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Make sure everyone is on board with the change

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Sometimes no matter how hard you work on a plan and do such a great job, oe person working for your client can cost you them as a client.

 

When I worked for a third party administrator (TPA), we were referred a 401(k) plan by the financial advisor. I thought we did a really good job. The problem is that the human resources director hated us from day one because we wouldn’t do the work she received from the previous TPA she liked.  She made it a point that she wasn’t for the TPA change.

 

She was a problem from Day 1, but we took the case because we had a great relationship with the advisor. Some people you can never satisfy, so I think she was always going to find a reason to get rid of us.

 

At one point, the client seemed to be interested in changing the plan by making it a K-SOP, basically adding an employer stock ownership feature (ESOP) to it.

 

The client’s advisor asked me about our experience with it and I was honest, I said we had a couple of those cases. My boss who also was an ERISA attorney, flew out to meet the client and discuss adding the stock ownership component.. Story cut short, we lost the client as well as the advisor.

 

The point here is that you should always make sure everyone is on board with the change because if not, understand that you will fight a never-ending battle not to get fired.

 

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