MA National Conference 2015

The 2015 Mid Atlantic National Partner Conference was held at the beautiful, award winning Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, Ojai, California. John Evans, Executive Director of Janus Labs, “Ignited” conference attendees with his dynamic presentation, “WOW 2.0 Igniting Your Business and Your Life”. In our second keynote, Dr. Ben Sorensen of Optimum Associates taught us how to increase our energy endurance both for the task at hand and for our entire career journey. Many thanks to John, Ben, and all of our other speakers and sponsors, and thanks to our attendees, as always, for making it another great event. See you next year!

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B51s: Understanding Plan Updates

No matter what your role in the process, there are numerous steps involved in setting up a retirement plan. From acquiring documents and signatures, to selecting an advisor, to choosing funds, it isn’t always easy to get your ducks in a row. Still, you’ve gone through the steps and your client is happy because his or her plan is up and running… and trading! And then the client wants to change the previously selected broker-dealer. Or the lease is up and he or she decides to change offices.

Luckily for you, these updates can be made easy with the help of your admin team at Mid Atlantic. By following some rules of thumb regarding updating plans, you can not only smooth the transition for you regarding paperwork, but also put your clients at ease because their plans will still function properly despite any changes they may request.

What are B51s?
A B50 is a paper or electronic request to establish a new account. A B51 on the other hand is a paper or electronic request to update the fund registration of an existing account. B52s are a whole different ball of wax, which we will save for another day.

Types of B51s
There are several types of plan updates that can be processed via B51. Registration changes are the most common as trustee, plan name, address, or tax ID number can change somewhat frequently. Depending on the plan in question, these updates may or may not be sent out via B51. For example, in the event that Mid Atlantic is the custodian, the fund companies do not need to know that ABC Company is moving buildings, as the funds are registered with Mid Atlantic’s name and address. On the other hand, if Mid Atlantic is the custodian and the plan name is changing, that is something the funds would need to update as it is part of the registration needed for the plan to trade.

The second type of B51 that we commonly process is broker updates. This is more cut-and-dry and does not matter what type of plan you have. If your broker or registered investment advisor information is changing, we will send it out to the fund companies.

What is required to make an account update?
There is documentation required, depending on account type:

  • For registration updates, we need a corporate resolution for trustee or plan name updates, or a document on company letterhead stating the change for an address update.
  • Should the plan be reporting only, these documents are required and must be signature guaranteed. The same applies for plan name updates for custodial plans.
  • Broker updates can be made by submitting the MATC Broker Update form with the required information, detailing a FINRA registered broker. This should be signed and medallion signature guaranteed as well. Mid Atlantic can accept a document without the guarantee. However, should we need to send a manual version to the fund companies, they will require the medallion.

How do we double check this?
Mid Atlantic has processes in place to help ensure account updates are made in our system, tracked at the fund company, and verified to ensure they have been completed. We have multiple teams heading up this process to check these updates daily and make 2-3 electronic attempts, followed by a fax, and then a phone call to inquire if the fund isn’t changing their system records according to the instructions submitted. Most electronically sent B51s are accepted without issue. Some fund companies are trickier than others, but it is of course vital we are sending out the correct information in the first place. Otherwise, they may not update or, worse, they will update incorrectly.

What happens if it’s wrong?
The good news is those “multiple teams” described above are there to make sure we check, double-check, and triple-check to help make sure that this information is right. However, all submissions are based upon what our clients send over to us, so it is important that information is verified beforehand. If the information is wrong, it could impact trading and/or 12b-1 commission payments. Both can cause issues down the road. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so a good rule of thumb is to always double-check an update before sending.

Where can I view this information on the Mid Atlantic website?
There are two ways you can view updates or the current status of an update within our system. If the update is for plan registration, this can be viewed in our system on the plan’s general profile page. If you are interested in a broker update, you can view this information on the plan’s broker review page. To see the progress at the fund level, one can view the plan’s registrations page and browse through the update status for each fund company. This will allow you to see which funds have updated and which have not.

Compiled by Alexandra Cairone

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.

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

Mid Atlantic celebrates 30 years

Mid Atlantic Capital Group is celebrating our 30th anniversary this year and we would like to thank you, our valued business partners, for your support. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Some other noteworthy events of 1983:

  • President Reagan signed legislation that made the third Monday in January a national holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.
  • It was the birth year of the McNugget and the Swatch Watch, Michael Jackson introduced his signature “moonwalk” dance and “Go ahead, make my day” became a catchphrase.
  • Jeanine (Colditz) Devine became a full-time employee of Mid Atlantic.
  • Originally titled “Revenge of the Jedi,” Return of the Jedi was the triumphant conclusion to the original trilogy of Star Wars films.
  • Nintendo released the original Mario Bros. arcade game, unleashing the Italian plumbers Mario and Luigi into the game-playing world.
  • AOL was founded, though at the time it was called Control Video Corporation (CVC).
  • Apple released its Apple IIe personal computer, often stylized as the Apple //e.
  • The first episode of The A-Team aired on NBC on January 23rd.
  • Sally K. Ride, 32, was the first US woman astronaut in space as a crew member aboard space shuttle Challenger .
  • More than 125 million viewers tuned in to the last episode of M*A*S*H.
  • With the introduction of noise-free compact discs, the vinyl record began a steep decline.
  • The FCC authorized Motorola to begin testing cellular phone service in Chicago.
  • The following celebrated one year anniversaries: the opening of Epcot at Disney World, the launch of the Sony compact disc player for consumers, the release of the Commodore 64 and the airing of The Weather Channel (United States) on cable television.
  • Prince William turned one year old on June 21st.