TPAs & Financial Advisors are Natural Partners

TPAs & Financial Advisors are Natural Partners

Local Third Party Administration firms (TPAs) and Financial Advisors are natural partners in the employer retirement plan marketplace.  They bring complimentary skills to the partnership and a shared vision of service to their employer and employee clients.  Local TPAs and Financial Advisors:

  • Are passionate professionals who together enhance the probability of their clients achieving their goals.
  • Can have deep roots in their community through their family, friends, and organizations they’re involved with.
  • Have their ear to the ground when it comes to the needs of their community.


The ability of the local TPA and Financial Advisor to personally meet with plan sponsors is a win-win-win for all.  The rise of digital communications makes business interactions easier and faster than ever, however many business owners still prefer face-to-face meetings.


Local employers, especially those with 100 and fewer employees, are used to working with local professionals, (Attorneys, CPAs, PC Agents, Commercial Lenders) to help them run their business.  Those employers appreciate the benefits of delegating. For newer Financial Advisors, a local TPA’s connections to business owners, CPAs and others can offer them a step up as they begin building their business.


Many TPAs rely upon Financial Advisors and other sources for new business referrals.  When prospecting for new business, TPAs and Financial Advisors offer educational workshops for owners and key executives about the importance of employer retirement plans. TPAs also offer workshops specifically for Financial Advisor education, covering a wide variety of topics, from 401(k) plan sales and design, to regulation updates.

TPAs report a far higher close ratio with Financial Advisors when the TPA is present at the sales presentation.  And both have a vested interest in serving the employer and their employees in order to retain the relationship and assist the employer in maintaining a thriving retirement plan.  The service they deliver together produces good results for their community.


It all adds up that local TPAs and Financial Advisors are natural partners!


By: Laina Davidson, Shannon Edwards, TriStar Pension Consulting

Christopher Barlow, KnowHow 401(k)

Welcome to Selling Season 2017!

Welcome to Selling Season 2017!

401(k) Advisors know that the four month period of time from July thru October is the time of year you make your numbers in 401(k) sales. Employers are most inclined to improve their company retirement plan during this time of year we call the Selling Season. Employers seem to be conditioned and comfortable discussing retirement plan improvements for implementation on January 1st, 2017.

Plan sponsors with a calendar year end plan are more aware of their company retirement plan at this time of year because Form 5500 is due by July 31st, (unless a 2 1/2 month extension is sought).  And if the plan has over 100 participants the plan audit is being finalized to review with the auditor and attach various schedules to their company retirement plan Form 5500.

This is the time of year for all 401(k) prospect facing sales professionals to continue to be in contact with plan decision makers. Hopefully you have been in communication with plan prospects over the past months and possibly past years leading to the 2017 selling season.  Those numerous communications prove your determination and make it easy for the decision maker to remember you.  401(k) plan decision makers will still vacation over summer, but as each day progresses your persistence and timing can be rewarded.

June 30th, 2017


Strengthen and Build Your Bench of 401(k) Plan Advisors

Strengthen and Build Your Bench of 401(k) Plan Advisors

I work with TPAs and Advisors every day, assisting them to do more business together. I believe TPAs and Advisors are natural partners.  Here are a few ideas to strengthen relationships and grow sales with 401(k) Advisors.

  • Be a consultant to their business, a member of their board of directors. You witness many Advisors in the marketplace and are a good judge of best practices Offer to review the Advisors acquisition and service activities with your knowledge of other Advisors. Assisting them to refine their acquisition and retention activities will promote their productivity and referral opportunities for your firm. Memorialize your work together in a joint business plan.
  • Advisors need to be confident with your firm’s “story” and you need to be confident in the Advisors. Each should provide to the other marketing materials that they can use to convey the story to plan sponsors and any other that can influence the joint sale.
  • Add to your annual Advisor service model a “State of the Industry” presentation delivered at their office. Keeping them up-to-date will promote their confidence in you and your firm, and perhaps give them a sales idea to share with their prospects and clients. Discuss a case study or two and perhaps jog an opportunity they may have but didn’t look at it until you introduced the idea through the case study.
  • Create a joint service model which outlines a timeline of activities that each is expected to deliver to the plan sponsor and the plan participants. The joint service model can increase sales and retention of plans for both the TPA and the Advisor. The better you and the Advisor can communicate your partnership and shared responsibility to serve the plan, the easier the plan sponsor can decide to hire you.

When I work with Advisors I remind them that they cannot be everything to everyone and that they have to be choosy as to which plans they pursue and partnerships that they enter into. I encourage you to do the same.  Focus on the few Advisors that you want to grow your business with and assist with their development.  Strengthen and build your bench of top Advisors and grow your sales.

February 22nd, 2017