New SEC Guidance on Disclosures

The SEC has issued updated guidance on the investment disclosures that must be made to retirement plan participants.  You can view the SEC’s Guidance Update by clicking here.  The fact sheets MATC has created as part of our full service ModelxChange offering assist you in meeting these standards, though we encourage you to review any disclosure text you have created with your compliance and legal team to ensure it follows  SEC requirements.

If you have any questions or need help updating your fact sheets, please contact us at 800-693-7800.

Three New Strategists Join Mid Atlantic’s ModelxChange® Managers Program

Mid Atlantic is pleased to announce the recent addition of three model strategists available to the clients of Mid Atlantic Capital Corporation’s registered representatives via Mid Atlantic Financial Management’s ModelxChange® Managers Program.

Alpha Investment Management, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, offers investment strategies to conservative investors seeking positive returns year after year. The firm manages money using asset allocation strategies based on long-term seasonal factors that take into account the cause of certain structural recurring patterns that historically have had a strong influence on the stock market.  (www.alphaim.net)

iSectors®, an SEC-registered investment adviser in Appleton, Wisconsin, provides a comprehensive suite of proprietary exchange traded fund (“ETF”)-based asset allocation models and services. The firm’s array of model strategies, services, and support empowers advisors with the ability to create and maintain unique investment solutions tailored to each client’s individual investment goals and risk tolerance.  (www.isectors.com)

ITS Asset Management, an SEC-registered investment adviser in Washington, Pennsylvania, provides professional portfolio management services to investors seeking a disciplined and active approach for their investments through a network of independent financial professionals.  ITS strives to help clients realize long-term compounding returns while also protecting against what firm considers to be the three greatest threats to client assets: inflation, cyclical losses, and emotions.  (www.itsassetmanagement.com)

If you have any questions, please contact John Hufnagel at jhufnagel@macg.com or (412) 391-7077, ext. 390.

MA National Conference 2014

The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs Florida was a beautiful location for our 2014 National Conference. Matt Stover, former NFL place kicker and two-time Super Bowl Champion, “kicked off” the conference with his motivational presentation, “Success On & Off the Field”. In our second keynote, Dave Nelsen of Dialog Consulting, Vistage International’s #1 rated speaker, talked to us about transforming monologue into dialog through social media for business. Kudos to Matt, Dave, and all our other speakers and sponsors, and thanks to our attendees, as always, for making it a great event. See you next year!

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Lost Participant/Person Search Service

Mid Atlantic is pleased to have partnered with RCP Solutions to resolve long outstanding checks issued for plan distributions, loans, rollovers, as well as statements for orphan accounts The program has been very successful to date in locating many of these “lost” individuals. Many of our business partners have expressed an interest in utilizing this process to attempt to locate lost participants from employee benefit plans whose funds still remain in the plan. These would most likely be participants with higher dollar balances that cannot be forced out of the plans. Please take a moment to review the Service Announcement for details on how this process works for our customers. If you are interested in leveraging this new offering. please contact your Mid Atlantic Relationship Manager.

DOL’s Fiduciary Responsibility Webcast Series

The U.S. Department of Labor recently presented its “Getting It Right – Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities” webcast series in an effort to increase employer awareness and understanding about basic fiduciary responsibilities when operating an employee retirement or health benefit plan. The series also addressed how the fiduciary responsibility provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) apply to employer-sponsored retirement and health plans, in addition to providing information on how to avoid common problems with plan management. Other items discussed include: understanding your plan and your duties, carefully selecting and monitoring service providers, making contributions on time, providing appropriate disclosures to plan participants, filing annual reports to the government on time, and avoiding prohibited transactions.

You can access an archived recording of any or all three sessions of the DOL webcast series by clicking on the links below. (You will be required to register prior to viewing.):

Part 1: Basic fiduciary responsibilities when operating an employer-sponsored retirement plan and ERISA’s prohibited transactions provisions and exemptions.

Part 2: ERISA’s reporting and disclosure provisions for employer-sponsored retirement plans and the Department of Labor’s voluntary correction programs for retirement plans.

Part 3: Basic fiduciary responsibilities when operating an employer-sponsored group health plan, ERISA’s reporting and disclosure provisions, and Qualified Medical Child Support Orders (QMCSOs). This webcast does not cover the Affordable Care Act.

WOW!

When running a business, competition is always tough, especially in a shaky economy. How do you stand out in the crowd? And once you establish your client base, how do you keep your clients happy?

A sure-fire way to distinguish yourself from your rivals is by offering outstanding customer service, which is something we strive for here at Mid Atlantic.

Recently, Mid Atlantic Capital Corporation and Institutional Services Group CEO Tim Friday were featured in an article for Research Magazine on ThinkAdvisor’s website, highlighting our use of the WOW program as a means to create a unique customer experience. The catalyst for the WOW program at Mid Atlantic is another person featured in the article, John L. Evans Jr., executive director of Janus Labs, based in Denver. His motivational speech, “The Art of Wow,” was presented at Mid Atlantic’s National Conference in 2010 and really struck a chord with Tim.

“I felt the one thing missing from our business model was a deep, personal connection to our clients and vendors. The WOW program gives us the chance to interact on a much more intimate level.”

Mid Atlantic’s group of WOW Czars and Czarinas have bestowed a varied array of surprises on their unsuspecting recipients, including face-to-face training sessions, a video champagne toast (disguised as a work-related conference call), and a visit by some Mid Atlantic employees to an open house of a nearby representative’s new office space. Alan Stricker, a Mid Atlantic representative living in Minnesota, was thrilled to receive a pair of tech-friendly gloves that make it possible for him to use his smartphone in the cold weather while still keeping his hands warm.

Tim thinks that building relationships is just as important as building business. “Our clients and partners appreciate that we are observant and take the time to recognize what is important to them, or what they might be going through at the time.”

Anyone can replicate the WOW experience for their clients. Part of the financial planning process is to help clients navigate life experiences that are inevitable. Your clients will give you the cues, whether you realize it or not. The key is to truly listen to what they’re saying. The rewards go both ways. Tim says, “Think of it as giving a very thoughtful gift that took days or weeks to choose. The reality is, who gets more from the action, the giver or the receiver?”

 

 

Technology upgrade

Mid Atlantic is pleased to announce the upcoming upgrade of our performance reporting platform. The upgrade includes the installation of the latest version of Advent Portfolio Exchange (APX – version 4.7) as well as enhanced technology infrastructure, including new servers and communication software. A proven solution used by more than 800 investment firms worldwide, APX version 4.7 is the latest portfolio reporting system from Advent, a pioneer in portfolio management technology and a trusted market leader for 30 years. Benefits of the upgrade will include improved internal operational efficiencies, cost basis reconciliation, advanced search capabilities, Windows 7 & 8 compatibility, an improved graphical user interface and reporting capabilities based on the latest industry-standard Microsoft Reporting Services framework.

25 year milestone

In 2013, we not only celebrated our firm’s 30 year anniversary, but it also marked 25 years with our clearing firm, National Financial Services LLC (NFS). This milestone anniversary makes Mid Atlantic Capital Corporation one of the longest-standing broker-dealer correspondents of NFS. Having such a stable relationship with this Fidelity Investments company has been a key component of our business, helping us to grow and flourish as an organization. We salute the people at NFS who have helped make this relationship both durable, and adaptive to our needs over these many years.

Mid Atlantic adds two new managers to the ModelxChange Managers Program

ModelxChange Managers Program (MMP) is a separate-account manager platform designed to help Mid Atlantic advisors provide sophisticated, yet cost effective, portfolio management solutions to their clients. MMP utilizes Mid Atlantic Trust Company’s proprietary ModelxChange® technology enabling third-party managers the ability to offer ETF and Mutual Fund based model portfolios in an extremely efficient and cost effective way.

Program features:

  • Access to an extremely cost effective and efficient approach to third-party managed account strategies
  • Account minimums as low as $25,000*
  • Ability to create customized portfolios utilizing some of the nation’s leading model-based third party money managers
  • Flexible online access to manager fact-sheets
  • Access to over 30 third party managers representing more than 150 different model strategies including MPT, Quantitative, and Tactical approaches
  • Ability to customize portfolio holdings by excluding certain ETF’s or Mutual Funds
  • Quarterly performance reporting

Mid Atlantic is pleased to announce the addition of two new managers to the MMP line-up: Horizon Investments of Charlotte, NC and Alpha Investment Management of Cincinatti, OH. Mid Atlantic Plans to include additional managers throughout the coming year.

* – Some managers may impose account minimums at an amount higher than $25,000