Valeo Institutional

Your partner to improve fiduciary liability protection

Valeo Institutional provides investment consulting and an outsourced Chief Investment Officer solution to retirement plans, not-for-profit organizations and other corporate asset pools. We partner with the organization’s governance board or committee, or their financial officer, to assure adequate oversight of their assets and investments.  Whether it is providing fiduciary protection to a retirement plan or implementing a strategic allocation strategy with a not for profit, our experienced team of advisors can assist.

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We will scrutinize the total plan fees to have a clear understanding of how each service provider is being compensated relative to the services they provide.

  • What are the roles and responsibilities of a fiduciary?

    Every plan must have at least one fiduciary that is named in the plan document. This named fiduciary can be an individual(s), an entity or committee. The named fiduciary has the authority to assign both fiduciary and nonfiduciary duties to others. In addition, an individual can be a  “functional fiduciary” based on activity or conduct, even if they are not the named fiduciary. The primary roles of the fiduciary are to uphold the duty of loyalty, provide benefits to the plan participants and their beneficiaries, and ensure reasonable expenses of administering the plan.

    The primary fiduciary responsibility is to act solely in the interest of the participants and their beneficiaries. The fiduciary must adhere to the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to workers participating in the plan and their beneficiaries while ensureing reasonable plan expenses. In addition, they must carry out all functions of operating the plan and complying with the plan document including: enrollments, disclosures, deferral changes, deposits, distributions, loans, hardship withdrawals, account reconciliation, reporting, investment selection, investment monitoring, and the hiring of vendors to assist with such functions. Many plan fiduciaries hire others (service providers/vendors) to assist them in carrying out some of their duties

  • How can I ensure our participants are ready for retirement?

    We recommend an ongoing assessment of participant savings rates and balances during the accumulation phase, utilizing plan design features and providing participant education. The ongoing assessment will provide us with feedback on areas that need improvement and the topics that interest the company’s employees.  In addition, the use of plan design features such as employer match, auto-enrollment, auto-deferral rate escalation, participant web and mobile application tools, and statements, will help make goal-setting simple. Finally, in conjunction with the assessment and plan design feature, we recommend providing participant education and outreach programs with the goal of improving participant knowledge, which will ultimately improve retirement outcomes.

  • How can I protect my plan from lawsuits?

    Most fiduciary breaches can be categorized as either administrative, conflicts of interest, excessive fees or investment related.  Of these, the most common are due to excessive fees and investment selection.  It is important to note that plan fiduciaries may be held personally liable for a fiduciary breach, including those that result in participant investment losses.

    We believe the best way to avoid a suit is:
    – Hire a plan advisor that serves as a true consultant and is independent -offering no proprietary products or affiliated investments to reduce the probability of a lawsuit associated with inappropriate investment selection.
    – Understand all plan fees and the compensation that any vendors receive for services rendered. Are the fees reasonable for the services received?
    – Consider paying some or all vendor fees directly, versus having these fees born by plan participants, to reduce the probability of an excessive-fees-based lawsuit.
    – Utilize the lowest-cost share class of each mutual fund made available to participants under the plan to avoid a lawsuit associated with the use of an inappropriate share class.
    – Follow a fiduciary investment selection and ongoing monitoring process that considers multiple factors, including performance, fees and volatility, documents the process, and makes investment changes as needed to avoid investment- related lawsuits.
    – Consider obtaining fiduciary liability insurance coverage to provide additional protection.

Experience Matters
100%
Independent. We do not receive any commissions or kickbacks
60+
Years of combined experience working with qualified plans
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Interested in learning more? Contact us today to discuss how Valeo Institutional can help.

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