206 episodes

The 401(k) Fridays Podcast features a weekly conversation with an expert guest to help employers and their service partners keep up with workplace retirement plan topics and trends. Listen today, improve your retirement plan tomorrow!

401(k) Fridays Podcast Rick Unser

    • Investing
    • 4.7, 58 Ratings

The 401(k) Fridays Podcast features a weekly conversation with an expert guest to help employers and their service partners keep up with workplace retirement plan topics and trends. Listen today, improve your retirement plan tomorrow!

    Two More Bites At The 401(k) Advice Apple? Exploring Regulation Best Interest & The New DOL Fiduciary Rule

    Two More Bites At The 401(k) Advice Apple? Exploring Regulation Best Interest & The New DOL Fiduciary Rule

    We have talked about Regulation BI and the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule before on the podcast, however, it has been a while. Reg BI is now live and the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule has been revamped after its prior version was vacated a while back. To share an overview of what each are, the impact on plan sponsors, participants and industry I am happy to welcome Chris Giorgi and Carrol Waddel, both with Empower Retirement to the podcast. Chris provides great background and perspective on the legal front as Associate General Counsel and Carrol offers her insights on how all of this will impact plan sponsors and workplace retirement plan participants. We also hit on the role of advice in the post COVID world and what that could mean for all involved. 
     
    That’s it for now, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Chris and Carrol!
     
    Guest Bios
     
    Chris Giorgi is Assistant General Counsel for Empower Retirement. Prior to joining Empower, he served as Senior Counsel in the legal and compliance department for Putnam Investments and as Director of the ERISA compliance team for The Hartford. He has 27 years of experience in ERISA legal and compliance matters. 
    Chris holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from Suffolk University and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. He is the co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s ERISA Committee and a member of various industry groups, including the ICI Pension Committee. He also maintains FINRA Series 6, 26 and 63 securities registrations and holds FINRA Series 7 credentials. 
     
    Carol Waddell is Senior Vice President and Head of the Retirement Solutions Group for Empower Retirement. In her role, she oversees the teams that deliver guidance, advice, managed accounts, and financial wellness and planning across all corporate and government defined contribution segments for Empower and leads the consumer IRA, taxable and Empower Brokerage businesses. 
    Previously, Carol served as Head of Product and Marketing for J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services. At J.P. Morgan, she led product management and development, which included products, services, tools and websites for advisors, plan sponsors and participants, and oversaw the firm’s marketing strategy and communications, segment management and award-winning participant experience. 
    Carol has also worked for T. Rowe Price, where she served in various leadership roles. In addition to providing oversight for defined contribution, defined benefit and nonqualified plan product development and marketing — including customer digital channels; investment products; and services for intermediaries, plan sponsors and participants — she contributed significantly to the firm’s overall retirement income and target date product strategies. Carol has also served at Citibank in a variety of positions focused on marketing and customer experience. 
    Carol holds an MBA from Loyola University Maryland. She currently maintains the FINRA Series 6 securities registration and holds FINRA Series 7 and 24 credentials. 
     
    401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
    Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

    • 52 min
    Private Equity & 401(k) Plans: The What, When, Why & How

    Private Equity & 401(k) Plans: The What, When, Why & How

    Is private equity on its way to 401(k) plans? What actually is private equity? How could this work? What is the investment need that is not being filled? We discuss all of this and more with Doug Keller, Head of Private Wealth and Defined Contribution at the private equity firm Pantheon. Coincidentally, Doug and his firm were also one of the private equity firms to request the information letter from the Department of Labor that has been making headlines and prompting a lot of questions. I learned a lot from this conversation, I hope you will also. If we missed anything today let me know. Send me an email to feedback@401kfridays.com or shoot me a message on LinkedIn. 
     
    That’s it, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Doug!
     
    Guest Bio
    Doug Keller, Head of Private Wealth and Defined Contribution (joined 2013, 10 years of private markets experience)
    Doug is Head of Private Wealth and Defined Contribution at Pantheon. He focuses on the origination, structuring and marketing of registered and unregistered offerings to clients globally. He previously worked in the Merrill Lynch Alternative Investments group where he was involved in screening, structuring and offering private equity and private real estate investments through the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management platform. He has a BA in Economics from Tufts University. Doug is based in New York.
     
    401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
    Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Will The Aftermath of COVID-19 Bring More 401(k) Lawsuits?

    Will The Aftermath of COVID-19 Bring More 401(k) Lawsuits?

    With the COVID related volatility in the financial markets and the impact on employees and businesses, one question lingering in the back of employers minds has been, am I more likely to be the target of a 401(k) lawsuit now? To answer this and some other topical questions that have come up, I am excited to welcome back Carl Engstrom, a 401(k) plaintiff’s attorney with Nichols Kaster. Carl and his firm have numerous lawsuits against retirement plan sponsors and to date have garnered over $150 million of dollars in settlements on behalf of 401(k) plan participants. In addition to some answers on the first question, we hit on why employers are getting sued, where 401(k) litigation is likely headed and some thoughts on other timely developments. With that said, since we recorded the episode and our release date, there have been a few announcements on private equity and ESG investment strategies we did not discuss. As those situations evolve, we will surely revisit them in the future. 
    Guest Bio
    Prior to joining Nichols Kaster, Carl worked as a judicial law clerk for Judge Natalie E. Hudson of the Minnesota Court of Appeals and for Judge Philip C. Carruthers and Judge Tamara G. Garcia of the Fourth Judicial District of the State of Minnesota.
    During law school, Carl was a staff member and articles submission editor of the Minnesota Law Review, where his note on the Fair Labor Standards Act was published in April 2012. Carl was on the Dean’s List all three years at law school and received four Faculty Book Awards given to the top-performing student in a course. Carl also worked as a research assistant to Professor Daniel Schwarcz. Carl began his legal career in 2010 as a Law Clerk with Nichols Kaster.
    Carl’s passion for helping people save for retirement began before law school, when Carl spent six years working as a Certified Financial Planner, with a particular focus on helping clients plan and save for retirement.
    401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
    Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Stimulus Checks + PPP + Zero Interest Rates = Inflation?

    Stimulus Checks + PPP + Zero Interest Rates = Inflation?

    Recently, there has been a lot of money, trillions of dollars, pumped into the markets and economy. What is the impact on inflation, how could this impact the broader markets, what do near zero interest rates mean? To tackle this and much more, I am happy to welcome back Rich Weiss, a Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Multi-Asset Strategies for American Century Investments. Rich brings some great stories, ability to break down complex topics and make them understandable and a few jokes to the podcast today. 
     
    Before we get started, we have some great new episodes coming up featuring my conversation with a 401(k) plaintiff’s attorney, another one talking with one of the private equity firms who applied for the recent DOL information letter to get their thoughts on allowing private equity in 401(k) plans and a detailed look at Regulation BI which takes effect on June 30th. If for any reason you are not subscribed to the podcast, you can take care of that by searching 401(k) Fridays on your favorite podcast app or by visiting 401kfridays.com/subscribe. 
     
    Guest Bio
    Richard Weiss is senior vice president and chief investment officer, Multi-Asset Strategies for American Century Investments.
    Mr. Weiss oversees the team that manages the firm's multi-asset strategies, including the One Choice (Target Risk and Target Date) Portfolios®, Strategic Allocation and investments offered in the Learning Quest® 529 Education Savings Program. He also serves as a member of the American Century Investments Asset Allocation Committee, which is responsible for establishing investment policy and reviewing investment decisions for all of the firm's multi-asset products.
    Prior to joining the firm in 2010, Mr. Weiss was executive vice president and chief investment officer of City National Bank, where he was responsible for the bank's investment management group and directed investment policy and strategy. Previously, he was executive vice president and chief investment officer at Sanwa Bank California, where he managed all aspects of their investment department. Earlier in his career, Mr. Weiss held senior investment positions at Vantage Global Advisors, TSA Capital Management, PaineWebber and Mellon Bank.
    An investment veteran with over 35 years of experience, Mr. Weiss holds a bachelor's degree in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He has authored several academic papers and is well known for his advanced work in the field of global investing. Mr. Weiss is also a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg Television, Fox Business and Bloomberg Radio.
     
    401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
    Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

    • 56 min
    Student Debt: Updates, CARES Act & 401(k) Integration

    Student Debt: Updates, CARES Act & 401(k) Integration

    Student debt or student loans has been a hot topic and a challenge for millions for several years now. So much so that employers are now including some type of student loan assistance in their benefits program or even their 401(k) plan. There was also a provision in the CARES Act which addressed what employers can do to help employees who have student debt. To chat about this and more, I am excited to welcome Romy Parzick, the CEO of Vault to the podcast. During our conversation, she effortlessly addresses every question I could think to ask her about student loans, what the current reality of student debt is, the impact from COVID, how employers are addressing them in their benefits programs, will the 401(k) matching program gain traction and what she sees still on the horizon. 
     
    Before we get started, I apologize for the gap in episodes early this month. We are back on track and will be putting out more valuable episodes here in the coming weeks. As a reminder, if you have an idea for a guest, topic or question we should address on the podcast please either message me on LinkedIn or shoot me an email to feedback@401kfridays.com. 
     
    That’s it, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Romy!
     
    Guest Bio
    Romy Parzick is the CEO of Vault, bringing two decades of fintech innovation, operational excellence, and leadership experience to the organization. Her work spans the consumer and commercial finance sectors, where she has worked across organizations to launch new products, drive operational scaling, transform struggling business units, and manage large-scale change initiatives.
     
    Prior to taking the helm at Vault, Romy led operations and client experience for the commercial division of a $4B consumer payments company and implemented national consumer advocacy initiatives at the Financial Health Network and as EVP of a leading Community Development Financial Institution. 
     
    Passionate about leveling the playing field for women and minorities, Romy is an active and outspoken First Movers Fellow and advisory board member with the Aspen Institute. She holds an M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University.
     
    401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
    Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

    • 48 min
    ERISA Attorney Insights - Contemplating Coronavirus Consequences

    ERISA Attorney Insights - Contemplating Coronavirus Consequences

    This week, I am happy to share my conversation with Tom Clark, ERISA Attorney and COO of the Wagner Law Group! Tough to put a nice bow around this one, as we delved into a host of issues retirement plan sponsors face in the wake of COVID and as people start planning for their businesses to reopen. We hit on plan design issues, employee education, fiduciary considerations and much more. Tom has been a regular guest on the podcast, had to go back and confirm but this was his fifth episode on the podcast If you like what you heard today, be sure to check on his prior appearances on the podcast. He consistently brings his A game!
    Before we get started, a big welcome to our new listeners. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast app or by going to 401kfridays.com/subscribe. This way, you will always know when we have a new episode for your enjoyment. 
    Guest Bio
    Tom Clark serves as the firm's Chief Operating Officer and leads the firm’s St. Louis office. His expertise encompasses all aspects of employee benefits programs, including the design, implementation and compliance of retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and executive and incentive compensation arrangements. He also has a robust practice assisting covered service providers in meeting their ERISA compliance needs. Mr. Clark’s vast litigation experience complements the firm’s strong and growing ERISA and employment litigation department and includes work on landmark ERISA cases involving complicated ERISA fiduciary duty issues. He has been quoted extensively as an ERISA and employee benefits expert by outlets such as Reuters, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and Forbes. Mr. Clark teaches ERISA fiduciary law as an Adjunct Professor at The Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, his alma mater. He is a co-author of the Second Edition of "ERISA: Principles of Employee Benefits Law," the only treatise of its kind that provides an overview of the regulation of employee benefit plans by highlighting the central principles and competing policies of employee benefits law in a compact and accessible format for a broad audience of readers.
    401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
    Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
58 Ratings

58 Ratings

tierneyc24 ,

Great Understanding

I think I may be like most, and only know very little about the mechanics of our 401k. I learn a little with each podcast. Keep up the good work!

401(k) fan ,

Keep up the good work!

Timely content and good selection of guests.

GDP in LV ,

Great job Rick!

Rick, kudos to your hard work with this podcast. It’s entertaining and interesting... most importantly it’s filled with actionable information. Keep them coming Rick!

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