Reducing the number of 401(k) record keeper partners poses a challenge for plan advisors

With almost 500 retirement plans but less than $100 million in AUM, Steve Austin of Apex Financial, who is a former Paychex wholesaler, is proactively reducing provider partners. He said robos like Vestwell are making it easier, particularly with their focus on lower costs and technology, issues that resonate with clients. Mr. Austin also noted that advisers need a business process, especially if they are growing quickly, with consolidation a key component.

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New York-Based Digital Retirement Platform Company Vestwell Raises $30 Million

New York-Based

New York-based digital retirement platform company Vestwell announced it raised $30 million in Series B funding. Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments (PSI) led this round of funding as it worked closely with Goldman Sachs’ Consumer and Investment Management Division (CIMD). Point72 Ventures also participated in this round along with the venture capital arm of Nationwide, Allianz Life Ventures, BNY Mellon, and Franklin Templeton.

This round also included participation from Series A and Series Seed investors including F-Prime Capital, FinTech Collective, Primary Venture Partners, and Commerce Ventures.

“I feel Vestwell’s momentum on a daily basis, so it’s incredibly humbling to have so many of the industry’s leading players see the value in what we’re building and share our vision of what lies ahead,” said Vestwell founder and CEO Aaron Schumm. “We’re elated to align ourselves with retirement industry experts who are not only investing capital into Vestwell, but who are also investing time and resources into ensuring our success.”

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It’s the team, stupid: Vestwell’s new $30 Million the result of constant leveling up

$30 million

Vestwell, the digital retirement platform we funded in 2016, has had a big 2019. In January we shared the news of their BNY Mellon partnership. Today marks an even more significant milestone, as the company announced it raised $30 million in Series B financing led by Goldman Sachs. Goldman was joined in the round by fin-tech experts Point 72 and several strategic financial services players like BNY Mellon. Primary was also excited to join the party and increase our stake in this exciting company, which has seen 10x client growth in the last 12 months.

Raising a big financing is by no means an endpoint, however. Vestwell CEO and Founder Aaron Schumm and his team still have the hard work of building a business of enduring scale to come. But when we see a company get this far, it means a lot has been done right, and we think it worthy to pause and reflect on we’ve learned along the way. At Vestwell, that’s almost all about effective team and organizational capacity building.

When I look at Aaron’s success at driving a fast growing company in the three years since we first invested, I would say that while his incredible depth of industry knowledge and relationships is the easy answer to a question of the secrets to his success, his early epiphany about the importance of a relentless focus on leveling up his org has been as critical as anything.

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Why We’re Investors in Vestwell

investors

I met Vestwell CEO Aaron Schumm in early 2016, after an intro from an industry friend and colleague, Ben Malka. A long-time investment tech veteran, Aaron founded Vestwell to use modern investment technologies (like the tech he designed at FolioDynamix) to bring a low cost, easy-to-use retirement platform to the large and underserved SMB employer market.

So we joined fellow seed investors FinTech Collective (who led), F-Prime(Fidelity owners’ VC fund) and Primary Ventures to help Aaron build and launch their platform to early customers. Over the past four years, we’ve seen Vestwell zig and zag (as all early stage startups do), but always moving the company closer to that realizing the same mission of serving the vacant SMB retirement market.

Today, Vestwell announced its Series B round, led by Goldman Sachs and including investments from Point72 Ventures, existing investors (like us) and a number of leading, highly-strategic investors, such as NationwideAllianzBNY Mellon and Franklin Templeton. The company is now enabling hundreds of advisors to serve thousands of small businesses, representing $100s of millions of retirement assets…but that is really just the beginning of the story. Large advisory channel partners are deciding to switch their entire SMB book of business over to Vestwell’s platform — it’s just that much better.

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Goldman Sachs Backs Retirement Technology Platform Vestwell

Goldman Sachs

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Vestwell Holdings Inc, a tech platform for retirement plans, said on Tuesday it raised $30 million from Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Point72 Ventures and the Bank of New York Mellon Corp.

Franklin Resources Inc, Allianz Life Ventures and the venture capital arm of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company also invested in the fundraising, which was led by Goldman Sachs’ principal strategic investments group, the companies said.

New York City-based Vestwell plans to use the funding to hire engineers and developers to expand its technology and customer service offering, said Aaron Schumm, chief executive and founder of the startup. The firm expects to add around 30 employees, bringing its workforce to nearly 80.

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Led By Goldman Sachs, Vestwell Raises $30 Million

Led By Goldman Sachs, Vestwell Raises 30 Million Dollars

Vestwell, purveyors of an increasingly popular digital retirement platform, announced a $30 million funding round Tuesday. The round was led by Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments (PSI). Other funding participants in the Series B funding round included companies like BNY Mellon, which announced a partnership with the firm in late 2018 to add firepower for the bank’s foray into state-sponsored retirement plans, and Fidelity’s F-Prime Capital. Vestwell said it moved up its timetable for the funding round by about a year after receiving funding inquiries on the heels of the BNY Mellon deal.

This deal, however, is separate from the BNY Mellon partnership, noted Vestwell founder and CEO Aaron Schumm. Up to two-thirds of the capital will be earmarked for accelerating technology and product builds, including some that were already in development, like advisor-focused reporting and analysis and efforts to streamline plan sponsor onboarding.

The company’s client service offerings will also be expanded to handle the organic and strategic growth Vestwell is experiencing. Between 20 and 30 advisory firms come to Vestwell per month, said Schumm, of which “most” are conversions of existing clients. As the company scales, it’s exploring integrating chatbots with its customer support to allow its staff to field more inquiries. Vestwell’s client list has grown 10-fold, according to company figures.

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