by Leslie O’Bryan and Michael Marx
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
Bert and Ernie.
Financial Advisors and Benefits Administrators.
What do these pairs have in common? They are all partnerships that work exceptionally well because the members’ roles are complimentary and mutually valued.
Third-party administrators such, as Benefits Administrators, must be part of such a team: We partner with financial advisors to meet the retirement planning needs of clients. Advisors bring expertise that guides the financial plan decision making. We offer expertise in preparing the plan documents to meet ever-changing legal and regulatory standards.
But, we see our role as more than just dotting i’s and crossing t’s (which we love to do, by the way). We enable financial advisors to be more efficient. We give them time to cultivate and grow business rather than spending time on the day-to-day details we thrive on. It also helps create a positive service experience for clients because their financial plans are always prepared the way they need to be. That increases client satisfaction and retention.
Efficiency is a key to success in our business, but never at the expense of thoroughness.
Our advisors rely on us to be just as invested in the growth of their retirement planning business as they are. We help them ask the right questions when prospecting for new clients. In some cases, we accompany them to point-of-sale meetings so the client sees the whole picture, which can help close the sale. Finally, we measure growth by running projections for potential clients using available census data.
Once business is earned, Benefits Administrators maintains a professional environment with timely responses to client calls and emails. We keep clients informed of any new regulations and plan restatements. We assist with annual plan reviews in meetings with clients because we are committed to helping advisors retains clients.
We don’t do the old soft shoe, save damsels in distress, or teach the ABC’s. However, we do understand how to collaborate with financial advisors to make their business easier and more prosperous.