Pershing announced Tuesday the launch of the Retirement Plan Network, a multifaceted offering that will “connect multiple constituencies” through the clearing and custody’s firm’s NetX360 technology platform to help broker-dealers and RIAs to grow, or begin, their defined contribution plan business.
Rob Cirrotti, head of retirement solutions at Pershing, had originally announced the Network’s advent during Pershing’s InSite conference last June, and is meant to leverage Pershing’s already significant presence as an IRA custodian into the defined contribution business.
In a Tuesday interview, he said the Network was “at the heart of our strategy to help our clients grow,” connecting those “multiple constituencies,” including advisors, broker-dealers, plan sponsors, participants, asset managers and third-party recordkeepers. The Network will give RIAs and broker-dealers the tools and resources to provide everything from creating proposals for plan sponsors to viewing plan investments, conducting investment reviews, facilitating IRA rollovers, selecting recordkeepers and accessing plan sponsor and participant education materials.
Other than the custody charge for each plan and charges for some premium tools around coaching and investment analytics, there will be no separate charges for the Network’s offerings, which will include “dynamic dashboarding.”
Cirrotti said there are four main focuses of the initiative.
First is an expansion of Pershing’s network of recordkeepers to work with plan sponsors and advisors. At its launch, the Network includes six recordkeepers — Allen, Gibbs & Houlik L.C., Aspire Financial Service, Benefit Consultants Group, DailyAccess Corp., July Business Services and Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group — but Cirrotti said Pershing is “already in conversations with additional national and regional” recordkeepers to join the network.
The second focus is the of range tools accessible through the network — including those mentioned above along with practice management solutions to help advisors start and grow their DC businesses. Cirrotti also promised that “we’ll look at best-of-breed tools” to add to the network through 2015.
The third focus is to provide retirement plan participant data to advisors. While “not all advisors offer services to individual participants,” he said, “we want to help them know the participants in the plan, building a participant view for advisors, especially around the rollover” opportunity for those advisors.