Resource Review – Hero7 and the Plan Governance Index (PGI™) Score
Are you looking for a way to get your foot in the door and offer a fiduciary assessment (of sorts) to new 401k prospects? How about a way to document and measure all the work you do with plan sponsors and help bullet-proof your book by demonstrating a strong process is in place?
I recently spoke with Todd Harlow from Hero7 about a valuable resource they offer advisors called the Plan Governance Index (PGI™) Score and this article outlines my impression of that tool.
First, a Little Backstory…
When I was an active 401(k) advisor, I created a “Fiduciary Risk Review” that helped us open more doors, and close more business.
It was a different offering than what most advisors were using.
It included a questionnaire that asked plan sponsors a set of 30 question…
- 10 to identify if their plan is meeting success as defined by the DOL
- 10 questions to identify if they’re meeting success by Participant’s standards
- and 10 Plan Sponsor success questions.
By going through this simple questionnaire, and providing a fiduciary risk assessment report – we were able to offer tremendous value by giving plan sponsors a report card of what they were doing well – and suggestions for improvement in areas they weren’t sure about.
Here are a few pages from my old report’s questionnaire and summary report (don’t judge – 15 years ago this looked amazing for it’s time! 😉 ):
As an advisor out prospecting for new business, I think having a tool like this is super-helpful to differentiate yourself and open the door with a new type of offer.
I had it on my list to re-create so advisors could once again use a similar tool to offer when prospecting and finding gaps to then offer solutions in a non-offensive way (you know how much plan sponsors love it when you point out all that’s wrong with the plan – when they’re the ones that made those decisions in the first place!)
In fact, I may still have it listed as a coming soon item on the 401k Quarterback Page… (I may or may not have removed it depending on when you’re reading this.)
Anyway, knowing that every template kit I create takes about 60 hours, and this time around I was going to pay a developer to automate the entire questionnaire (automate both the data gathering process and the output process)… it’s a lot of time and resources.
Something Changed My Mind…
As I was reviewing the survey results from the 401k Advisor Marketing Effectiveness Survey, I read a response to the question asking about what prospecting methods advisors have been having success with and found this…
“I hired Hero7 and used their plan governance index software to win new clients (7 plans – $130 million in new assets).”
So of course out of curiosity, I did a little research and set up a demo with Todd Harlow at Hero7 to learn more.
What I Learned about the Plan Governance Index (PGI™) Score
My Key takeaways were this:
- The idea of it is almost identical to what I created and had tremendous success with back in my active advisor days…
- There are 3 yes/no sets of questions covering 3 key areas (participant, investing, plan admin)
- The focus of their questions are on more recently relevant topics and cover these 6 major themes:
- 3(21) and 3(38) Selection and Monitoring
- Financial Wellness
- There is a full team including Marcia Wagner and David Donaldson, contributing to and reviewing the input and output
- This questionnaire asks plan sponsors to either upload documents to validate their yes answers or to certify they have them on file
- There is a system in place to allow the advisor to send an email to plan sponsors with a temporary PIN to for the plan sponsor to go online and answer all or specific questions
- The system compiles a Plan Governance Index (PGI) Score with 100 being a perfect score
- For every NO answer, they provide a “Remedy” or what I had listed as an “Action Step” to move them to being able to answer YES
- They provide advisors with a way to discuss this tool (value positioning statement script)
Here are a few samples from their report:
I was given a login and able to go in and test out the full system and it’s pretty amazing. My highlights are just that – highlights – because there is so much more behind the curtain on this one.
Overall, I think it’s an amazing tool that could easily help you differentiate your value and offer something new when trying to get your foot in the door. (Although I do think the way it’s presented/currently marketed uses a bit too much industry jargon, but might also resonate well with certain plan sponsors (CEOs and CFOs).
How to Access:
This tool is currently only available through Enterprise Partner’s who’ve purchased access for their advisors. (It doesn’t hurt to contact Todd to see who those partners are and how you might be able to gain access to this valuable resource.)