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In This Issue
TPAs, Recordkeepers, and Advisors: Partnering to Expand Services
Buying, Selling, or Merging Firms
Mentoring Partnerships
SCS e-xpress

Jan/Feb  2013

A Message from Sarah & Chris:             synergy   

The theme of this issue is "The Power of Synergy."

Synergy is created when two people or two companies work together for the mutual benefit of each other.  As Aristotle said many years ago, "The whole is greater than the sum of Its parts."  Thus, when synergy occurs, the combined result is more powerful than either could have accomplished individually. 


In the retirement services industry, there are many opportunities to partner together to achieve a synergistic relationship.  This issue explores a few such opportunities.


We hope you enjoy our free SCS e-newsletter.  Please send us your ideas and suggestions for future issues.  Have a great day!  


 Where We'll Be

Las Vegas, NV
03/03/13 - 03/05/13
DFA 401(k) Symposium
Seattle, WA
Savannah, GA
04/22/13 - 04/24/13
Las Vegas, NV
04/28/13 - 05/01/13
ABC Orlando Meeting
Orlando, FL
Amelia Island, FL
06/02/13 - 06/05/13
SMART Conference 
Norfolk, NE 
06/12/13 - 06/13/13
ABC Central Texas
Austin, TX
Wolters Kluwer Retirement & Benefits Compliance Customer Conference
Napersville, IL
08/04/13 - 08/06/13
Matrix Get Connected
Keystone, CO
08/18/13 - 08/20/13

ASPPA Annual Conference
National Harbor, MD
10/27/13 - 10/30/13


 Today's Tip

Pre-order you copy of the 2013 ERISA Outline Book by Sal L. Tripod or order a 12-month online subscription and receive the 2013 updated content automatically in March. For more information, click here.
Today's Quotes


"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

   - Aristotle


"Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working together is success." 

  - Henry Ford


"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

    - Helen Keller


Today's Laugh




A story of the mid-nineteenth century tells of the man who, upon meeting a friend, told him he was going into business. 

"What sort of business?" the friend asked.

"A partnership," the other replied.

"Are you putting in much capital?"

"No. I put in no capital. I put in the experience."

"And he puts in the capital, is that it?"

"Yes. We go into business for three years. He puts in the capital and I put in the experience. At the

end of the three years I'll have the capital, and he'll have the experience."


TPAs, Recordkeepers, and Advisors: Partnering to Expand Services
Synergy Through Partnerships


Successful firms focus on what they do well rather than trying to be all things to all clients. Partnering with other firms can allow your firm to expand its services without the expense of additional resources or expertise.  As the TPA industry matures, companies are learning the benefits of synergy through partnership.


Many local TPA firms provide administration and compliance services to their plans and advisors while partnering with national recordkeeping providers. Defined contribution TPAs partner with other TPA firms who offer defined benefit and cash balance plan design and administration. With the growing popularity of open architecture, the past few years has seen an increase in parnerships between TPAs who do not provide in-house daily valuation recordkeeping and larger open architecture TPA/recordkeepers. Advisors seek out partnerships with TPAs and recordkeepers to handle their qualified plan administration and recordkeeping, while TPAs and recordkeepers often look to advisors to offer additional investment and fiduciary services to their client base.  Whether you are an advisor, TPA, or recordkeeper, if you are searching for a firm with which to partner, let SCS help you locate qualified partnership candidates.

Some firms also outsource certain aspects of administration (e.g., data scrubbing, compliance testing) and take advantage of cheaper salaries overseas, while others "insource" to other areas of the US where salaries and cost of doing business are significantly less.  Offloading certain types of work can allow administrators more time to perform higher level tasks and to be more consultative.


What can make or break a partnership?  Regardless of the industry experience of either firm, having matching "personalities" is a major factor in creating a strong, mutually beneficial relationship.  


Click here to learn more about How to Avoid TPA Partnership Pitfalls.    


Buying, Selling, or Merging Firms
Making the Right Choice


When buying, selling, or merging TPA firms, firms that have similar cultures and core values are more easily able to successfully blend services and resources.  Although the services each firm provides may be distinctively different, the way each firm performs its work and the manner in which each firm services its clients must be relatively similar to achieve maximum success. 


SCS helps match TPA and recordkeeping firms with buyers and/or sellers, and we do so in a way to maximize synergy.  We have identified the major factors that lead to success, and we evaluate each firm based on these factors before recommending a "match."  We review systems, processes, personnel, and a number of other areas to ensure success.  SCS also performs due diligence reviews on firms who have identified an acquisition target. 


Once two or more firms come together, the strategy must be supported from the top down and the bottom up. Every employee should understand the reason behind the change.  Going forward, goals should be clearly communicated and employees of each firm should understand how their roles fit into the "big picture."


Lessons can be learned from studying successful and failed mergers.   Click here to learn the reasons behind some of the Biggest Merger and Acquisition Failures. 


Mentoring Partnerships
Between Individuals 


A mentoring partnership is created when two (or more) individuals work together to foster personal or professional development.  The mentor is typically more experienced or more knowledgeable in a given area than the mentee. Mentors and mentees create a synergistic relationship based on open, honest communication and knowledge transference. 


Mentoring and coaching relationships are common in businesses, especially in larger firms and institutions.  We are also seeing an increase in "reverse-mentoring" partnerships across generations in all sizes of firms.  It common in retirement services firms to have older more experienced employees who are more technically proficient and younger employees who lack the techical experience but are much more technology-saavy.  This combination makes for a great "reverse-mentoring" partnership, where a more experienced employee is paired with a younger employee and they mentor each other in their respective areas of expertise.  Thus, the older employee becomes more adept at technology and the younger employee can fast-track their technical education.  It's a win-win situation. 


Click here  to learn more about the benefits of mentoring.


Space is Limited -
Register Now!



Space is limited - register now for the 2013 Power of 3 Workshop,  which will be held April 22 - 24, 2013 at the ANDAZ Savannah (formerly the AVIA Savannah).  Don't miss Sarah Simoneaux, Chris Stroud, and Sal Tripodi as they come together to bring you a uniquely interactive workshop, focused on innovative ways to succeed in today's rapidly changing retirement services workplace.


Hear Sal speak on technical and compliance issues, then find out from Sarah and Chris how to put that knowledge into practice with management strategies, proven plan sponsor and advisor communication techniques, and real world case studies.


For more information, click here.


power of three-small 


What our Customers are Saying...

"I don't know what we would have done without SCS. We were able to accomplish more than we thought possible this year."

   - Experienced administrator, retirement services firm


Power of 3 Retirement Industry Update Workshop

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