News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community


Venerable 401(k) recordkeeper Ascensus Inc. has brought aboard Kathleen Roche and Derek Vito to create strategies for, and strengthen ties to, its independent RIA and broker-dealer clients.

Roche, a past president of the Women in Pensions Network, will work with broker-dealer and advisor clients and bear the title of vice president of channel management strategy. Before joining the Dresher, Pa.-based firm in January, she worked at Commonwealth Financial Network for eight years. There, she created a retirement plan consulting platform geared to independent financial advisors.

Derek Vito

As vice president of channel management, Vito will focus on sales strategy and brand expansion in the broker-dealer channel. He'll also work with the sales team to help advisors converting to a fee-based model.

Founded 35 years ago years, Ascensus was acquired in 2015 by private equity firms Genstar Capital and Aquiline Capital Partners from J.C. Flowers & Co. RIABiz spotlighted the firm soon after when jumbo-sized RIA Fisher Investments entered the 401(k) business by signing on with the firm. See: Capitalizing on 'unintended consequences' of DOL changes, Ken Fisher pounces on a fat-margin 401(k) opportunity.

Ascensus currently has $163 billion of assets under administration.

“Kathleen and Derek bring extensive experience partnering with financial advisors, RIAs, and broker-dealers, who we recognize are critically important to our business, and many of our institutional partners,” says Kathleen Connelly, executive vice president of client experience and relationship management, in a statement.

Elmer Rich III

Elmer Rich III

July 26, 2011 — 4:23 PM

We work in the UNHW/family office markets and the data is sobering. Two challenges present themselves:

- Data suggest 70% of family offices fail so serving large wealth is very demanding

- The challenge in the business model is, as the article suggests, demand that continually expands and proliferate while charging for services is always playing “catch-up.”

Add in pressure on fees overall and the economics can become unsustainable.

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