How many years of experience does your company have as a 403(b)(9) provider?
Response: 25 years.
Is your company owned by another corporation?
Response: No. The Lance Hocutt Financial Group (dba) (LHFG) has been in business since 1997.
Number of churches participating in 403(b) or 403(B)(9) plans with your company? Number in San Antonio, Austin, Houston or South Texas?
Response: Currently, LHFG is the broker of record for more than 20 individual defined contribution plans including 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and SimpleIRA plans representing over 1,500 individual participants. Currently, we have one plan in the San Antonio area. That plan is based in Tuscaloosa, AL, but has 80 employees in the San Antonio area. On a side note: The Newport Group (Third party administrator) currently manages over $169 billion in assets under management, has over 39,000 plans, and over 1.5 million plan participants. Vanguard (custodian) currently has over 30 million plan participants and has been in business since 1975.
Number of plan participants (individuals) with your company?
Response: As noted above, LHFG is broker of record for more than 20 individual defined contribution plans including 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and SimpleIRA plans representing over 1,500 individual participants.
We assume that a plan advisor is not going to be very near Corpus Christi, Texas. How will our advisor communicate during plan set up and implementation?
Response: The LHFG has a very clear client service process. We visit our retirement plan sites every six months. In addition, we are available to our participants via phone or WebEx to discuss their financial circumstances at their convenience.
What’s your annual employee turnover?
Response: Lance Hocutt is the founder of the LHFG and has been employed since 1997. Metta Temple joined the firm in May of 2017. Reagan Griffin joined the firm in August of 2017. Maggie Hocutt joined the firm in December of 2017. Noah Moore joined the firm as an intern the summer of 2021, and officially joined the firm as an associate in August of 2021. Prior to those referenced, Nancy Lathum was with the firm for 15 years and retired in May of 2017. Wealth / Asset Management:
Identity of the Asset Management Company (AMC) that will be overseeing the employee custodial account?
Response: Based on the information gathered during our phone call with Mr. Robertson, I would most likely recommend that we use Vanguard as custodian for the assets.
How long have they worked with your company?
Response: Vanguard has a long history of asset management. I have used them within my practice in various capacity since the early 2000s.
Describe process to create investment plan for participants.
Response: Understanding that each participant is different, we use a consistent process to develop a long-lasting relationship accessing their personal goals and motivation behind wealth.
Step One: To start, we’ll ask that you fill out a digital questionnaire that helps us gain an initial understanding of who you are and what your most pressing concerns consist of. This is a crucial step to our process. In addition to gaining an understanding of your thoughts and needs, this questionnaire also functions as in-house documentation as well as making you aware of our disclosures. After you fill out and submit the form, we’ll then schedule a time for us to connect and learn more about your particular needs.
Step Two: During our discovery meeting, we’ll develop a better knowledge of what your lifestyle looks like, including where you come from, your family’s financial connections, and how we might be able to help you as we move forward. We’ll let you discuss your needs and concerns, in whatever way you are comfortable with, to allow us to understand what you’re looking for in a financial partner. We will be in your corner for every step of the way.
Step Three: Once we’ve discussed your goals, we’ll begin developing a plan that addresses your particular needs. We’ll ask that you gather and submit any necessary documents electronically, as we find that it keeps everything efficient and accessible for you down the line.
Step Four: Our team will follow up with you, if necessary, but regardless of your needs we’ll ensure that the details of your plan are communicated clearly. We encourage you to questions and for you to reach out to us as needed. Depending on performance, market changes and life events, adjustments may need to be made along the way. Like clockwork, a 6-month check-in appointment will be made for you, so you can rest assured that we will see you again in no time.
Is there a minimum beginning investment for plan participants?
Response: Within the 403(b)9 plan through Vanguard, there are no minimums.
Will you provide us a copy of the most recent SEC Form ADV Part 1 for the AMC?
Response: Click button below for ADV
If AMC is a broker-dealer, how are compensation-related conflicts avoided?
Response: If you choose to use Vanguard as the custodian, Vanguard is not a broker-dealer.
Is the AMC compensated by 12B-1 fee commissions or advisory fees? If the latter, what’s the advisor fee range (assuming fees are functions of investment amount).
Response: Again, if Vanguard is chosen as the custodian, Vanguard does not charge any asset-based fees. They charge a flat recordkeeping fee for services, and an investment option expense ratios for investment fees. They do not have any other fees or charges.
How frequently should our employees in a plan expect to hear from their AMC point of contact?
Response: LHFG will be the preferred point of contact through face to face (6 month meetings, or individual follow up ad hoc), phone or WebEx. In addition, Vanguard has a dedicated 403(b) call center for participants allowing 24/7 support.
Plans Records Keeping
Do you employ a third-party administrator for plan records keeping and administration?
If yes, name of firm.
Response: We use Newport Group as our TPA. They are owned by Ascensus and are the exclusive 403(b) TPA for Vanguard.
What services does the TPA provide?
Response: Newport Group handles all plan administration, plan design, and consultation at the plan level.
Please see the link regarding Newport Group: https://www.newportgroup.com/about/#infographic
How often are plan statements prepared for participants?
Response: Investment data is available to all participants at their fingertips through the Vanguard desktop website, or the Vanguard app (iOS and Android). In addition, participants can elect to receive paper or e-statements on a monthly basis.
Our financial records are kept on QuickBooks. If TPA requires employee payroll data, how would they collect it from our part-time volunteer bookkeeper?
Response: Currently, all information from the Newport Group and Vanguard web portals are interfaced with Quickbooks.