Retirement Plans: A Neglected Niche?

The learning curve is steep, and the margins thin, but for advisors willing to jump in, there is plenty of opportunity in the 401(k) plan space.

Since prospecting, selling and servicing retirement plans is such a complex, often inefficient, market, spread across many different stakeholders, it’s no surprise there has been a rise of digitally focused vendors seeking to reduce the inherent friction in building, implementing and servicing 401(k) plans. One of the more prominent is Vestwell, which calls itself the industry’s “first and only fiduciary-backed retirement platform for the financial advisor.”

Led by Founder and CEO Aaron Schumm, a serial entrepreneur who previously built and then sold FolioDynamix to a private equity firm (which then sold it to Envestnet), Vestwell still qualifies as a startup, but has recently been busy not just in finding additional capital but in partnering with advisor-focused firms like Riskalyze and Morningstar. They’ve added to their advisory board high-profile industry names like Josh Brown of Ritholtz Wealth Management and Lori Hardwick, formerly of Envestnet and Pershing, who recently founded Advisor Innovation Labs.

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