Fiduciary Plan Advisors (FPA) has entered into a strategic partnership with InHub, the creator of Web-based RFP technology.
The partnership allows Fiduciary Plan Advisors to offer their current request for proposal (RFP) consulting services online so that committee members of the adviser’s defined contribution, pension, health care and endowment clients can take part in an online RFP process. The technology creates a centralized RFP portal in which committee members can review proposals and executive summaries, take notes and vote online.
This Web-based platform allows users to customize a RFP questionnaire, submit the questionnaire to their chosen candidates, receive and evaluate proposals, and prudently document the entire process for their auditable files.
Jania Stout, practice leader and co-founder of FPA, said in a statement the firm had been conducting RFPs the same way everyone did—inefficiently, using Word documents and a lot of emails flying back and forth. She predicts using InHub’s eRFP tool will cut their time in half and allow clients to get more involved. “It's the best of both worlds,” she said. “We really could not have built it better ourselves.”
According to Chad Wilson, investment director and co-founder of FPA, the firm has seen a significant uptick in demand for qualified advisers to guide committees through the process of identifying service providers, particularly for outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) services.
OCIO services for either endowments or large pension plans are in particularly high demand, Wilson said. “We feel we are qualified to help committees understand the differences between the large OCIO firms. The big consulting firms could definitely do this, but they are conflicted, since most of them would also want to participate in the RFP.”
Use of RFPs is also expanding on the heels of rising health care costs, Wilson said. Those costs are sparking opportunities on the health and welfare side to assist employers in identifying health brokers and consultants for their organizations. “
“More RFPs are being conducted now than ever before, and committees don't have the time or expertise to run the process,” according to Stout. She called InHub a game changer in the institutional space for its transparent and interactive technology.
InHub, based in Chicago, was founded by former institutional investment consultants with the goal of creating a less-cumbersome RFP process. Fiduciary Plan Advisors, in Baltimore, is a consultant to all types of employer-sponsored retirement plans.
More information on the eRFP through Fiduciary Plan Advisors is on the firm's website.