PensionPro of the Month August 2017

Matt Schoneman, President

The Retirement Advantage, Inc.

The Retirement Advantage (TRA) is a PensionPro power user managing more than 6,000 plan sponsors, 350,000 plan participants, and more than $6 billion in retirement assets under its administration.

Like many TPAs, TRA has grown organically and by acquisition, but what sets it apart is the fact that Matt Schoneman and his team have defined their specific growth strategy and set up robust operations to support it.

The company has an 11-person sales force dedicated to organic growth by catering to financial advisors and wealth management wholesalers. There’s also a keen focus on acquisitions. Since 2001, TRA has acquired 16 firms nationwide. “They’ve come in all shapes and sizes,” explained Schoneman. To the TRA team, the most important factors are that the firm has a similar culture and is motivated to sell. 

 Beyond that, Schoneman and TRA look for the following when interested in buying or selling: 

  • Profitable firms with good financial profiles who have a presence in their local markets. Do they show good growth and low attrition?
  • Client-oriented service model. “Good people are hard to find,” he said. “A knowledgable, educated team who puts the client first is very attractive.”
  • Ability to scale. Can we easily incorporate the firm into our company so that we can continue to scale? 
  • Ease of integration. Does the firm use PensionPro, ftwilliam.com, and the same compliance software? “It’s absolutely an advantage if a firm uses PensionPro, so data migration and workflow can be easily transitioned,” said Schoneman. 

Most importantly, TRA invests a significant amount of time up front getting to know the potential seller and their objectives. “These sales are life-changing events for owners, families, and their employees,” explained Schoneman. Whether it’s a fit or not, exploring an acquisition is a great exercise to contemplate the future of the business, consider various succession plans, and establish a network of contacts throughout the industry over time. “It never hurts to talk.” 


Are you looking to grow your firm like Matt has? Or trying to maximize the value of your practice for a potential seller? Join our Director of Client Engagement, Katie Boyer, for a demo on implementing PensionPro and PlanSponsorLink for the end of the year.

By:
William Renninger
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