For many years, plan sponsors have used a formal request for proposal (RFP) process to identify prospective recordkeepers, third-party administrators and investment managers, and to benchmark and validate incumbent providers. Recently, they have started taking the same approach when hiring retirement plan advisors and benchmarking an existing advisor’s services and fees. In fact, the advisor RFP appears to be on a fast track to become the preferred method for conducting an advisor search or documenting that an existing advisor is qualified to meet an individual plan’s specific needs.
At CAPTRUST, we believe that a well-crafted, well-run advisor RFP process can help plan sponsors identify and prioritize their most important issues, gather intelligence on advisory services available in the market, help simplify decision making and document an important fiduciary process. The following five tips and best practices — gleaned from our experience responding to more than 700 advisor RFPs over the past 10 years — can help make what might seem like a daunting process seem much more manageable.
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