Jerry Bramlett, founder/CEO of The 401(k) Company until its sale to Charles Schwab and Company in early 2007, has been named as President and Chief Executive Officer at San Ramon, California-based BenefitStreet, Inc.
Bramlett takes the reins from Alex Hehmeyer, a BenefitStreet board member since 2004, who had been acting as interim CEO and Chairman after the sudden departure of firm founder and CEO Jim Drury late last year (see BenefitStreet’s Founder and CEO Departs ). Drury founded the firm in 1993, and in 1998 transitioned the firm from a Third Party Administrator (TPA) offering qualified plan administration through broker and independent advisor referrals to an automated, web-based administration platform for retirement plans.
The 401(k) Company was also founded as a start-up TPA (albeit in 1983), first developing a balance-forward system in 1984 and then a daily valuation DC platform in 1986. In 1991 the firm began developing an investment consulting practice, ultimately launching a web-based advisory platform for DC plans called FiduciaryDirect. In early 2007 Schwab, addressing the need to establish a footprint in the jumbo 401(k) marketplace, acquired The 401(k) Company for a purchase price of $115 million (see Industry Consolidation Continues with Schwab/401(k) Company Deal ).
One of the keys to driving the future success of BenefitStreet, explained Bramlett, will be to further leverage the advisor-centric distribution model and build an industry-leading service and support platform for advisor networks and other key RIAs across the country. "The number of advisor relationships BenefitStreet has cultivated over the years - and the quality of those relationships - is impressive. We need to strengthen those ties by providing the information, resources, tools and support necessary for our partners to do their jobs and serve their clients effectively."
"Jerry is a natural leader and a true captain of industry within the defined contribution space," said Hehmeyer, who retains his position as BenefitStreet's Chairman. "His previous experience will be invaluable in helping to shape the evolution of BenefitStreet and drive the Company's future success. Our Board members, executive team, employees and shareholders are all very excited to have him as our CEO and look forward to working with him."
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