News Releases

Ascensus Plans to Add Nearly 400 New Associates Through 2022

Hiring Initiative Supports Recent and Anticipated Growth

Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—expects to add nearly 400 new associates by the end of 2022, adding scale and expertise in support of expanding client, partner, and advisor business.

“The U.S. economy has shown remarkable resilience through the challenges of the past 18 months, and it’s clear that both organizations and workers are now finding new opportunities for growth,” said David Musto, president and CEO of Ascensus. “Ascensus is generating outstanding sales momentum as a tech-enabled solutions provider, and our wins in the marketplace are creating significantly greater opportunities to recruit and retain the best talent across our businesses.”

Musto noted that the company’s world-class NPS scores and client satisfaction have helped Ascensus drive strong client retention in a highly competitive market, adding: “We’re committed to proactively addressing our workforce needs to position ourselves for even greater client and business success in the years ahead.”

Forecasted growth and investments over the next 15 months will add associates in technology, client services, operations, sales, marketing, compliance, and general management across all four of the company’s lines of business—Retirement, FuturePlan by Ascensus, Government Savings, and Health & Benefits.

  • In Retirement, hiring plans will create eight new sales territories, expand product and digital capabilities, and strengthen Ascensus’ proven outsourcing model by investing in added institutional partner capabilities.
  • Recruiting in FuturePlan, one of the largest independent retirement plan TPAs in the country, includes expansion of plan design and client consulting teams, growing the business line’s prevailing wage capabilities (addressing opportunities in the building and construction industries benefiting from federal infrastructure spending), and enhancing support for technology and digital solutions.
  • Government Savings plans to enhance its scope, scale, and service model with new roles in operations—addressing significant growth across Ascensus’ industry-leading 529 education and ABLE programs—and expand its employer onboarding and servicing teams to support increasing participation in its state-facilitated retirement program business.
  • Health & Benefits recruiting efforts will focus on helping differentiate Ascensus’ product strategy and solutions in the marketplace and drive customer and partner growth. Additional investments will add service and operations roles targeting emerging needs in health savings account, Affordable Care Act, and COBRA plan servicing.

Ascensus recently announced special compensation and benefits enhancements for associates in recognition of the extraordinary results and performance delivered throughout the organization over the past year and a half. Improvements included an immediate salary adjustment of 3% for the majority of associates and a special  profit-sharing contribution to eligible associates’ retirement accounts in early 2022.

“Through a very demanding period, our associates have doubled down on their commitment to serving our clients and helping people save for what matters,” continued Musto. “We’re grateful for their efforts and delighted to reward them for their outstanding achievements—all while supporting them with significant new hiring investments to address today’s client needs and future growth.”

Since spring 2020, Ascensus has added more than 1.7 million savings participants across its lines of business, launched new mobile apps for retirement and education savers, acquired and onboarded the retirement plan administration and servicing business of one of the nation’s largest financial institutions, advanced capabilities in its FuturePlan line of business to deliver scale and expertise nationally, and enhanced service and digital solutions for its Health & Benefits business. Ascensus was recently named a finalist for Retirement Leader of the Year by Fund Intelligence for the third consecutive year—having won the honor in 2019—while Government Savings logged its 21st consecutive quarter of five-star ratings by National Quality Review, recognizing its excellence in customer service performance.

For information about pursuing a career at Ascensus, visit careers.ascensus.com.

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Through co-branded, private-labeled, and other governmental partnerships, our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com.


Ascensus Unveils Retirement Website and Mobile Enhancements That Offer Simple, Seamless, and Supportive User Experiences

Plan Sponsors and Participants Benefit from Continued Investments in Technology and Digital Initiatives Designed to Save Time and Improve Outcomes

Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce a recent series of technology and digital updates designed to enhance and simplify retirement plan sponsor and participant user experiences.

Chief among these are participant website and mobile experiences that have been redesigned based on the latest feedback and user experience principles. Updates include more intuitive designs that are in line with Ascensus’ approach of keeping retirement plan engagement simple, seamless, and supportive for all users. The enhancements include a dashboard redesign, behavioral interventions, and experimentation to drive positive saver outcomes.

The participant dashboard redesign, which ensures important account information is prominently displayed and easy to understand, has received high marks, with four out of five savers preferring the new design over those of other financial websites. Ascensus’ mobile app now provides personalized, context-sensitive interventions that have successfully deflected 30% of participants who intended to decrease their savings rate. And through A/B testing and using behavioral economics principles, Ascensus was able to increase the number of savers who increased their savings rate by 50% over control.

“Ascensus is committed to investing in technology that delivers fresh, simple, and efficient experiences to plan sponsors and participants,” states Kevin Cox, president of Ascensus Retirement. “As a company that is constantly on the move, we’ll continue to evolve our online experiences based on user feedback and data-driven insights with the goal of delivering better outcomes for the plan sponsors and participants we service.”

In addition to the participant website and mobile redesign initiatives, Ascensus has also recently unveiled several other experience enhancements as a result of technology-related investments, including:

  • Payroll: Ascensus has introduced several features to make payroll processing more seamless and intuitive for plan sponsors, including a wizard that assists with uploading files, the ability to track contributions and clearly see remaining steps in the process, and an option to update banking information within the payroll experience. These enhancements have been well received by plan sponsors who handle their own payroll processing.

    For plan sponsors who do not want to facilitate their own payroll processing, Ascensus continues to integrate with additional payroll vendors to offer more options, including Payroll 360. Ascensus has integrated with more than 100 payroll providers and is currently working on expanding a number of those into Payroll 360 integrations.

  • Compliance: Our year-end compliance testing package has been refreshed with a clean, intuitive design to help plan sponsors ensure their plan operations and documents are current and compliant. Plan-level alerts are now available to assist with ineligible contributions and offer tips and best practices. The new experience features dynamic content and interactive digital links, with more enhancements on the horizon.
  • Managed Accounts: We’ve expanded our strategic relationships to provide managed account optionality for institutional partners and advisors looking to deliver personalized account management services to their clients and savers.

“Our technology-driven investments demonstrate Ascensus’ commitment to providing enhancements to better support plan sponsors and participants,” adds Cox. “Since our independent service model allows for more choice and flexibility, our partners can leverage these enhancements to facilitate solutions that connect with their clients.”

“We’ll continue to develop our purpose-driven technology to make it easier for employers of all sizes to offer retirement plan benefits to their employees while also helping more savers save more,” concludes Cox.

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Through co-branded, private-labeled, and other governmental partnerships, our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com.


OneDigital and Ascensus Create OneDigital Complete Retirement Solution

Small-Market Retirement Plan Offering Includes Institutional-Quality Employee Services Such as Financial Wellness and Managed Accounts

OneDigital and Ascensus recently announced the availability of a co-created small market solution for retirement plans that brings institutional-quality employee services to plan participants.

The OneDigital Complete Retirement Solution offering includes Personalized Portfolios, OneDigital’s managed account solution that gives employees access to personalized investment strategies and savings recommendations that are unique to their investor profile within the retirement plan, and Financial Elements, a wellness solution offered through OneDigital. Other features and services include:

  • 3(38) fiduciary coverage provided by OneDigital and supported by an open-architecture platform
  • World-Class Net Promoter Score (NPS) plan onboarding and ongoing administration services for plan sponsors with Ascensus’ tech-enabled platform
  • Transparent, fee-based pricing model
  • Ascensus Elite Advisor program benefits (e.g., a dedicated client relationship manager and strategic account manager) to help advisors focus on growth and enhance their practices

One of the nation’s leading health, retirement/wealth, and HR advisory firms for employers of all sizes, OneDigital has offices throughout the country and serves 35,000 companies and manages nearly $4 billion in premiums. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, retirement plan third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. It supports more than 113,000 retirement plans and more than 3.8 million participants. As of June 30, 2021, Ascensus had more than $404 billion in assets under administration.

OneDigital is one of the largest partners on Ascensus’ recordkeeping system, with more than 900 plans and upwards of $3.75 billion in assets under administration. The companies expanded their relationship after both were involved in the acquisition of Truist’s retirement business in the first quarter of 2021.

“The OneDigital small market solution is another example of Ascensus’ dedication to helping plan sponsors curb costs, reduce risk, and save time via access to institutional-quality employee services that help drive plan health and retirement readiness,” said Jason Crane, Ascensus’ head of retirement distribution. “Our commitment to using our independence to offer partners like OneDigital the flexibility to design their own retirement programs has never been stronger, and we look forward to supporting their advisors and plan sponsor clients.”

“When it came to developing a small market solution, we recognized that Ascensus’ platform allowed us to deliver OneDigital’s best-in-class managed account and financial wellness solutions to clients in a highly integrated fashion,” noted Vince Morris, president of OneDigital Retirement + Wealth. “Ascensus’ open-architecture platform and expertise in small business retirement plans, along with top-tier service excellence and distribution enablement capabilities, made it easy for us to design and offer a retirement plan solution that is customized at the plan level and personalized at the participant level.”

“In terms of need, I’m aware of more than 20,000 commercial clients on the OneDigital side that would benefit from this new small market retirement plan solution,” continued Morris. “Together with Ascensus, we’re putting the focus on an underserved participant population that deserves access to valuable services and features typically found in larger retirement plans.”

 

About OneDigital
OneDigital is the nation’s leading health, retirement/wealth, and HR advisory firm focused on empowering business growth for employers of all sizes and has consistently led as a workplace ally for over 20 years. OneDigital’s unique ability to converge health, wealth and human resources into a hub of services and business guidance has empowered companies to create workplaces that attract and retain talent while fueling innovation and company growth. As employee health care, wellness and workplace benefits continue to shift, companies of all sizes have relied on OneDigital’s exceptional advisory teams for counsel and its adjacent services, including employee benefits, holistic HR services, employee wellbeing and pharmacy consulting, as well as the retirement and wealth management services provided through OneDigital Investment Advisors. Headquartered in Atlanta, OneDigital’s more than 100 offices and 2,400+ business strategists serve the needs of over 85,000 employers across the nation.

OneDigital has been named to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s fastest-growing companies every year since 2007, one of only 11 companies to do so and is currently listed as 18th on Business Insurance’s list of 100 Largest U.S. Brokers. For more information, visit www.onedigital.com.

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Through co-branded, private-labeled, and other governmental partnerships, our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, retirement plan third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com.


Ascensus Expands Employee Benefits Administration and Compliance Capabilities with Agreement to Acquire UnifyHR

Fortifies Expertise in ACA Compliance, COBRA Administration, and Eligibility Verification Services Within Health & Benefits Line of Business

Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—has entered into an agreement to acquire UnifyHR, a third-party administrator that provides employee benefits administration and compliance solutions including Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) administration, and eligibility verification services. It will immediately become part of Ascensus’ Health & Benefits line of business.

The transaction is expected to close on July 1, 2021. Terms are not being disclosed.

Founded in 2013 and based in Irving, TX, UnifyHR provides flexible and affordable support that helps employers manage complex employee benefits programs so they can focus on their core business. Its suite of offerings, managed through a proprietary system that also supports premium billing services and dependent eligibility audits, covers an employee’s entire lifecycle from new hire to retiree.

“UnifyHR has been highly successful in taking the complexity out of employee benefits administration and compliance obligations,” states David Musto, president and CEO of Ascensus. “By adding their knowledge and expertise to our Health & Benefits line of business, Ascensus reaffirms our commitment to helping employers satisfy their fiduciary and compliance responsibilities by making employee benefits easier to manage.”

“At Unify HR, we take pride in our deep experience in employee benefits administration and compliance services as well as our collaborative and close-knit culture,” says Allen Gehrki, UnifyHR’s president and CEO. “We’re looking forward to becoming part of Ascensus and continuing to deliver high-quality benefit services that are tailored to meet even the most complicated business requirements.”

“The comprehensive array of tech-enabled services offered by UnifyHR spanning ACA and COBRA administration, state health insurance mandate filings, and eligibility verification will expand Ascensus’ Health & Benefits solutions considerably,” says Raghav Nandagopal, Ascensus’ chief corporate development officer. “We’re delighted to welcome UnifyHR’s clients and associates to Ascensus and will continue to pursue opportunities to broaden our consumer-directed healthcare and employee benefits administration offerings.”

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, retirement plan third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com. Explore Ascensus’ latest data and insights on savings behaviors at pulse.ascensus.com.


FuturePlan by Ascensus Appoints Aaron McIsaac as Divisional Vice President for Southern California

Experienced Sales Leader Will Continue to Oversee Organization’s Northwest/Central Region

FuturePlan by Ascensus—a leading national retirement third-party administrator (TPA) that specializes in the delivery of customized retirement plan consulting and administration services—announces that Aaron McIsaac will assume divisional vice president (DVP) responsibilities for the organization’s Southern California region as a result of DVP Greg Taylor’s planned retirement. The change is effective June 30, 2021.

McIsaac will offer consultative support to retirement plan clients while expanding relationships with strategic recordkeeping and financial advisor partners in both the Northwest/Central and Southern California regions. He will continue to report to Kasey Price, FuturePlan’s head of sales, while leveraging his two decades of business development and leadership experience to create and implement growth strategies for FuturePlan’s fast-growing sales team.

McIsaac has been a FuturePlan DVP since January 2020. Prior to that, he was a regional sales director at Goldleaf Partners, a Minnesota-based TPA that became part of FuturePlan in 2019. While at Goldleaf Partners, he helped develop the organization into a prominent 3(16) fiduciary services provider. He has also held leadership positions at Benefit Administration Corporation and Partridge River, Inc. McIsaac earned his bachelor’s degree in management from The College of St. Scholastica.

Taylor joined FuturePlan’s sales leadership team as a DVP in August 2019. Before that, he was the founder and president of QBI, a California-based TPA recognized for its broad expertise in human capital management and integrated benefits that became part of FuturePlan in 2018. He has been an active member in industry organizations—including the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) and the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA)—throughout his career. Taylor received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from UCLA.

“Greg has been well known and respected in the TPA industry for more than 40 years, and regularly inspires clients and associates with his remarkable work ethic, business acumen, and talent for making meaningful connections on a personal level,” said Price. “FuturePlan is extraordinarily grateful for his years of service and wishes him all the best in retirement.”

“Aaron’s ability to lead and mentor during both positive and challenging times will ensure that our clients in the Southern California region remain in good hands,” continued Price. “He will provide them with the same exceptional level of support needed to help them meet their objectives.”

About FuturePlan by Ascensus
FuturePlan is a leading national retirement TPA dedicated to helping advisors, recordkeepers, and plan sponsors deliver better outcomes for savers. Our highly responsive, personalized service is backed by the strength and security of a national leader in Ascensus. As of March 31, 2021, FuturePlan’s experienced team of experts supports more than 51,000 plan sponsors with more than 2.2 million participants and more than $109 billion in assets under administration. For more information, visit futureplan.com (https://www.futureplan.com/).
About Ascensus
Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, retirement plan third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com (http://www.ascensus.com/). Explore Ascensus’ latest data and insights on savings behaviors at pulse.ascensus.com.

FuturePlan by Ascensus Expands Sales Team

Jay Hollis, John Krzeminski, and Lou DePonte Join Organization to Facilitate Continued Institutional Growth and Offer Enhanced Regional Support

FuturePlan by Ascensusa leading national retirement third-party administrator (TPA) that specializes in the delivery of customized retirement plan consulting and administration services—is pleased to announce that the following individuals have been appointed to sales leadership roles: Jay Hollis, vice president, sales consultant for the Tennessee and Southern Kentucky regions; John Krzeminski, institutional sales support & business development relationship manager; and Lou DePonte, sales effectiveness principal.

The FuturePlan sales team’s expansion is intended to grow relationships with strategic institutional recordkeeping and financial advisor partners while enhancing regional and consultative support for retirement plan clients.

Hollis will drive sales with financial advisors and strategic alliance platforms while also coordinating sales activities for key employer relationships. With more than 10 years of retirement industry experience from roles with Seven Hills Group and Taylor Wealth Solutions, Hollis fills the role vacated by Mark Wiggins, who was recently appointed as FuturePlan’s divisional vice president for the Southeast and Southwest regions.

Krzeminski will cultivate institutional relationships to explore new opportunities and deepen FuturePlan’s relationships with existing partners. His sales, relationship management, and project leadership skills have been honed during his more than 13 years of retirement plan industry experience at Vanguard, Lincoln Financial, and Quantum Strategies.

DePonte will participate in the development of—and ultimately be responsible for—the implementation and ongoing monitoring of FuturePlan’s sales operations strategy. He brings more than 30 years of experience to his new position and previously held leadership roles at Prudential, The Phoenix Companies, and Hartford Life Insurance.

“In welcoming Jay, John, and Lou to the FuturePlan sales team, we’re giving our key institutional partners, financial advisors, and business-owner clients access to more than 50 combined years of industry experience and expertise,” states Kasey Price, FuturePlan’s head of sales. “I look forward to working with them to develop and execute strategies to take FuturePlan’s sales efforts to the next level and cement our organization’s standing as a leading national retirement TPA.”

About FuturePlan by Ascensus
FuturePlan is a leading national retirement TPA dedicated to helping advisors, recordkeepers, and plan sponsors deliver better outcomes for savers. Our highly responsive, personalized service is backed by the strength and security of a national leader in Ascensus. As of March 31, 2021, FuturePlan’s experienced team of experts supports more than 51,000 plan sponsors with more than 2.2 million participants and more than $109 billion in assets under administration. For more information, visit futureplan.com (https://www.futureplan.com/).

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, retirement plan third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com (http://www.ascensus.com/). Explore Ascensus’ latest data and insights on savings behaviors at pulse.ascensus.com.


Ascensus Appoints New Regional Vice President

Frank Castellvi Joins Retirement Plan Sales Team to Support Financial Advisors and Their Clients in the East Territory

Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce the appointment of Frank Castellvi as a regional vice president on the company’s retirement plan sales team.

Tasked with building and maintaining Ascensus’ retirement plan distribution networks, Castellvi will work with financial advisors, third-party administrators, and financial institutions—including institutional and DCIO (defined contribution investment only) partners. He will report to Anthony Bologna, retirement sales divisional vice president of the eastern region.

Castellvi will serve the East territory (covering New Jersey and Delaware) and brings more than 10 years of sales and relationship management experience to his role. Prior to joining Ascensus, he worked as a regional director for defined contribution at Lord Abbett & Co., where he also held roles in business development and internal sales. Castellvi earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Loyola University Maryland. He also holds his FINRA Series 7 designation along his NASAA Series 66 certification.

“Frank is a high-quality individual who possesses solid industry experience and expertise along with outstanding business-development and people skills,” said Jason Crane, Ascensus’ head of retirement distribution. “Adding this level of talent to Ascensus’ retirement plan sales team further demonstrates our commitment to serving our financial advisor and employer partners via productive relationships that focus on their unique needs.”

 

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Through co-branded, private-labeled, and other governmental partnerships, our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com.

Get the latest trends and insights based on our proprietary data from more than 113,700 retirement plans, 6.0 million 529 accounts, 426,500 health savings accounts, and 23 ABLE plans.* Inside America’s Savings Plans highlights average savings levels across these tax-advantaged accounts and showcases plan features that drive participation and growth. The State of Savings report outlines how plan contribution and withdrawal behaviors have shifted over the course of 2020 and since the passage of the CARES Act.

*As of December 31, 2020.


FuturePlan by Ascensus Appoints Mark Wiggins as Divisional Vice President for the Southeast and Southwest Regions

Expert Consultant and Leader Will Expand Industry Partnerships, Strengthen Client Support in Southeast and Southwest Regions

FuturePlan by Ascensus—a leading national retirement third-party administrator (TPA) that specializes in the delivery of customized retirement plan consulting and administration services—is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Wiggins as divisional vice president (DVP) for the Southeast and Southwest regions, which are key growth areas for the FuturePlan organization. He will report to Kasey Price, FuturePlan’s head of sales.

Wiggins previously served as a vice president, sales consultant within FuturePlan. In his new role, he will offer consultative support to retirement plan clients while expanding relationships with strategic recordkeeping and financial advisor partners. He will also be responsible for creating and implementing growth strategies for FuturePlan’s fast-growing sales team.

With a 20-year record of success in consulting, management, and retirement industry sales, Wiggins applies his extensive expertise to help clients and partners achieve their business objectives. Prior to joining FuturePlan, he was a partner and director of sales at Avintus, an innovative, service-focused, Nashville-based TPA that became part of FuturePlan in 2018. He has also held positions in sales and leadership at AT&T and BellSouth.

Wiggins earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Georgia and his master’s degree in business administration from Lipscomb University. He also holds his Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist designation.

“The fact that Mark is an exceptionally high achiever who hails from one of FuturePlan’s legacy firms speaks to the strength of our business model and our ability retain top talent within our organization,” says Price. “I’m delighted to congratulate him on his new leadership role on the FuturePlan sales team.”

“Mark’s integrity, breadth of industry knowledge, and collaborative approach to problem solving help him create and maintain strong relationships that are built on trust,” Price continues. “FuturePlan clients and partners will benefit greatly from his experience and leadership skills.”

 

About FuturePlan by Ascensus
FuturePlan is a leading national retirement TPA dedicated to helping advisors, recordkeepers, and plan sponsors deliver better outcomes for savers. Our highly responsive, personalized service is backed by the strength and security of a national leader in Ascensus. As of December 31, 2020, FuturePlan’s experienced team of experts supports more than 51,000 plan sponsors with more than 1.4 million participants and more than $104 billion in assets under administration. For more information, visit futureplan.com.

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Through co-branded, private-labeled, and other governmental partnerships, our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com.

Get the latest trends and insights based on our proprietary data from more than 113,700 retirement plans, 6 million 529 accounts, 426,000 health savings accounts, and 23 ABLE plans.* Inside America’s Savings Plans highlights average savings levels across these tax-advantaged accounts and showcases plan features that drive participation and growth. The State of Savings report outlines how plan contribution and withdrawal behaviors have shifted over the course of 2020 and since the passage of the CARES Act.

*As of December 31, 2020.


Ascensus Debuts AI-Driven Virtual Coach for Personalized Financial Wellness

Partnership with Financial Finesse Delivers Tailored Guidance to Employees

Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—has enhanced its financial wellness offering to include Financial Finesse’s AimeeTM: Artificial Intelligence Motivating Employees Everywhere.

Aimee is a first-of-its-kind virtual coach that is available to all Ascensus and institutional partner plans that offer Financial Finesse’s program to savers. It uses machine learning to provide employees with personalized, real-time guidance that can help build short-term financial resiliency while considering long-term financial goals. For advisors looking to deliver innovative retirement plan solutions that include financial wellness to employers, Aimee further deepens the value and attractiveness of the financial wellness benefit.

Aimee’s launch is the latest in a series of strategic technology investments Ascensus has made to provide more personalization and guidance throughout employees’ retirement planning journey. In 2020, the firm launched the READYSAVETM retirement mobile app and announced the expansion of its managed account investment offerings, with plans to onboard additional managed account providers in 2021. Beginning in May 2021, Ascensus’ digital financial wellness experience will benefit from these Aimee-enabled enhancements:

  • Greater personalization: Real-time guidance and custom action plans are designed to help achieve individualized milestones.
  • Increased engagement: Dynamic financial wellness scores and dashboard motivate employees to continuously track and improve upon their progress.
  • Enhanced reporting: Aimee captures insights on employees’ key financial questions and priorities to illuminate workforce wellness trends for employers.

“In today’s world, providing employees access to personalized guidance and education services like Aimee can lead to more informed financial choices,” states Kevin Cox, Ascensus’ president of Retirement. “Ascensus is proud to partner with Financial Finesse, which continues to deliver innovative solutions for advisors seeking to offer plan sponsors and their employees tools that can lead to a more secure retirement.”

Financial Finesse has provided their Fortune 1000-level financial wellness benefit through Ascensus since 2018. The firm built Aimee based on learnings from years of one-on-one financial coaching, input from its network of CFP® professionals, two decades of proprietary data from its award-winning Financial Wellness Think TankTM, and behavioral psychology research. Financial Finesse never solicits, promotes, or cross-sells products, making them a well-aligned partner to Ascensus and complementary source of insights and tools to advisors and their clients.

“Ascensus is paving new ground with the launch of Aimee to bring unlimited, personalized financial coaching to every single retirement plan participant, regardless of income, job type, or any other factor,” says Liz Davidson, founder and CEO of Financial Finesse. “To my knowledge, they’re the only recordkeeper that has made an investment of this scale in an independent financial wellness program to create retirement plans that truly prioritize participants.”

“The launch also underscores Ascensus’ commitment to supporting its retirement plan advisors, who can now easily combine best-in-class financial coaching with their own best-in-class offering,” concludes Davidson.

 

About Financial Finesse
Financial Finesse is the country’s leading independent provider of unbiased workplace financial wellness programs. Since 1999, the firm has helped over 10,000 organizations improve their bottom lines and become more competitive by empowering their employees to achieve financial security. The company’s award-winning financial wellness programs are made available to employees at no cost as an employer-sponsored benefit. With highly personalized and ongoing one-on-one coaching from CFP® professionals, AI-powered virtual coaching, live workshops, webcasts, educational tools and content, Financial Finesse reaches over 2.4 million individuals every year. www.financialfinesse.com

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Through co-branded, private-labeled, and other governmental partnerships, our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com.

Get the latest trends and insights based on our proprietary data from more than 113,700 retirement plans, 6.0 million 529 accounts, 426,500 health savings accounts, and 23 ABLE plans.* Inside America’s Savings Plans highlights average savings levels across these tax-advantaged accounts and showcases plan features that drive participation and growth. The State of Savings report outlines how plan contribution and withdrawal behaviors have shifted over the course of 2020 and since the passage of the CARES Act.

*As of December 31, 2020.


Ascensus to Be Acquired by Stone Point Capital and GIC From Private-Equity Consortium

Ascensus announced today that funds managed by Stone Point Capital, the Greenwich, CT-based private equity firm specializing in financial services, along with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ascensus from its current private equity ownership group led by Genstar Capital, Aquiline Capital Partners, and Atlas Merchant Capital. Genstar Capital and Aquiline Capital Partners will maintain a minority stake in Ascensus.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, following regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Now in its 41st year of operations, Ascensus is a technology-enabled services company that helps millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare. It is also the leading independent recordkeeping services partner, retirement plan third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. Through the company’s network of institutional, financial advisor, and state partners, Ascensus supports more than 12 million savers through a variety of tax-advantaged retirement, education, and consumer-directed health savings accounts.

“We are delighted to partner with Stone Point Capital and GIC, who share our confidence in the strategic importance and growth potential of the retirement, education, and health savings markets,” said David Musto, president and CEO of Ascensus. “Their commitment will only strengthen our ability to continue investing in new capabilities, technology, and solutions; enhance our already world-class client service levels; and attract top talent to our organization.”

Musto added, “We thank Genstar Capital, Aquiline Capital Partners, and Atlas Merchant Capital for their support throughout our long relationship, which helped us become the leader we are today in the markets we serve.”

“We have followed Ascensus’ success for some time and see tremendous opportunities for further growth and positive impact on the industry,” said Chuck Davis, CEO of Stone Point Capital. “We believe Ascensus is a true leader in providing technology, expertise, and partnership to enable savings across the critical areas of retirement, education, and healthcare. We look forward to partnering with their management team and talented associates to support their continued growth, solutions innovation, and strong service delivery.”

Yong Cheen Choo, GIC’s chief investment officer of private equity, said, “Ascensus is delivering industry-leading solutions to help people save for what matters most. As a long-term investor, we believe Ascensus’ unique technology, market insights, and business knowledge will continue to drive growth and innovation in this space. We are thrilled to grow our years-long partnership through this increased investment, and look forward to working with Ascensus’ impressive management team over the long term.”

“Our journey with Ascensus and their management team over the last five years has been both remarkable and rewarding,” said Tony Salewski, managing director of Genstar.

Jeff Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Aquiline Capital Partners added, “We are very pleased Ascensus has become a market-leading savings business, having grown both organically and through acquisitions under our ownership. The company is well led and in a strong position to achieve its next phase of development over the coming years.”

“It has been an honor to be an investor in Ascensus twice in my career,” said David Schamis, founding partner and chief investment officer of Atlas Merchant Capital LLC. “Ascensus combines a strong market position with a highly skilled and shareholder value-focused management team. I am eager to continue to watch them flourish.”

Barclays and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as co-financial advisors to Ascensus in connection with this transaction. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as sole financial advisor to Stone Point Capital. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal counsel to Ascensus. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as transactional counsel to Stone Point Capital. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as financing counsel to Stone Point Capital.

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Through co-branded, private-labeled, and other governmental partnerships, our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, retirement plan third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com.

Get the latest trends and insights based on our proprietary data from more than 113,700 retirement plans, 6.0 million 529 accounts, 426,500 health savings accounts, and 23 ABLE plans.* Inside America’s Savings Plans highlights average savings levels across these tax-advantaged accounts and showcases plan features that drive participation and growth.

*As of December 31, 2020.

 

About Stone Point Capital LLC
Stone Point is an investment firm based in Greenwich, CT, with approximately $30 billion of assets under management. Stone Point targets investments in companies in the global financial services industry and related sectors. The firm invests in a number of alternative asset classes, including private equity through its flagship Trident Funds. Stone Point also manages both liquid and private credit funds and managed accounts. In addition, Stone Point Capital Markets supports our firm, portfolio companies and other clients by providing dedicated financing solutions. For more information, please visit www.stonepoint.com.

 

About GIC
GIC is a leading global investment firm, established in 1981, to strengthen Singapore’s financial future by managing its foreign reserves. As a disciplined long-term value investor, we engage across a wide range of asset classes in over 40 countries. Headquartered in Singapore, we have a strong global talent force of over 1,700 people positioned in 10 key financial cities. For more information on GIC, please visit www.gic.com.sg or LinkedIn.

 

About Aquiline Capital Partners LLC
Aquiline Capital Partners, founded in 2005, is a private equity firm based in New York and London investing in businesses across the financial services sector in banking and credit, insurance, investment management, and financial technology and services. The firm had $6.1 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2020. For more information about Aquiline, its investment professionals, and its portfolio companies, please visit: www.aquiline.com.

 

About Genstar Capital LLC
Genstar Capital (www.gencap.com) is a leading private equity firm that has been actively investing in high quality companies for over 30 years. Based in San Francisco, Genstar works in partnership with its management teams and its network of strategic advisors to transform its portfolio companies into industry-leading businesses. Together with Genstar X and all active funds, Genstar currently has approximately $33 billion of assets under management and targets investments focused on targeted segments of the financial services, healthcare, industrials and software industries.

 

About Atlas Merchant Capital LLC
Atlas Merchant Capital LLC was founded to participate in compelling market opportunities in the financial services sector. Based in New York and London, Atlas Merchant Capital was founded by Bob Diamond and David Schamis, who together with their partners form a complementary partnership with extensive operating and investing expertise across the financial services landscape. For more information about Atlas Merchant Capital, please visit www.atlasmerchantcapital.com.