Alliance Benefit Group: Local Providers with National Scale

ABG Newsletter
Alliance Benefit Group board member Larry Raymond remembers when Alliance Benefit Group (ABG) was just an idea.“We saw the markets change and determined if we were to survive and offer the best solutions for our clients, we needed to leverage our collective expertise and ideas.”

ABG was an idea that came from members of the Retirement Advisors and Designers of America (RADA), a retirement services study group. While participants in the study group valued the independence of their respective firms, they also saw an opportunity to create an organization owned by member firms, whose purpose was to share best practices and leverage their collective bargaining power to gain traction with retirement services providers.

Founded in 1992, Alliance Benefit Group has grown over the years just as its founders envisioned. Today the organization is comprised of 14 member firms with over 13,700 plans in 50 states, $51 billion in assets under management and 1 million plan participants.

As the President of the Alliance Benefit Group of Michigan, a pension administration and consulting firm, Larry Raymond appreciates the diversity of opinion among ABG members and the different ways they approach the market. He credits his firm’s participation in ABG as a contributing factor to the success and growth of his business.

“One of the reasons we have been able to succeed in the retirement services industry is because our membership with ABG has helped us to position ourselves competitively in our market, while providing us with access to high quality providers and ideas. This allows us to provide the best and most competitive solutions for our clients.”

Each ABG office provides valuable perspective which is shared at committee meetings and during vendor evaluations.

ABG board member Petros Koumantaros, Chief Executive Officer, Spectrum Pension Consultants, Inc. was attracted to ABG as it offered the opportunity to share ideas about best practices with high quality partners; firms that have done well in their geographic markets and who are willing to share ideas.

“What is unique about ABG is its focus on practice management, business operations and running successful firms. Its rigorous selection process ensures that membership is comprised of high quality firms that are open to sharing best practices and leveraging each other’s strength and expertise.”

He points out that the respect that the ABG brand has in the retirement services marketplace positions its member firms to pursue larger client engagements. In terms of the future, Petros Koumantaros sees membership in ABG as a big advantage. He believes that with increased consolidation and competition in the retirement services marketplace, it is important for retirement services providers to continually demonstrate the value they deliver to their clients.

“This is a relationship based business. We develop a client’s trust over time and are committed to delivering value for that client. The best run firms need to be adaptable in the face of increased competition, changing economic times and a changing regulatory environment, but most importantly, they need to continue to provide value for their clients.”

ABG gives its members the ability to do just that – offering the benefits of local administration, backed by the national resources of ABG. To learn more contact your local ABG representative.