cover story | PLANADVISER January/February 2012

PLANADVISER's 2012 Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers

By PLANADVISER staff | January/February 2012
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Illustration by Nigel Buchanan

Last year, we introduced the PLANADVISER Top 100 Advisers, a listing of the advisers and adviser teams competing for the annual PLANSPONSOR’s Retirement Plan Adviser and Adviser Team of the Year awards that stand out in terms of a series of quantitative measures.

In the pages that follow, we highlight the quantitative standouts, in terms of dollar value of qualified plan assets under advisement as well as number of plans under advisement, and we also draw attention to those who have a demonstrable presence, defined as having more than 15% of their practice focused on 403(b) plans, defined benefit plans, nonqualified plans, or 457 plans.

This year’s Top 100 comprises 40 advisers and 60 adviser teams, which represents the approximate ratio of adviser and team entries for the 2012 PLANSPONSOR’s Retirement Plan Adviser and Adviser Team of the Year awards.

Just how successful are these Top 100 Advisers? Collectively, the individual advisers represent about $33 billion in retirement plan assets (almost double last year), while the teams on the list collectively serve just shy of $150 billion in plan assets (a 30% increase over last year’s teams).

Among the specific product segments, 19 advisers or adviser teams say that 15% or more of their practice is focused on 403(b) plans, 29 have that kind of presence with defined benefit plans, six can make that claim with nonqualified programs, and just two say the same about 457 plans.

Skilled retirement plan advisers have been indispensable resources to their plan sponsor clients. Size isn’t everything, of course—but it is an objective measure of success, and one well worth acknowledging.

2012 PA Top 100 Index 

Teams with $1B and More in AUA 

Individuals with $150M or more in AUA  

Teams with 150 or more plans  

Individuals with 50 or more plans 

Teams and Individuals with:  

15% or more in 403(b) plans  

15% or more in 457 plans 

15% or more in nonqualified plans  

15% or more in defined benefit plans