Our Heritage

Ascensus was founded over 35 years ago with a singular purpose—to help Americans save for the future by connecting them to the right plans.

Our Founding

Ascensus was founded as the The Barclay Group and began providing 401(k) retirement plan design, communication, and recordkeeping services.

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Introduction of Open Architecture

In 1995, Ascensus introduced our open-architecture investment platform for retirement plans. This gave our financial advisor partners a more diverse selection of funds and additional flexibility to build a plan that would suit their clients’ objectives.

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Established Core Values

2004 was a major year for our company culture and service structure. We officially established the Core Values by which we still live today — People Matter. Quality First. Integrity Always.®

We also became the first independent recordkeeper to introduce a scalable, fee-based retirement plan solution for financial advisors.

We built from this momentum, entering the health savings account market immediately after these new savings tools were introduced. Ascensus quickly became an industry leader in HSA education and administration.

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Entered College Savings Marketplace

With the acquisition of Upromise Investments in 2013, Ascensus entered the 529 college savings plan industry for the first time. Since then, we’ve grown to be the nation’s #1 529 program manager in assets under management as ranked by Strategic Insight.

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Industry Recognition and New Ownership

Ascensus was named to the 2015 and 2017 Inc. 5000 lists of fastest-growing private companies in the United States, attributing our continued growth to key partnerships,  hard-working associates, and  service culture.

In late 2015, Ascensus was acquired by private equity firms Genstar Capital and Aquiline Capital Partners. They’ve expressed their commitment to supporting Ascensus as we continue to build our capabilities and help more Americans save.

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Became the Nation’s Largest TPA

Ascensus continued to increase the scale of its third-party administration business with the acquisitions of several boutique TPA firms including National Retirement Services, Inc.; Matthews Benefit Group; Benefits of Missouri, Inc.; Retirement Strategies, Inc., Polycomp Administrative Services, and Qualified Plans, LLC. Ascensus now offers even more personalized retirement plan administration, compliance, and actuarial services in several locations throughout the country.

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