Use of RFPs widening in search for financial advisors

By BenefitsPro

By Paula Aven Gladych

Need to find a financial advisor for your workplace retirement plan?

Plan sponsors are increasingly using requests for proposals in their search for advisors whose philosophies match theirs and who communicate well with employees.

Formal RFP searches, in fact, are now the standard method for selecting a professional retirement plan advisor in many segments of the employer population because the approach is viewed as more fair.

It also helps aligns plan goals with the services and business model of the selected plan advisor, and provides an even clearer understanding of fees.

In a recent study by the Retirement Advisor Council, plan sponsors regularly cite responsiveness, courteousness, humility, patience, and firmness when necessary as qualities they desire in their advisor.

While cost is a factor, it is not a primary driver in advisor selection, according to the report, “What Type of Financial Advisor is Right for My Plan?”

Most plan sponsors base their decision on the role the advisor plays in the delivery of participant education, communication and counseling.

When asked to assign a value to 13 services many specialized advisors offer, plan sponsors placed the greatest weight on the periodic review of investment options and the assessment of plan compliance with applicable laws, regulations and stated policies.

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