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What a wave of 401(k) lawsuits tell us about what RIAs really need to worry about

Plaintiff's attorneys have found the soft underbelly of advisors and plan sponsors, but the pitfalls are clear and avoidable

Author Lisa Shidler October 25, 2012 at 4:12 AM
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David Witz

David Witz

October 26, 2012 — 3:13 PM

PlanTools developed the ERISA Advisor Evaluator (“EAE”). It is an automated Request for Proposal (RFP) system that permits attorneys, CPAs, consultants and plan sponsors the ability to search, evaluate and score qualified advisor candidates. Only advisors that meet strict minimum standards are eligible to participate in the system. The standards are academic and court imposed standards in addition to ERISA. Advisor fees and services can also be benchmarked using the same system. TIAA-CREF has adopted this system to build their TIAA-CREF Advisor Network. TIAA-CREF is the only provider that has engaged a documented vetting process to ensure their clients have the option to retain or make available qualified advisor experts. Plan sponsors that continue to engage advisors that lack expertise run the risk of future litigation for paying excessive fees unless they benchmark their advisor, confirm the advisor’s qualifications and document the process. As an expert witness on the ABB case and many others, a deliberative process that is documented and meets the prevailing circumstances is the best defense against plaintiff attacks and DOL investigations. dwitz@fraplantools.com David Witz, CEO FRA/PlanTools.



October 26, 2012 — 7:00 PM


This looks like good information but it’s also very self-promotional. I end up getting emails asking why I’m permitting these kinds of emails to go undeleted. I’ll leave this for now but I think in this forum it’s better just to establish yourself as an expert and not be throwing your whole pitch.



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