401(k)/457/403(b) Vendor Searches
Putting the right service providers together for defined contribution retirement plans can be a difficult puzzle. Few plan sponsors can afford the resources or time to select the vendors best suited to meet their defined contribution plan needs. To assist plan sponsors in solving the defined contribution puzzle, Segal Advisors offers DC-Connect®, an organized process for vendor selection and plan implementation.
Segal Advisors has no financial ties to any service provider. DC-Connect clients receive objective and impartial consulting services based on firsthand knowledge of the defined contribution and investment management industries, experience gained from conducting numerous defined contribution plan provider searches, and substantial practical expertise in all aspects of plan implementation.
We are one of the only consulting firms to have a dedicated team of experienced defined contribution professionals with extensive knowledge in the area of fee and contract negotiations, plan design/compliance, RFP development, vendor evaluation/analysis and plan implementation. Over the past three years, we have conducted more than 100 full service vendor selection and evaluation projects for all types of defined contribution programs, including 403(b), 457, 401(a) and 401(k) plans.
The DC-Connect Process
DC-Connect provides clients with a comprehensive picture of their defined contribution plan needs and the service providers that can best meet those needs. We also negotiate fees to obtain the most favorable fee structure and assist in the plan implementation and transition process.
The DC-Connect process has six steps:
- Discovery: Initially, the DC-Connect team works with the client to document the organization's defined contribution plan priorities and objectives, and provides market research to identify appropriate vendors.
- Developing a Request for Proposal (RFP): The DC-Connect team helps the client define its expected investment strategy and develops a summary of the client's significant plan provisions and any unique plan features. We then create and distribute a comprehensive RFP capturing all information that is necessary to ensure that the candidates have a comprehensive understanding of the needs of your plan.
- Evaluating Proposals: The client receives a comparative analysis of all service provider responses. This analysis includes an evaluation matrix summarizing and ranking each provider's capabilities. We then assist the client in identifying finalists.
- Selecting New Providers: The DC-Connect team interviews finalists and negotiates fees for the selected service provider(s). On-site visits of each finalist's facility may be arranged at the client's request.
- Contract Negotiation: Once a vendor has been selected, we ensure that all service contracts and agreements are in accordance with the terms of the proposal. We review service contracts, trust agreements, service standards and conduct final fee negotiations. We also negotiate specific contract terms with selected vendors in collaboration with legal counsel.
- Conversion/Implementation: After the service provider(s) has been selected, the DC-Connect team works with the client and provider to ensure a smooth and accurate plan installation, implementation, enrollment process, and transition from the current administrative system to the new service provider.