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Client Locations Across the U.S.*
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Proprietary Funds
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Participants in Newport
Capital Group plans*
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Mutual Funds, Separate Accounts and Collective Trusts Analyzed*

Institutional Consulting Services

As consultants to organizations across the United States, Newport Capital Group offers services for all types of plans including but not limited to; 401(k), 403(b), defined benefit, non-qualified plans, foundations and endowments. We are objective in our approach and have no allegiance to any service providers or investment products.

3(21) & 3(38) Fiduciary Services

Newport Capital Group can serve as both an ERISA 3(21) and ERISA 3(38) Appointed Fiduciary.

A fiduciary is an individual authorized by an express or implied agreement, like a trust or a defined relationship, to act with a high duty of care on behalf of another person, a beneficiary. The fiduciary must make prudent and informed decisions based on all available and material information, acting first and foremost on behalf of the beneficiary. Fiduciaries are required to avoid conflicts of interest and must place the interest of the beneficiary ahead of their own. Fiduciaries must also act in good faith, maintain confidentiality, and communicate by disclosing all pertinent information through the due diligence process.

 

 

 

A fiduciary is an individual authorized by an express or implied agreement, like a trust or a defined relationship, to act with a high duty of care on behalf of another person, a beneficiary. The fiduciary must make prudent and informed decisions based on all available and material information, acting first and foremost on behalf of the beneficiary. Fiduciaries are required to avoid conflicts of interest and must place the interest of the beneficiary ahead of their own. Fiduciaries must also act in good faith, maintain confidentiality, and communicate by disclosing all pertinent information through the due diligence process.

ERISA 3(21) Co-Fiduciary Advisor

  • We work with the plan sponsor to follow a due diligence process, including the adoption and implementation of an Investment Policy Statement to formalize that process.
  • Recommend investments to the plan sponsor, monitors those investments, and proposes appropriate replacements, as outlined in the Investment Policy Statement.
  • Advise the plan sponsor in regards to Participant Education following a formalized Education Policy Statement.
  • Provide counsel and guidance, but we do not have discretion.

ERISA 3(38) Discretionary Investment Manager 

  • We are appointed by a plan sponsor to manage the investment process of a retirement plan.
  • Only RIA, banks, or insurance companies are qualified to accept 3(38) appointment.
  • Investment Manager becomes “solely” responsible for the selection, monitorization, and replacement of investment options.
  • Plan sponsors and other plan fiduciaries are relieved of their responsibility for the investment manager’s decisions.
  • Plan sponsors retain residual duty to prudently select and monitor the investment manager.
  • We retain full discretionary authority to select appropriate investment options according to the Investment Policy Statement.

401(k) Plans

401(k) Plans have surpassed Defined Benefit pension plans as America’s primary retirement vehicle. Companies understand their 401(k) plans are not only a recruiting tool but a critical component to their employees’ overall compensation and benefit packages. While setting up a plan can be fairly straightforward, maintaining best practices is not.

Serving as either a 3(21) and 3(38) fiduciary partner to the plan, Newport Capital Group will help ensure plan fees are reasonable, align the plan and company’s goals through plan design optimization, establish and maintain a formal review process, and vet and monitor plan investments according to an investment policy statement.

When it comes to the employee experience, only a well-planned, targeted and comprehensive education program will ensure plan participants have enough information to make informed investment decisions as they save. Newport Capital Group collaborates directly with many of the industry’s most recognized record-keeping service providers to maximize performance of their tools, platforms and trained educators.

We have experience working with veteran committees, trustees and boards and we are also capable of helping to formalize a company’s first committee. Decision makers turn to us when they lack the internal personnel, do not have the necessary expertise, or are interested in sharing the heavy load of 401(k) fiduciary liability with a committed partner. Newport Capital Group works with 401(k) clients of all sizes with the goal of ensuring their plans are running compliantly and cost-effectively.

403(b) Plans

We believe Newport Capital Group’s experience with mid to large-sized market, non-profit organizations has proven valuable to both plan sponsors and participants alike. This is largely due to the combination of our highly customizable service model and our overall experience in the defined contribution retirement plan space.

First and foremost, our initial consultation is focused on identifying the needs of each of our clients and creating a service deliverable blueprint that is unique to each organization. Within the non-profit market, we have found it especially true that two institutions with similar demographics and the same record-keeper can be vastly different in terms of overall plan fees, investment offerings, and participant education.

Modern 403(b) platforms afford cutting edge participant tools and wide-ranging investment choices for plan sponsors. Many plans have yet to be updated, and, as a result, a large number of legacy plans still exist. Rather than being record kept by one company, it is common for older plans to have arrangements with multiple service providers. Moreover, the aforementioned service providers may have sold individual annuity contracts directly to plan participants. These contracts are often restrictive and make it difficult for plan sponsors to fulfill their fiduciary obligation to prudently monitor and select investment options. Newport Capital Group has the experience necessary to upgrade clients’ plans, expand the availability of quality investment options, streamline a plan’s administration, and help untangle the complexities of provider annuities.

Flexibility has been critical in creating a retirement program that maximizes participant outcomes while minimizing liability to plan sponsors. When tailoring these programs, our experience with the defined contribution retirement plan space has allowed us to develop solutions based not only on current industry best practices, but also on ever changing legislation and regulation surrounding the management of retirement plans.

Our practice has always been to treat 403(b) plans with the same high standard of scrutiny applied to 401(k) and defined benefit plans. This approach has been successful, especially given the litigation issues faced by many large name 403(b) plan sponsors. Our firm has helped educational institutions and other not-for-profits become more hands-on and understand the implications that are associated with their fiduciary responsibility under ERISA. Through analysis of our clients’ plans, we have successfully consolidated multiple plans to reduce overall fees to plan sponsors and participants.

Newport Capital Group has extensive experience working with both Investment Committees and Boards of Trustees alike. Although many of the day to day decisions related to retirement plans are delegated to committees, it is often the case that the Board of Trustees serves as the final arbiter on matters of pay or broader corporate strategy. For these situations, Newport Capital Group is often asked to present analysis or offer additional due diligence in order to substantiate change. We invite the opportunity to work with Boards of Trustees and offer our experience and expertise in matters requiring the approval of a higher authority.

Defined Benefit Plans

Newport Capital Group serves as a 3(21) and 3(38) fiduciary advisor to pension plan clients across the United States. In the 3(21) relationship, Newport Capital Group makes investment recommendations to your Investment Committee. As a 3(38) Investment Advisor, Newport Capital Group is given discretion to manage and implement pension investment changes for clients’ plans.

We currently serve a wide array of pension types and plan sizes and we are equipped to handle management plans and union plans. At the onset of each defined benefit plan relationship we begin to gain a complete understanding of the plan’s future benefit obligation and the organization’s goals for the plan. Most plan sponsors have a termination goal; however, other clients have a goal to reach fully-funded status for plans that will be kept open. We believe that a clear picture of plan health and open communication with the plan’s actuary are paramount in order to build a customized investment strategy and to reach a desired outcome.

Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation

Newport Capital Group is committed to offering customized solutions to help plan sponsors with the on-going management of their retirement plan program. Limitations surrounding qualified benefit plans can make it difficult for highly compensated employees to adequately save for retirement. A nonqualified plan can help bridge the retirement gap. If implemented properly, nonqualified plans serve as an effective tool to recruit, reward, retain, and retire key employees.

Newport Capital Group partners with deferred compensation specialists to thoroughly assess your plan and make recommendations will have the goal of meeting the plan’s stated objectives. We monitor industry trends as well as the regulatory environment to make sure plans are flexible, competitive, and responsive to the needs of executives and the sponsor’s firm. We provide full consulting support in all phases of deferred compensation including plan design, funding strategies, COLI product analysis, investment advice, and asset management.

Determining the appropriate funding vehicle for a deferred compensation plan is a multilevel process. While the most common practice is to utilize a combination of mutual funds and COLI as a funding strategy, the solution is dependent upon each company’s particular set of circumstances. We will assist in the goal of creating the most tax-efficient vehicle to offset the deferred compensation benefit liability, by offering objective and unbiased recommendations.

Plan Mergers & Acquisitions

We help our clients understand and evaluate their options once we understand their goals and objectives surrounding the plan merger and acquisition.  Working in conjunction with a team of experts including internal counsel, ERISA attorney, accountants and payroll specialists, etc., we will create and use comprehensive due diligence process to delineate responsibilities and evaluate the plans offered.   We assist our clients to determine if they want to maintain an existing plan, terminate the plan, or merge the plans together. Depending on the plan decision, we will review advance notice requirements for transferring funds (i.e., identifying potential liquidity issues), identify a fund mapping strategy, review and identify plan design considerations, ensure documents are reviewed to identify protected benefits and review participant communications.  Newport Capital Group takes the role as project manager to help our clients through these processes.

Foundations & Endowments

Newport Capital Group helps clients manage their foundation and endowment assets utilizing an institutional investment approach. The investment strategy is driven around a balancing act between two competing investment goals: the spending policy for the account, and the growth or preservation of account assets to support future spending. A written spending policy should be crafted that balances the needs for current spending, while also taking into consideration future outflows. The spending policy should incorporate the effects of inflation that can reduce the purchasing power of the account’s spending. Therefore, the spending policy’s focus should be on “real” inflation-adjusted spending over time, to maintain intergenerational consistency with regard to spending.

Newport Capital Group’s recommendation in developing a prudent spending rule is customized to each client’s unique goals and objectives. Our approach and investment recommendations to clients is to illustrate how “extra” returns above spending levels should normally be re-invested rather than immediately spent, so as to protect against the inevitable “low” or negative return years. The spending rule and asset allocation policy will then be well-suited to maintain required spending levels over the long-term.