Application Aims to Give Plan Sponsors Fee Negotiating Power

Josh Itzoe from Greenspring Wealth Management says FeeMetri(k)s' goal is to make retirement plan sponsors fee experts in five minutes.

By Rebecca Moore | May 25, 2017
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Greenspring Wealth Management has introduced FeeMetri(k)s, a technology offering (with plans to spin it out as a separate company) designed specifically for plan sponsors (not advisers, recordkeepers or TPAs) that monitors and benchmarks 401(k) fees.

“We’re excited about it! We spent the past eight or nine months to build an application to really help plan fiduciaries fulfill their obligation to make sure fees are reasonable,” says Joshua P. Itzoe, partner and managing director at Greenspring Wealth Management, Inc. in Towson, Maryland. “Our goal is to turn them into fee experts in five minutes.”

According to Itzoe, the retirement industry makes comparing fees really complex. “Even in the past five years of having fee disclosure, plan sponsors and participants don’t really understand the economics of the retirement industry. It’s in the industry’s best interest to comply with fee disclosure regulations but not give a clear eye on fees and expenses,” he says.

Millions of dollars a year are wasted because there is no type of contextual transparency, Itzoe contends. “There is no kind of database that is accurate, up-to-date and robust, to help companies make decisions related to fees. Even a specialist consultant firm doesn’t have tools other than an extensive benchmarking process,” he says.

“Our solution makes the process simple and fair and puts the power of pricing intelligence in the hands of plan sponsors, so they can do a better job of negotiating fees and holding the industry accountable,” Itzoe adds. “In our consulting practice, we are talking with clients about not only monitoring fees, but taking action.”

He expects FeeMetri(k)s will be disruptive in the industry, but ultimately will save millions of dollars a year, mostly paid by participants.

NEXT: Features of FeeMetri(k)s