We support plan sponsors with our multi-disciplined approach of delivering Registered Investment Advisory services, acting as an Investment Fiduciary, and full plan-level consulting capabilities. We help employers reduce their exposure to fiduciary liability risk, provide clear guidance in selecting appropriate investment options, and maximize the value of the plan to employees and plan sponsors.

Investment Advisory

Investment Policy Statement (IPS) Development

We will customize an investment policy statement to guide the plan committee in selecting and monitoring the plan's investment options to meet the plan's overall retirement goals and objectives.

Investment Review

  • Act as ERISA 3(21) Investment Fiduciary
  • Meeting facilitation, agenda & investment summary report preparation
  • Customized Investment Policy Statement
  • Meeting minutes
  • Coordinate changes with vendor(s)
  • Employee communication development

Performance Measurement and Evaluation

Our customized and objective reports are prepared by internal analysts and presented by investment consultants to committees to provide a thorough quantitative and qualitative analysis to identify best overall fund options. Based on our findings and recommendations, committees can take action to place fund managers/funds on a watch list for further review or to maintain, terminate, or replace managers/funds. We utilize three industry-leading software products to support our analysts in their ongoing investment.

Quarterly monitoring reports are provided to assist the committee with on going investment monitoring in accordance with your IPS and to document the review process.

Quantitative measurements include:

  • Absolute and risk-adjusted performance
  • Performance vs. peer group
  • Performance vs. relevant market index
  • Adherence to investment style
  • Portfolio concentration
  • Expense ratio vs. peer group
  • Risk/return: standard deviation, R-squared, alpha, beta and sharpe ratio

Qualitative considerations include:

  • Fund manager tenure
  • Investment approach and style consistency
  • Overlap with other funds in the plan
  • Morningstar star rating
  • Fund company's financial stability and corporate governance practice
  • Legal issues or government investigations with fund company or manager(s)

Investment Analysis

We have a multi-year licensing agreement with Envestnet and Morningstar Direct for the following solutions:

  • Client Relationship Management (CRM) Platform
  • Investment Analysis & Benchmarking System
    • Customize, automate, and generate Investment Summary Reports on a quarterly basis

Global Investment Analysis Platform

  • Institutional research
  • Productivity tools
  • Data visualization

Fiduciary Risk Management

We use a comprehensive methodology that delivers measurable, repeatable, and predictable outcomes. Using our structured investment selection and monitoring process for clients' retirement plans, we guide fiduciaries to improve fiduciary decision-making.

The Precept Advisory Scoring System (PASS) is a proprietary fund screening methodology developed internally by our investment committee to quantitatively measure and rank funds. The system is an objective, quantitative scoring tool that measures and ranks multiple factors of a fund's characteristics with its peer group. Each factor is then weighted and calculated to determine a final score for the fund. Once the fund's score is calculated, we rank the fund within its peer group. From that point, our Investment Committee will conduct a qualitative search to determine the most appropriate alternative/addition.

Periodic Vendor Review

  • Product, service & cost analysis
  • Full request for proposal (RFP) process
  • Presentation of findings & recommendation
  • Conversion oversight

Vendor Management

  • Promote proactive account management from vendors(s)
  • Access to enhanced product & service platforms
  • Participant & administrative issue resolution
  • Periodic fee analysis to ensure competitive pricing

Compliance Advisement

  • Review of Form 5500 filing & nondiscrimination test results
  • Operational adherence to plan document oversight
  • Assistance with annual independent audit process
  • Assistance with plan corrections

Fiduciary Oversight

Precept Advisory Group assists plan fiduciaries with the following:

  • Initial committee formation, committee charter, and member agreement development
  • Fiduciary education related to roles, responsibilities, and ERISA guidelines
  • Acts as investment fiduciary to the plan
  • Develops and maintains Investment Policy Statement
  • Assesses plan fees, conducts benchmarking, and negotiates with providers
  • Develops communication and education strategies
  • Provides retirement plan-related legislative and regulatory updates

Operational Review

Precept can review and advise to ensure operational adherence to the plan document:

  • Plan document review for timely and accurate restatement and amendment(s)
  • Eligibility, enrollment, contributions, and distributions process review
  • Identify administrative outsourcing opportunities
  • Recommend plan operation improvements or identify concerns

Compliance Review

  • Nondiscrimination testing results and correction methods
  • Safe Harbor and Roth 401(k) plans
  • Annual 5500 reporting and related schedules
  • Plan audit guidance
  • Legislative & regulatory updates

Plan Design Consulting & Solutions

We're committed to using technology to engage with our clients and their participants alike. We are continuing to adapt as new technology is made available. Based on our client's total rewards strategy and recognizing the unique needs of each company, the following methodology is used for plan design:

  • Industry best-practice plan design benchmarking
  • Employer cost impact analysis for budgeting and financial approval
  • Highly Compensated Employee vs Non-Highly Compensated Employee participation and deferral rate analysis
  • Plan design recommendations and implementation oversight

Plan Design Consultation

  • Review and customize plan provisions to align with total compensation strategy & corporate initiatives
  • Coordinate changes with vendor
  • Develop employee communications

Best Practice/Benchmarking Data

  • Summary of industry plan design trends
  • Summary of best practice survey trends

401(k) Newsletters - Fiduciary Perspective

  • Legislative & regulatory compliance updates
  • Market news & economic outlook

Client Portal (Fiduciary Vault)

  • Committee meeting minutes
  • Investment summary reports
  • Vendor reviews
  • Fee analysis

Additional Services

Precept Advisory Group is uniquely qualified to manage plans in a holistic approach. With our team members' experience and expertise on plan compliance, recordkeeping, and administration, we can manage the following ancillary projects:

  • Organization alignment strategies and policies on mergers and acquisitions
  • Plan merger, spin-off, and termination oversight
  • Vendor review and Request for Proposal (RFP) management
  • Plan conversion oversight

Precept Advisory Group Headquarters, 130 Theory, Suite 200, Irvine, CA 92617

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