Allianz and Vestwell partner on 401(k) distribution

The life insurer is promoting Vestwell's automated services to retirement-plan advisers at independent broker-dealers

Jun 5, 2018 @ 2:07 pm

By Greg Iacurci

Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America has forged a sales partnership with Vestwell designed to distribute the 401(k) robo-adviser's services through thousands of independent retirement-plan advisers.

Allianz, which offers insurance products to retail investors, is promoting Vestwell's services to the roughly 15,000 registered investment advisers affiliated with independent broker-dealers with whom Allianz does business.

"Advisers working with Allianz Life who are out there speaking with businesses needing a retirement plan, we can now offer a solution out to those financial advisers and their plan sponsors via the Allianz relationship," said Vestwell founder and CEO Aaron Schumm.

Vestwell is a digital platform for advisers working with defined-contribution plans like 401(k)s and 403(b)s, allowing them to offer services like fiduciary investment management, plan administration and record keeping to clients.

Founded in 2016, it is one of several tech start-ups trying to gain traction in the retirement-plan marketplace. Other new entrants include Betterment for Business, ForUsAll and Human Interest.

(More: It may be too early to write off robo start-ups)

This partnership follows on an investment that Allianz Life Ventures, the corporate venture-capital arm of the life insurance company, made in Vestwell earlier this year for an undisclosed sum. Mr. Schumm called it a "small minority investment."

Allianz also has invested in blooom, a direct-to-consumer robo-adviser that offers managed accounts to 401(k) participants, said Emily Reitan, vice president of strategy and business development for Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America.

"This is the first investment where we feel like we can add value to our advisers directly [in the retirement-plan market] with this kind of sales partnership," Ms. Reitan said about Vestwell.

(More: Financial Engines to be purchased for $3.02 billion, combined with Edelman)

Robo-advisers providing automated investment management emerged roughly a decade ago in the wake of the financial crisis, leveraging technology to offer relatively inexpensive portfolios to consumers. Aite Group, a consulting firm, expects the number of robo-advice users to reach 17 million by 2021 — up from 1.8 million in 2016.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

INTV

Why advisers are pessimistic about the economy

Deputy editor Bob Hordt and senior research analyst Matt Sirinides discuss a recent InvestmentNews survey of advisers, most of whom see a recession ahead before the next presidential election.

Latest news & opinion

Anatomy of an annuity buyout offer

Readers are invited to comment on whether the columnist should keep or ditch her Ohio National VA contract

Factions emerge in OneFPA overhaul

Critics fear the FPA is trying to take money and power from local chapters, which officials and proponents call overblown.

RIA M&A sets another record in 2018

Last year's 181 deals were twice the number recorded five years ago, and the average asset size of the acquisitions was $1.3 billion — 31% larger than in 2017.

6 tech companies heading for IPOs this year

These Silicon Valley technology companies could make an IPO splash in 2019.

Crackdown showdown: Serious cybersecurity enforcement is coming in 2019, but are advisers ready?

When clients ask what advisers are doing to protect their data, only the firms that can give a satisfying answer will build trust with investors.

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print