September 5, 2013

Loring Ward Makes Push to Pull More Advisors Into Retirement Plan Market

A series of webinars and a conference aim to support financial advisors interested in expanding their retirement plan business

Heather Hooper on C-Span. Heather Hooper on C-Span.

Asset managers and broker-dealers keep rolling out new ways for financial advisors to tap into the lucrative yet daunting world of retirement plans.

On Tuesday, Loring Ward announced plans to host several webinars and a conference to help advisors develop and expand their retirement plan business.

“Lack of retirement readiness is a huge concern in the United States,” said Heather Hooper, vice president of retirement strategies for the asset manager, in a press release. “Recent regulatory changes and all the moving pieces associated with a plan can be confusing for plan sponsors, and they need help from advisors to make good decisions that support this important benefit.”

The asset manager will host webinars later this month highlighting best practices, key marketing strategies, effective sales presentations and how to communicate what an advisor can bring to a retirement plan and its participants.

In October, Loring Ward will lead a symposium on the retirement-plan marketplace at the University of Chicago. The event is open to all advisors, though space is limited.

News about these programs comes two weeks after LPL Financial (LPLA) said it was partnering with fund giant Vanguard and Ascensus to give retirement plan clients access to LPL’s Worksite Financial Solutions platform, which offers investors tailored financial advice and education, as well as and the chance to interact one on one with LPL financial advisors.

At the time of its announcement, the independent broker-dealer noted that the partnership should give LPL advisors the chance to provide services to more than 1,000 plans representing more than $2.1 billion in retirement assets.

The IBD went public with the program about one month after Nuveen Investments introduced Plan Profit (k)alculator, a practice-management tool for advisors to use when calculating profits made in the retirement plan market.

Many advisors avoid serving the retirement-plan market, Hooper explains, because they don’t have in-house expertise. “With Loring Ward’s ERISA 3(38) Fiduciary program, advisors can successfully address this urgent need,” she said.

Loring Ward said earlier this year that it works as a turnkey asset management provider (TAMP) for about 850 RIAs and other independent registered reps using “neutral custodians,” such as Fidelity, Pershing (BK), Schwab (SCHW) and TD Ameritrade (AMTD).

These relationships represent some $8 billion in the client assets managed by the San Jose-based TAMP, which is expanding its work as a strategist for 800 other advisors affiliated with independent broker-dealers like Royal Alliance and Securities America; this work represents nearly $1 billion in client assets under management for the asset manager.

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Check out LPL Makes Retirement Plan Deal With Vanguard, Ascensus on ThinkAdvisor.

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