Law Firm 401(k) Advisor & Recordkeeper RFP Case Study

Background

North Pier Search Consulting led a law firm’s search for a retirement plan advisor and recordkeeper with ERISA §3(38) capabilities for their $40 million 401(k) plan.

Scope

To comply with ERISA’s duty to monitor covered service providers, North Pier was engaged to lead an ERISA advisor and recordkeeper dual search for a $40 million retirement plan for a law firm.

Challenges & Drivers

The client’s reasons for engaging North Pier include:

  • Fulfilling their fiduciary duty to monitor.
  • Potential transition to §3(38) services.
  • Seeking to validate incumbents’ services, and ensuring they are consistent with best practices.

Process

  • Thorough document review and interviews with Committee, staff, and management.
  • Provided fiduciary education on best practices, state of the industry, and discretionary management.
  • Developed a comprehensive client profile concluding in the construction of a detailed RFP.
  • Identified qualified candidates from North Pier’s universe of over 120 advisors and recordkeepers.
  • Administered simultaneous RFPs and performed detailed due diligence.
  • Reviewed §3(38) track records and performed in-depth investment analyses on leading advisor candidates.
  • Assisted in selection of finalists; moderated, organized, and coordinated finalist presentations and selection conferences for recordkeepers and advisors.
  • Negotiated and reviewed fees and contracts.

Results

Advisor Search:

  • Expanded services to §3(38) and negotiated a reduction in fees, bringing them in line with the market.
  • Validated incumbent’s capabilities

Recordkeeper Search:

  • Validated incumbent’s capabilities
  • Negotiated a 15% decrease in fees, bringing them in line with the market.

*Performing simultaneous searches for two of the plan’s service providers saved the client considerable time and consulting fees.

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