Our Heritage

Ascensus was founded more than 40 years ago with a singular purpose—to help people save for what matters.

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.®

Introduced Fee-Based Solution

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

Entered the HSA Market

We built from this momentum, entering the health savings account (HSA) 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

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-oriented culture.

Attracted New Ownership

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

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Established Health & Benefits Line of Business

With the acquisition of Chard Snyder in 2018, Ascensus expanded into the consumer-directed health and benefits administration marketplace. Since then, we’ve grown our Health & Benefits line of business via the additions of BPC and HR Simplified.

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Launched National TPA Identity: FuturePlan by Ascensus

As part of the evolution our national TPA rollout strategy that began in 2017, Ascensus launched the FuturePlan by Ascensus brand identity. FuturePlan is made up of more than 30 acquired TPAs.

Ownership Group Expands

In early 2019, Ascensus owners Genstar Capital and Aquiline Capital Partners welcomed new investors led by Atlas Merchant Capital LLC, to their ownership group.

Further Industry Recognition

Ascensus was recognized as Retirement Leader of the Year at the 2019 Fund Intelligence Mutual Fund Industry Awards, celebrating the funds, fund leaders, providers, marketers, trustees, and independent counsel who stood out for their successes, achievements, and contributions. Ascensus was honored as a finalist for the same recognition in 2020.

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Pandemic Response

Ascensus transitioned more than 95% of its workforce to working from home within a matter of days when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Our associates collaborated to sustain client satisfaction levels and network availability.

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