7 years ago, I knew I was going to start my own national law practice dedicated to ERISA because I wasn’t going to accomplish that at the law firm I was working at. Prior to leaving, the local salesperson for one of the bundled providers introduced me to one of the big out of state brokers who did quite some business in New York.
The broker was very nice and he liked the idea of my Retirement Plan Tune-Up plan review and he discussed pushing this out to all his clients and he wanted favored nation status on pricing and perhaps some regional exclusivity. With one foot out the door of my firm, I thought this was a homerun.
After starting my own firm, the broker invited me to his offices where I met the rest of his team. The meeting went well and I thought I had my first big break. Well the broker contacted me and told me that the rest of his team had trepidation because I didn’t have a name for myself that had panache or recognition in the retirement plan business. He thought that my old law firm had the name, but the fact is that the law firm name isn’t well known outside of Long Island and New York City government circles.
Since you’re reading this article, you know the story about my name in the retirement plan business. I once joked to that broker a few years back that maybe now, I have a name. Regardless, I never got any business referrals from him.
I didn’t hear about this broker for quite some time and there was a reason for that. Apparently, his brokerage firm terminated him for a number of issues that probably could have been avoided had he been more transparent. I guess things work out for themselves as I probably wouldn’t want to be linked with a broker who is now well known for being terminated.
The point here is that when it comes to the retirement plan business, there really is no brand name like Rolex or Brooks Brothers, it’s all about quality of service. Don’t get hung up on the names of the providers you work with, concentrate more on their quality of work.