Phyllis Borzi, head of the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), says that her greatest achievement over the past year has been “developing and completing” the DOL’s fee disclosure rule that enables participants in 401(k) plans to understand the dramatic effect that fees play in their overall returns.
Borzi told AdvisorOne in an email message that she has built her career on the advice her father gave her: “If I work hard, play by the rules even when others do not, treat people with respect, fairness and honesty, and be patient, I can ultimately achieve my goals.” Ironically, she continues, “that is not the way many people view the route to success in business, including in the financial services area, but it is the path I have chosen to follow in my career and it has worked for me.” Named for a second time as one of AdvisorOne’s top 50 Women in Wealth, Borzi has developed her leadership style, she says, “by observing the traits in other leaders that I want to avoid, not emulate.”
Her impressive resume proves that her father’s advice has served her well. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s as well-versed about the Byzantine-like Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) as Borzi. As head of EBSA, Borzi oversees the administration, regulation and enforcement of Title I of ERISA, one of most complicated laws out there. EBSA oversees approximately 708,000 private-sector retirement plans, approximately 2.8 million health plans and a similar number of other welfare benefit plans that provide benefits to approximately 150 million Americans.