Defined Contribution Plans
401(k) Investment and Fee Analysis
Concerned about fund quality and above-market plan expenses, a client requested an independent review of its 401(k) investment menu. Alpha completed the analysis and recommended changing recordkeepers to improve the quality of participants’ investment options and reduce participant-paid expenses.
Plan Expense Negotiation
A client sought to renegotiate its financial agreement with its 401(k) recordkeeper. Alpha analyzed the plan’s mutual fund options and administrative expenses and recommended negotiation tactics that were successfully implemented.
401(k) Recordkeeper Search
To fulfill its fiduciary due diligence responsibilities, a client retained Alpha to draft and distribute a request for proposal, analyze responses, recommend enhancements to the fund menu, and develop fund mapping strategies.
401(k) Plan Design
A client retained Alpha to complete a strategic review of its 401(k) plan and processes. Alpha benchmarked the existing plan design and advised the client to restructure the plan, providing analytical support for the enhancements and presentation to the client’s board in support of the changes. The client is now well positioned to meet its strategic growth objectives.
Plan Merger and Recordkeeper Transition
A client with several subsidiaries, multiple plan documents, and distributed payroll processing faced a tight window within which to merge plans and convert its 401(k), profit sharing, and non-qualified plans to a new recordkeeper. Alpha managed the merger and conversion projects to successful completion within the timeframe.
Defined Benefit Plans
Master Trust and Custody Search
Experiencing a significant decline in service levels, a client retained Alpha to draft and distribute a request for proposal, analyze responses, refine its manager line-up, and coordinate the transition of assets to a new recordkeeper.
Discretionary Control Outsourcing
A client decided to outsource discretionary control of its pension investments due to its inability to make timely tactical investment decisions. Alpha completed comprehensive analysis to provide fiduciary support for outsourcing, and assisted in selection of the investment manager.
Independent Review and Benchmarking
To fulfill its responsibility to periodically monitor its service providers, a client retained Alpha to provide an unbiased, objective review of its pension investment managers and 401(k) investment options.
Independent Performance Calculation
A client retained Alpha to independently calculate pension performance on an ongoing basis to cross-check return data provided by its ERISA Section 3(38) investment manager.
Trust Statement Reconciliation
A client with questionable pension return data retained Alpha to reconcile its monthly trust statements and complete independent performance calculations. Alpha discovered a $1 million discrepancy attributed to the mispricing of derivative securities.
Master Trust Reconciliation
To ensure reporting consistency, a client retained Alpha to reconcile plan-by-plan returns within a master trust. Alpha discovered significant return discrepancies due to the misallocation of gains across the plans’ assets.
Investment Committee Structure and Process
A client decided to formalize its investment committee structure. Alpha developed processes that included standing agendas for quarterly performance meetings, annual asset allocation evaluation, and periodic service provider reviews. Alpha guided the investment committee in establishing its investment philosophies and strategies, drafted investment policy statements, and created formal guidelines to assist the committee in fulfilling its fiduciary responsibilities.
Alpha designed and presented fiduciary education seminars to clients’ investment committees.