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Nine in 10 Registered Investment Advisors Simply “Accommodating” Retirement Plan Business
New Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services® Program Helps Advisors Shift from Accommodating to Accelerating Their Retirement Plan Business, as More Plan Sponsors Turn to Advisors for HelpBOSTON – Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services,®i a leading custodian for registered investment advisors (RIAs) and third party recordkeepers, today announced Retirement Plan Growth Strategies, a new program to help RIAs accelerate growth in their retirement plan business through consulting, tools and connections to the right resources. According to new Fidelity research, 91 percent of advisors currently offering retirement plans, such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s, are only accommodating the business as part of their broader wealth management practices.ii This presents a range of challenges, with many “accommodators” reporting that it is difficult to keep up with fiduciary rules, build scale and grow relationships.iii The research also identified a group of “High-Performing Retirement Advisors,” who have made the shift from accommodating retirement plans to accelerating their retirement business by applying a deliberate approach to growth. These advisors have increased their retirement plan business by 50 percent or more in the last five years.iv
“Retirement planning is not an accommodators’ business for the long-term – advisors who expect to only accommodate plans will not be able to compete with those who are dedicating real time and resources to it,” said Meg Kelleher, executive vice president and head of the Retirement Advisors and Recordkeepers segment, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. “Fidelity’s new offering helps RIAs with only a handful of retirement plan clients understand the real opportunity they present and helps get them on the path to accelerating their retirement business.”
For RIAs, the opportunity with retirement plans continues to grow, and for those already involved, it is a bullish market. Eighty-four percent of plan sponsors relied on advisors in 2013 (up 9 percentage points from 2012),v and 60 percent of High-Performing Retirement Advisors expect to at least double their retirement business in the next five years.iv The Fidelity program helps RIAs capitalize on the opportunity with retirement plans – specifically, how their fee-based model, fiduciary experience and investing acumen puts them in a unique position to grow this part of their practice.
The Retirement Plan Growth Strategies program features tools, insights and support to take RIAs through a three-step process:
1. Diagnose: Determine if Retirement Plan Clients are Right for Your Firm
According to Fidelity research, 67 percent of advisors said servicing retirement plans is not a current focus, or is, in fact, a distraction.iv The reality is that advisors are in the retirement space no matter how many plans they advise. The real question is – how much further do they want to go?
To help RIAs determine if growing their retirement plan business is right for their firm, the program offers a personalized approach to help advisors assess their level of interest in retirement plans and suggests resources that provide tangible next steps to begin the development process.
2. Develop: Apply a Deliberate Approach
The research found that High-Performing Retirement Advisors dedicated more time and resources to retirement plans (55 percent of their time and resources compared to 41 percent of other firms) and were much more likely to direct marketing efforts toward generating new retirement plan business (39 percent vs. 19 percent of other firms).
Once a firm determines their level of interest in retirement plans, the program offers resources – including insights, workshops and tools – to help advisors develop and apply a custom strategy designed to accelerate their retirement plan business. For example, a Firm Story Guide leverages Fidelity’s marketing expertise within the retirement space to help advisors develop and evolve their firm story as part of their retirement plan strategy. To see how one firm’s deliberate approach to growth helped them thoughtfully scale their business, click here.
3. Deliver: Make Connections to Start Growing
Forty-percent of High-Performing Retirement Advisors said they were likely to try new ways of growing their retirement business.iv Once a firm is ready to begin growing their retirement plan business, making connections via clients, centers of influence and prospects is an important launching pad for growth.
The Fidelity program offers advisors exclusive access to Referral-EDGE for RetirementSM, a prospecting tool that – through a database of high-net-worth individuals, retirement plans and centers of influence – provides insights into advisors’ existing clients and uncovers qualified prospects and referral connections.vi To see how one firm accelerated their retirement business by taking a smart approach to sourcing qualified leads, click here.
As a leading provider of retirement services, Fidelity helps advisors, recordkeepers, plan sponsors and participants define and execute a retirement strategy that is right for them. To learn more about the new Retirement Plan Growth Strategies program for RIAs and third-party recordkeepers call (866) 728-5375 or visit booth 416 at the 2014 NAPA 401k Summit March 23 – 25th.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $4.7 trillion, including managed assets of $2.0 trillion, as of February 28, 2014. Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.
i Clearing and custody provided by National Financial Services LLC.