The FT 401 aims to provide a list of professionals who specialize in advising employers on their defined contribution plans.
The formula the FT 401 uses to grade advisers is based on six broad factors and calculates a numeric score for each adviser.
The factors were:
- DC assets under management (AUM). This signals experience and success in managing money in 401(k) programs and other DC plans.
- Growth rate in DC plan business. Measured by changes in both DC plan clients and assets, growth is a proxy for performance, client retention and ability to draw new clients.
- Specialization in the DC business. This is measured by what percentage of the overall assets managed by the adviser are in DC plans and how that concentration has changed.
- Experience advising on DC plans. This tracks years spent managing DC plan assets through different economic and market environments.
- Industry certifications. These show technical knowledge that is particularly important in the complicated DC plan industry.
- Compliance record. A string of client complaints can signal potential problems.
Among the top factors in FT 401 scoring, DC plan assets accounted for roughly 60-65% of each adviser’s score, on average.
Another 12-18% of the score derived from the growth in the adviser’s DC business (as measured in both DC assets and number of DC plans advised).
This year, to emphasize long-term client satisfaction, FT 401 used a three-year growth rate instead of the one- and two-year growth rates used in the past.
To access the full list of FT 401 advisers, please visit https://www.ft.com/reports/top-401-advisers.
The Financial Times 401 Top Retirement Plan Advisors is an independent listing produced by the Financial Times (September 2019). Out of 678 applications; approximately 59% (401) received the award. The FT 401 is based on data gathered from financial advisors, regulatory disclosures, and the FT’s research. The listing reflects each advisor’s status in seven primary areas, including DC plan assets under management, growth in DC plan business, specialization in DC plan business, and other factors. This award does not evaluate the quality of services provided to clients and is not indicative of future performance. Neither the advisors nor their parent firms pay a fee to Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 401.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA & SIPC. Investment advice offered through Global Retirement Partners, LLC (GRP) a registered investment advisor. Washington Financial Group and Hub International are separate and unaffiliated with LPL Financial.