August 28, 2008

Fees Top Reason Plan Sponsors Switch Providers

Replaces poor service as main reason to switch, says Spectrem

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Using Solicitors to Attract Clients Rule 206(4)-3 under the Investment Advisors Act establishes requirements governing cash payments to solicitors. The rule permits payment of cash referral fees to individuals and companies recommending clients to an RIA, but requires four conditions are first satisfied.
  • Disaster Recovery Plans and Succession Planning RIAs owe a fiduciary duty to clients to prepare for disasters and other contingencies. If an RIA does not have a disaster recovery plan, clients’ financial well-being may be jeopardized.  RIAs should also engage in succession planning, ensuring a smooth transaction if an owner or principal leaves.   

Fees have become the top reason retirement plan sponsors switch providers, outpacing poor service, according to a new Spectrem Group report. Nearly one-third (30%) of plan sponsors cited cost/fees as the primary factor precipitating a change in plan providers, according to the report, "DC Market Needs." This surpassed poor service (26%) and investment issues (12%), and represents the first time that fees have been cited by Spectrem as the number one reason study respondents gave for changing providers. In 2005, cost/fees finished third (18%) to both poor service (45%) and investment issues (26%). Fees also came in third in 1999 and 2002.

"The newfound focus on fees coincides with increased attention paid to fees and fee disclosure by the media and regulators over the past couple of years," said George Walper, president of Spectrem Group, in a statement. "Of course, sponsors' greater scrutiny of fees puts pressure on providers to reduce them and, consequently, may impact margins in an already competitive market segment."

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.