With almost 20 years of experience working as a retirement consultant and financial analyst for corporations such as Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Global Markets, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, James Lukezic has extensive knowledge in corporate retirement plan services. In his current role as Executive Managing Director for Old Slip Capital Partners, he has taken the firm to the next level with the help of his team. “My Firm is a leading ERISA Fiduciary Advisor to large corporate retirement plans of all kinds,” he proudly says. For those who are not familiar with the role of an ERISA Consultant, James Lukezic explains what the role entails.
In the realm of ERISA or Pension consulting, James Lukezic explains, there are ERISA Consultants and retail brokers. Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are specific characteristics and job duties that differentiate the two. ERISA Consultants, for example, take on liability for their advice as it relates to plan assets while brokers do not; brokers only provide arms-length advice, leaving the plan sponsor liable for any infraction as it relates to fees and investment selection. The ERISA Consultant’s job usually includes plan design and reviewing the plan documents, opening on fees and investment quality, and educating participants and investment committee’s alike.
Building quality investment menus for plan sponsors while offering the protections of a sound ERISA Fiduciary contract
According to James Lukezic, his firm provides a variety of institutional investment consulting services to retirement plan sponsors. They have investment expertise in the areas of asset allocation, manager selection, and portfolio construction. His team applies its investment expertise to build, manage and monitor investment lineups that help plan sponsors fulfill their ERISA obligations. Furthermore, they offer all types of Non-Discretionary (ERISA 3(21)) and Discretionary (ERISA 3(38)) Consulting arrangements with the aim of being as flexible as necessary to meet the best interests of any particular plan sponsor.
Implementing the ERISA Governance Process
According to James Lukezic, the next step is to implement the best practice guidelines endorsed by the Department of Labor, once a client has been onboarded. The implementation process includes, but is not limited to; investment menu corrective action, fee renegotiations with Recordkeepers and administrators, enrollment meetings, one on one consultations, enrollment coordination, and other logistics.
Long Term Management of the Plan
James Lukezic says once the plan has been implemented, there are many things the ERISA consultant needs to tend to. For starters, the consultant needs to ensure the plan complies with all of the DOL guidelines. Next, the consultant has to run analytics and gather statistics to ensure the plan meets the expectations. ERISA Consultants have to hold meetings to ensure the plan continues to meet the needs of the employer. Not to mention, they must perform an annual audit and hold quarterly investment committee meetings to review the investment line up.
When James Lukezic is not advising large corporations, he’s helping the community. James serves as the Chairman of ITF USA, a non-profit organization that assists landmine victims in over 30 countries worldwide. He also has plans to establish a non-profit to help widows in the five boroughs of NYC.