, benchmarking, monitoring and replacement includes:

  • Review and modification of the Investment Policy based on the current needs of the Plan Sponsor to ensure search compliance and consistency
  • Establishment of investment manager selection criteria
  • Development of plan asset allocation risk/reward profiles
  • Renegotiation of provider agreements to accommodate the least costly share class
  • Development of a transition plan and exit strategy for transferring assets
  • Manager selection for DB plans, which need to consider both asset allocations and the emerging liabilities of the plan.
  • Stochastic forecasting to address the potential variability (randomness) of expected results. This approach looks at thousands of potential scenarios ranging from best-case to worst-case, and everything in between.
  • Asset/liability modeling based on Stochastic forecasting goal
  • Development of an asset allocation strategy
  • Development of a manager universe (separate account, pooled, mutual fund, private equity, etc.)
  • Trust and custody strategy

Evaluating Investment Fund Performance

Some of the over 100 criteria used to evaluate managers include:

  • Investment returns on a risk adjusted basis
  • Manager tenure and philosophy
  • Style adherence since inception
  • Expenses
  • Fund firm ownership, regulatory compliance and sanctions (SEC, AG, or Class Action)