Fiduciary Investment Advisory

Fiduciaries of qualified plans are required to oversee plan assets with the care, skill, prudence and judgment of a qualified expert.

In an environment where our legislative and regulatory bodies are broadening the definition of who is considered a fiduciary, as well as raising the standard to which a fiduciary is held, employers are looking to professional financial advisers to mitigate fiduciary risk.

Ascende Wealth Advisers serves as a co-fiduciary to the employer and investment committee, offering investment advice, innovative risk management solutions and fiduciary education services. Our team's experience includes a variety of retirement plans, including 401(k), defined benefit and nonqualified plans, as well as offshore savings arrangements.

Fiduciary Best Practices and Investment Analysis

We provide ongoing advice, guidance and support to plan fiduciaries in a broad range of areas:

  • Guiding the plan committee in establishing investment goals and an overall investment structure to achieve the goals
  • Leading the committee in adopting fiduciary best practices from committee charters and investment policy statements to fee analysis and investment monitoring
  • Advising on investment selections by recommending the appropriate asset classes, money managers and specific fund lineup based on the plan type, risk tolerance, participant demographics and available options
  • Monitoring and evaluating ongoing fund performance compared to benchmarks and peer groups, manager changes, fee changes, style drift and other appropriate indicators
  • Offering specialized analytics for target date funds, company stock and stable value funds

Fiduciary Oversight and Management

Because fiduciary prudence is generally measured by the process and procedures followed and documented, we will work with the plan fiduciaries and their legal counsel to create and maintain a comprehensive set of fiduciary best practices, including the investment committee structure and the investment policy statement.

We meet on a regular and recurring schedule with the plan fiduciaries to review the investment performance, discuss all fees and expenses associated with the plan and consider changes in the market and regulatory environments that could impact the plan or its participants. We document these meetings, as well as other considerations and decisions made by the committee, to demonstrate prudence to the independent plan auditor or in the event of a Department of Labor or other audit or challenge.

About Ascende Wealth Advisers

Ascende Wealth Advisers is an SEC registered investment advisory firm dedicated to providing unbiased investment advice by acting as either an ERISA 3(21) co-fiduciary or an ERISA 3(38) investment fiduciary to corporate sponsored qualified and nonqualified plans, as well as international and offshore savings arrangements.