Acquisition news

Ascensus Expands California Presence with Agreement to Acquire QBI, LLC

Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit TPA Brings Product Expertise and Sales Leadership to Ascensus

Dresher, PAAscensus, a technology-enabled solutions provider that helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future, has entered into an agreement to acquire QBI, LLC (QBI). The third-party administration (TPA) firm will immediately become part of Ascensus’ TPA Solutions division.

Based in Woodland Hills, California, QBI is one of the largest administrators of defined contribution and defined benefit plans in the country. The firm, which boasts a 40-year track record of successfully serving retirement industry needs, works with more than 3,500 plans and employs over 80 employees—most of whom are long-tenured due to the company’s high employee retention rate.

“QBI is a fast-growing company whose expertise in defined contribution and defined benefit plans is matched by their passion for building solid, long-lasting relationships with clients,” states David Musto, Ascensus’ president. “These traits—along with the culture of corporate and associate responsibility that they’ve created—will make QBI a meaningful contributor to Ascensus’ mission to help Americans prepare for the future.”

“QBI has always believed that the best administered retirement plans are supported by a well-established and efficient service model and infrastructure,” says Greg Taylor, QBI’s founder. “I’m looking forward to making QBI even more effective at helping businesses achieve their retirement plan goals as part of Ascensus, as our team will have access to additional resources that will allow us to anticipate and respond to client needs, large and small.”

“We see great potential for QBI due to the tremendous amount of brand equity they possess along with their leadership position in the TPA market,” says Raghav Nandagopal, Ascensus’ executive vice president of corporate development and M&A. “In addition, their strong presence in California allows us to increase our footprint in a region that is geographically attractive to us. We will continue to pursue opportunities that can help us grow in this area.”

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future—retirement, education, and healthcare—through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 60,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 education savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.6 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of March 31, 2018, Ascensus had over $187 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com/page/show/tpa and careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.


Ascensus Announces Acquisitions of Swerdlin & Company and SES Advisors

Deals Enhance Firm’s Diversified Retirement Offerings and Boost Its ESOP Capabilities

Dresher, PA—Ascensus, a technology-enabled solutions provider that helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Swerdlin & Company and SES Advisors. Both firms will become part of Ascensus’ TPA Solutions division, bringing considerable employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) capabilities. Swerdlin & Company will also add significant defined contribution and defined benefit expertise.

Swerdlin & Company provides actuarial, consulting, administrative, and recordkeeping services for all types of retirement, health, and cafeteria plans to clients nationwide. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the firm services benefit plans—including 401(k), cash balance, ESOP and health reimbursement accounts—from all industries for clients in 50 states. Swerdlin & Company works with plans of any size, from sole proprietorships to companies with thousands of employees.

“For almost 40 years, we at Swerdlin & Company have held ourselves accountable for the services we provide and the work we produce,” says Lee Swerdlin, president and chief operating officer for Swerdlin & Company. “We’ll continue this tradition as part of Ascensus, continuously improving client experiences and building long-lasting relationships based on honesty, trust, and mutual respect.”

SES Advisors specializes in employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) administration, consulting, and recordkeeping services. The firm, which is based Valparaiso, Indiana, helps companies administer ESOP plans by balancing the needs of owners and employees to create successful, sustainable employee ownership outcomes. SES Advisors takes a uniquely strategic and responsible approach that maximizes value for owners, their companies, and their employees. SES Advisors’ ESOP transaction and financial advisory practice was not part of the transaction; that business will continue under its current ownership and will be rebranded as SES ESOP Strategies, Inc.

“The team at SES Advisors has worked hard to make our company a leading provider of services throughout the ESOP life cycle,” says Doug Cannon, SES Advisor’s president. “We’re looking forward to continuing to grow our expertise as part of Ascensus so that we can guide clients through the intricacies of running an ESOP.”

“The ESOP capabilities and expertise of Swerdlin & Company and SES Advisors helps Ascensus deliver an even broader set of product solutions to its new and existing clients,” says David Musto, Ascensus’ president. “In addition, the business, personal, and ethical standards to which these companies adhere when working with their clients align perfectly with our own Core Values—we couldn’t be happier to welcome Swerdlin & Company and SES Advisors to the Ascensus family.”

“Both Swerdlin & Company and SES Advisors offered an exciting opportunity to advance our immediate and long-term growth plans via product and geographic expansion,” says Raghav Nandagopal, Ascensus’ executive vice president of corporate development and M&A. “Swerdlin & Company is a strong, market-leading TPA in the Atlanta region that offers diversified retirement services, while SES Advisors is an ESOP specialist that will immediately make TPA Solutions a leader in this area of the market.”

“We look forward to helping both of these companies continue to grow as part of Ascensus TPA Solutions,” concludes Nandagopal.

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future—retirement, education, and healthcare—through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 60,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 education savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.6 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of March 31, 2018, Ascensus had over $187 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at http://careers.ascensus.com/page/show/tpa and careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.


Ascensus Continues to Expand Retirement and Consumer-Directed Healthcare Capabilities with Agreement to Acquire Benefit Planning Consultants, Inc.

Solutions Provider Enhances Retirement and Benefit Plan Services Offering with Addition of Diversified TPA.

Dresher, PA—Ascensus, a technology-enabled solutions provider that helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future, has entered into an agreement to acquire Benefit Planning Consultants, Inc. (BPC). Headquartered in Champaign, IL, BPC is a diversified third-party administrator (TPA) that provides retirement and consumer-directed healthcare (CDH) solutions. The firm assists businesses with the design, implementation, and administration of retirement plan services (such as 401(k), 403(b), 457, money purchase, profit sharing and employee stock owner ship plans) and benefit plan services (such as flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, health savings accounts, and COBRA).

BPC, which was founded in 1979, serves clients across the nation by providing comprehensive retirement and benefit administration solutions with unmatched customer service. Its business practices, culture, and community involvement have earned accolades from numerous industry and business organizations for service and excellence, including recognition for being one of the Best Places to Work in Illinois in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017. Most notably, BPC was among the first TPAs in the country to earn certification from the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, LLC (CEFEX) for Retirement Plan Administration Service.

“BPC is a great fit for Ascensus from both business and cultural standpoints,” states David Musto, Ascensus’ president. “Designing benefit and retirement plans that meet the needs of companies and their employees while treating clients with the utmost care and respect is very much in line with our mission of helping Americans save for the future—BPC’s talented group of associates will no doubt be an outstanding addition to the Ascensus team.”

“At BPC, we’ve always said that we’re small enough to care and large enough to do the job right,” says Habeeb Habeeb, BPC’s president and chief executive officer. “We’ll continue to maintain that mentality as part of Ascensus, taking advantage of our combined resources so that we can continue to bring passion to our work while placing a high value on our relationships with clients and partners.”

“With BPC, we are excited by the prospect of adding a hybrid TPA that provides a combination of retirement and CDH/benefit continuation services along with a fantastic service delivery reputation,” says Raghav Nandagopal, Ascensus’ executive vice president of corporate development and M&A. “We are committed to aggressively growing our CDH and benefit continuation offerings; adding BPC right after our acquisition of Chard Snyder fits this strategy.”

“We will continue to execute on multiple paths to success by acquiring not only standalone retirement TPAs, but also retirement plus CDH/benefit continuation TPAs as we seek to leverage the ongoing consolidation in the health and wealth market segments,” concludes Nandagopal.

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future—retirement, education, and healthcare—through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 54,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 education savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.5 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of December 31, 2017, Ascensus had over $163 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at http://careers.ascensus.com/page/show/tpa and careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.


Ascensus Announces Agreement to Acquire Polycomp Administrative Services, Inc.

Dresher, PA – Ascensus, a technology-enabled solutions provider that helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future, has entered into an agreement to acquire Polycomp Administrative Services, Inc. (Polycomp). The retirement plan design and benefit plan administrative services firm will immediately become part of Ascensus’ retirement division.

Polycomp, which has offices throughout California in RosevilleWoodland Hills, and San Diego, provides client-specific solutions and services for self-directed IRAs, qualified plans, and prevailing wage trusts. Founded in 1974, the firm works with over 5,000 clients and administers approximately 1,500 plans. It is also home to dozens of credentialed associates who hold certifications from the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries, the National Institute of Pension Administrators, and the Institute of Certified Bankers.

“Polycomp is nationally recognized as a leader in retirement plan consulting and administrative services,” states Shannon Kelly, Ascensus’ president of retirement. “The climate of mutual trust and purpose that they’ve created is attractive not only to its clients, but also to its associates—many of whom have been with the firm for more than 10 years. Ascensus gladly welcomes these new associates and the expertise they can share with our clients to help them prepare for the future.”

“Since Polycomp doesn’t sell or recommend investments to our clients, we can focus our efforts on client objectives and collaborating with other experts in the accounting, financial planning, and investment fields,” says Donna Harmon, Polycomp’s chief operating officer. “Becoming part of Ascensus and gaining access to all of its resources will allow us to continue to provide the highest level of expertise in retirement plan design and compliance administration.”

“The acquisition of Polycomp is an excellent proxy to our diversified growth strategy, as Polycomp’s solutions span not only our core retirement third-party administration markets, but also the self-directed IRA, trust administration, and compliance areas,” says Raghav Nandagopal, Ascensus’ executive vice president of corporate development and M&A. “In addition to these adjacencies, we continue to aggressively pursue acquisition opportunities in college solutions, health solutions, benefit administration, and other logical areas.”

 

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future—retirement, college, and healthcare— through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports approximately 50,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 college savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.6 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of June 30, 2017, Ascensus had over $155 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.


Ascensus Announces Acquisition of Retirement Plan Administrative Service, Ltd.

Addition of Retirement Administration Firm Expands Ascensus Consulting Business

Dresher, PAAscensus, a technology and solutions provider that helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future, has announced the acquisition of independently owned Retirement Plan Administrative Service, Ltd. (RPAS), an actuarial, consulting, and administrative services firm headquartered in Richmond, Virginia that specializes in qualified plan design, installation, government compliance, and administration.

RPAS, which will become a part of the Ascensus Consulting line of business, provides services that are designed to help plan sponsors maximize the value of their retirement plan. Established in 1981, the firm maintains the highest level of technical and quality control standards while emphasizing responsive and personalized service. Because RPAS is fully independent from investments, it can offer each of its clients a variety of service options based on an employer’s business needs and goals. In addition, the firm has a long history of administering Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs).

“RPAS is recognized as a premier administration firm for qualified retirement plans,” states Shannon Kelly, Ascensus’ president of retirement. “This acquisition is in line with our goal of aggressively expanding our Ascensus Consulting business as well as Ascensus overall. I’m pleased to welcome RPAS’ clients and associates to Ascensus Consulting and am excited to add ESOP services to our product offering.”

“Becoming part of Ascensus Consulting and gaining access to its resources will allow us to provide the best possible plan design and operation while remaining committed to personal service,” says Burl V. Bachman, president of RPAS. “Our clients can rest assured in the knowledge that we’ll continue to always act in their best interests and maintain loyal relationships that are based on trust and integrity.”
About Ascensus

Ascensus helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future—retirement, college, and healthcare—through technology and service solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of banks, credit unions, states, governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports approximately 50,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 college savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.5 million IRAs and health savings accounts. For more information about Ascensus, visit www.ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.


Ascensus Announces Completion of Kravitz, Inc. Acquisition

Firm Advances Growth Strategy While Enhancing Cash Balance Capabilities

 

Dresher, PA—Ascensus, a technology and service provider that helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Kravitz, Inc. that was previously announced on June 6, 2017. As a result of the acquisition, Ascensus will serve approximately 50,000 retirement plans.

Kravitz, Inc. is a retirement administration firm and Cash Balance specialist focused on bringing its clients the latest in the design, administration, and management of corporate retirement plans. As part of the deal, Ascensus also acquired Kravitz Back Office Solutions, which delivers private-label actuarial services to third-party administrators across the country to help them grow and succeed with Cash Balance plans. Not included in the deal were Kravitz Investment Services, Inc., a registered investment advisor that supports Cash Balance investments, and the Payden/Kravitz Cash Balance Plan Fund, a mutual fund designed exclusively for Cash Balance retirement plans.

“The addition of Kravitz to the Ascensus family of companies represents a significant step for our growth strategy,” says Raghav Nandagopal, Ascensus’ executive vice president of corporate development and M&A. “We are aggressively pursuing acquisition opportunities not only in our core markets of retirement and college savings solutions, but also within natural adjacencies like health solutions, benefits administration, and other areas. This will help us to meet our goal of closing at least 8 to 10 new acquisitions per year for the foreseeable future.”

“Over the years, Kravitz has worked hard to build a reputation that has made their name synonymous with Cash Balance expertise,” states Shannon Kelly, Ascensus’ president of retirement. “Bringing this expertise into the fold—along with Kravitz’s dedicated team of associates—allows Ascensus to broaden our retirement offerings so that we can help even more Americans save for the future.”

 

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future—retirement, college, and healthcare—through technology and service solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of banks, credit unions, states, governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 50,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 college savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.5 million IRAs and health savings accounts. For more information about Ascensus, visit www.ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.


Ascensus Announces Acquisition of Kravitz, Inc.

Addition of Cash Balance Market Leader Fuels Continued Company Growth

Dresher, PA — Ascensus, a service and technology provider that helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future, has announced the acquisition of independently owned Kravitz, Inc., a retirement administration firm and Cash Balance specialist focused on bringing its clients the latest in the design, administration, and management of corporate retirement plans. As part of the deal, Ascensus also acquired Kravitz Back Office Solutions, which delivers private-label actuarial services to third-party administrators across the country to help them grow and succeed with cash balance plans. Kravitz Investment Services, Inc., a registered investment advisor that supports cash balance investments, was not included in the deal.

Kravitz, founded in 1977, designed its first Cash Balance plan in 1989 and has since grown into the nation’s Cash Balance leader, helping more than 125,000 Americans retire with innovative, tax-efficient retirement plans. The firm offers extensive training, education, and support on Cash Balance plans to its clients and an extensive network of financial advisors and third-party administrator partners. It employs more than 85 individuals and services more than 1,400 clients with retirement plans. As a result of the acquisition, Ascensus will serve approximately 50,000 retirement plans. Kravitz will maintain its focus on Cash Balance plans, with Dan Kravitz continuing in a senior leadership role.

“Kravitz is renowned for its Cash Balance plan expertise, market leadership, and client focus—we’re excited for its team of actuaries and retirement plan professionals to join the Ascensus family,” states Shannon Kelly, Ascensus’ president of retirement. “Cash Balance plans are sophisticated and complex retirement plans that require a superior level of actuarial acumen; under Dan’s ongoing leadership, we anticipate extending our company’s growth into the mid-market segment.”

“The Kravitz team is looking forward to becoming part of Ascensus and continuing to help our clients save for a more secure retirement,” said Kravitz. “Our clients, employees, and industry partners can expect us to keep providing state-of-the-art plan design and expert administration while remaining dedicated to our values of innovation, accountability, and integrity.”

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future—retirement, college, and healthcare—through service and technology solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of banks, credit unions, states, governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 50,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 college savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.5 million IRAs and health savings accounts. For more information about Ascensus, visit www.ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.


Raghav Nandagopal Discusses Ascensus’ Strategic Vision for the Future with PLANADVISER

In a recent PLANADVISER article, Raghav Nandagopal discusses Ascensus’ goal of building scale through organic growth and rapidly paced mergers and acquisitions. He notes that growth is essential to ensure that Ascensus can continue to invest in its service offerings and new technologies. Raghav also highlights the importance of culture to future development; “There is a real passion in our industry about putting the best culture forward and making sure folks inside the business really want to treat clients well, not just be successful,” he concludes.


Raghav Nandagopal Discusses Ascensus’ Corporate Growth Strategy

In a recent PLANADVISER article, EVP Raghav Nandagopal discusses Ascensus’ growth strategy and focus on acquiring the best technology possible. He notes that our firm is currently pursuing opportuntiies to expand in our core market segments and develop a stronger presence in the TPA space. Raghav also highlights the importance of pursuing new institutional partnerships, referencing the recent launch of the ClearFit product with Morgan Stanley.


Ascensus mentioned in 401kSpecialist

John Sullivan at 401kSpecialist highlighted some of our major accomplishments of 2016, such as acquisitions and company growth, and offered a preview of exciting things to come in 2017. The corporate website redesign was the first major accomplishment in 2017. “As we head into 2017 and continue to grow our organization, it’s imperative that we maintain our focus on the value that we provide to our clients in helping them save for retirement, college, and health care,” CEO and President Bob Guillocheau notes. “We listened hard to what our clients were asking of us with our upcoming digital initiatives—the new solutions are truly being built with our clients in mind.”