By Cyril Tuohy
Give financial professionals the resources to help them manage small- and micro-business retirement plans, and advisors are likely to solicit that business, according to a series of seminars with professionals and advisors conducted by Guardian Retirement Solutions.
The findings are the result of surveys in connection with retirement seminars, labeled “G2 Summits: Gain and Grow,” held in eight different markets around the country over the past two months. Nearly 270 financial professionals attended the seminars, Guardian said.
“The message received from our G2 Summits is clear – financial professionals don’t have to go it alone in the micro- and small-plan market,” Steve Davis, national sales manager with Guardian Retirement Solutions, said in a news release.
The small group and the micro group markets, in particular plans with less than $5 million in assets, make up 95 percent of all qualified plans and represent more than $750 billion in plan assets, according to 2012 data from Cerulli Associates in Boston.
The opportunity for advisors in those segments, therefore, is huge, but the segments are fractured and advisors often find it more efficient to solicit 401(k) business from larger plan sponsors because of economies of scale offered by larger plans. The larger the plan, however, the more saturated and crowded the opportunity.
Still, “100 percent of respondents” were likely to take on more retirement business in the wake of the summit meetings, particularly after learning how to take advantage of the financial support offered by investment management companies, record-keepers, third-party administrators and fiduciary-support services, Guardian said.
More than half of survey respondents at the G2 Summits (51 percent) view time management as a key challenge to doing business in the retirement plan market, and 39 percent said resource management presented the key challenge.
Lesser challenges cited by financial professionals were fiduciary responsibilities (27 percent) and regulation (23 percent).
Companies have offered 401(k) retirement services for years, but Guardian Retirement Solutions is carving out a niche for itself in the small-plan segment.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He can be reached at [email protected].
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