Exclusive: One of a Kind Benefits Audit Company Launches in Houston
Exclusive: One of a Kind Benefits Audit Company Launches in HoustonDate : March 12, 2015 Posted By : admin
BY: Suzanne Edwards
Reporter, Houston Business Journal
March 12, 2015, 8:34 CST
Brent Thomas is unnerved, so much so that he’s gone and started a new company to address his concerns.
After nearly 15 years in the trust business, he’s seen a lot go wrong between employers who sponsor benefit plans for their employees and the financial service firms that provide the plans, which is why he just launched Prudentia Fiduciary partners in Houston.
Employers can experience everything from getting sued for breaching their fiduciary duties as sponsors of benefit plans to unwittingly overpaying plan providers in fees that often go unchecked as companies grow.
“Governance, investments, participant education, fiduciary liability — inefficiency in any of those areas could result in penalties or fines from the Department of Labor or the IRS,” said Thomas, who seeks to consult employers on avoiding litigation, fines and unnecessary fees.
Prudentia is first of its kind in that its aim is to bring conflict-free, full service fiduciary advice to benefit plan sponsors. So far, Thomas has two Houston clients, one with a $12 million plan and another with a $30 million plan. Thomas is targeting plans anywhere between $5 million and $500 million, he said, but will have products and services available for plans under $5 million.
Prudentia is available on retainer or for project-based work, charging an annual fee and an hourly rate respectively. For an annual contract, the fees range between $3,500 to $35,000 for plans between $5 million and $250 million. Anything above $250 million is negotiable, said Thomas.
Thomas also has clear Houston growth targets in mind.
“By year end, I hope to hire at least two partners in Houston with growth aspirations of building the business to 12 full-time employees here in Houston by the end of 2016,” said Thomas, who’s looking for staff who have fiduciary experience in a company trust setting
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