Confronting the Complexities of Business Leadership

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CFOs and human resource executives grow their skills at the Executive Leadership Forum.

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Are Conflicts of Interest Harmful…Really?

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Hand writing the text: Conflict of InterestOut of necessity, a fiduciary’s performance of their duty will drive interactions with vendors of investment advice and administration services. Those interactions all have the potential to create real or perceived conflicts of interest with the trinity of ERISA fiduciary responsibility…independence, loyalty, and exclusive purpose.
 

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The REAL Impact of 408(b)(2)

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PodcastOrganizations that sponsor ERISA retirement plans have long struggled with the complexities of their vendors’ fee arrangements. The Department of Labor (“DOL”) blames much of that struggle on an information gap that divides plan managers and vendors.

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Year End Takeaways for Plan Administrators

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Businessman jumps to The New Year 2016.Have you ever been so thirsty on a steamy August day that you drank from a garden hose? Yes, I must admit that I have. I remember falling for this hydration method as a teenager in the midst of my lawn mowing days. It seemed like a good idea at the time, with the temperatures well into the 100s and my mouth feeling as dry as a cotton ball. But after gulping endless amounts of water, my body was unable to process the h2o quickly enough, which led to the worst stomach cramp in the history of stomach cramps. “Where am I going with this?” you may ask.

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The Significance of a Signature

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Pen on the contract papersAs I sit here reviewing an investment advisory agreement this morning on behalf of one of our ERISA 3(16) clients, I am reminded of the weight of a client’s duties – not just under ERISA – but under the obligations of the many vendor agreements they will sign on behalf of their company’s qualified retirement plan.

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On a scale from 1 to 10, how vulnerable is your retirement plan?

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Rank1-10When faced with such a question, few plan sponsors – and the executives appointed to be Plan Administrators – seem able to answer it with any confidence. As fiduciary consultants we often find that those who feel positive about their status are likely to overestimate their level of protection. Many Plan Administrators operate unaware of what truly creates risk within their plan dynamics.

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Can ERISA go Organic?

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organic_naturalIn my work with retirement plan administrators and investment advisors, I often consider what is happening in the food industry across the United States. There is a shift occurring in the food industry. Consumers are realizing that the benefits of “mass production” come at a price.The CONSUMER is now taking BACK control of the conversation and the market has been forced to respond. The same can be said for the qualified plan market. Most qualified plans go unmonitored – much like the diet of the typical U.S. citizen. My dream for the qualified plan market is that it goes organic.

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Are We Sinking in a Sea of Conflicts?

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OceanA great article appeared today in BenefitsLink called Retirement Plans Often Rife with Conflicts of Interest. In it, the author, Johnathan Broadbent, expresses consternation about the increasingly complex responsibilities of the retirement plan sponsor amidst the murky waters of conflicted arrangements. This issue is under constant consideration at Roland|Criss and it resonated deeply with us.

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Behind a Veil of Authenticity

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BlogVideo-IntroStartScreen-120214Retirement plan sponsors have been hit by vendors with a wave of sales activity for so-called “3(16) services.” The benefits of using a professional firm to which the legal duty of the Plan Administrator role (that’s the 3(16) fiduciary) is transferred, are very appealing. Savvy vendors have jumped on the chance to sell a new thing, however, and are pushing hard on a not so new concept. Hidden behind a veil of authenticity, most vendors’ programs are anything but authentic. This short video blog tells more.

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Fiduciary Fumbles: How Do Plan Sponsors Choose the Right Fiduciary?

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SolutionphotoponsulakAn article published last week by Employee Benefit News titled, “Which type of fiduciary should plan sponsors hire?” compares the differing responsibilities of 3(16), 3(21), and 3(38) fiduciary providers.

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