GoldK Acquires Second TPA

August 6, 2001 - Waltham, Massachusetts-based e-service provider GoldK is acquiring third-party administrator (TPA) A.C.G. Associates.

The Canton, Connecticut-based A.C.G. is GoldK’s second TPA acquisition to date, following the acquisition of Michigan-based Gallagher Benefit Services, announced in March (see Michigan-based Gallagher Benefit Services ).

The A.C.G. acquisition brings another 150 plans to GoldK, on top of the 300 plans and 25,000 participants associated with the Gallagher acquisition. Those acquisitions, in addition to the 250 plans already on the GoldK recordkeeping platform extend its administration to more than 700 plans.

Radu Pasovschi, president and chief operating officer, told that GoldK’s plans now total more than $900 million in assets with an average of 120 participants. The average plan size is $1.5 million.

Operational Expansion

The A.C.G. acquisition solidifies GoldK’s position among e401k startups. However, Pasovschi said this is all keeping with the firm’s business model and does not imply that GoldK might be taking strides away from its original “e-plan” only premise.

“We’re trying to build our operational capacity, right now we’re getting between four to seven new plans a day, so we’re experiencing a large transaction in the marketplace and we want to prepare ourselves for the future,” he said. “Instead of picking individual partners, I’d rather just partner with a company that has a reputation in the industry.”

Strategic Acquisitions

Pasovschi continued that GoldK is not planning to continue acquiring such firms on an ongoing basis, but will continue to partner with TPAs to further its distribution channels.

“As we’ve grown our distribution across the continent to have a national presence, we’re talking to TPAs in a partnership mode and we have signed 30 TPAs to work with us domestically,” said Pasovschi. “We don’t acquire people and try to work them in later, instead, we acquire them strategically as partners.”

For example, he told that one of GoldK’s partners is a national TPA firm with more than $8 billion in assets. Since the firm was interested in looking at GoldK’s technology for an e-401k product to bring into their plans, the two firms formed a partnership and GoldK was given another platform for its product.

Platform Compatible

A.C.G.’s plans were fully compatible with GoldK’s. Pasovschi added that GoldK supports the firm’s current fund groups and has its platform set up to add additional funds. As far as conversions, Pasovschi said that A.C.G. was not acquired simply to convert plans. In fact, the plans are not currently undergoing any type of conversion. However, Pasovschi said that the signs been positive that conversions would take place.