Mid Atlantic is happy to bring on board its newest business partners:
BlueStar Retirement Services has a singular focus of making retirement plans simple and effective for employers and advisers. The company services a variety of retirement plan types and is a national specialist in Multiple Employer Plans. By utilizing an open architecture platform, BlueStar provides plan access to a nearly limitless menu of investment options. And as an integrated recordkeeper and Third Party Administrator (TPA), BlueStar delivers the most efficient and effective model for servicing them. BlueStar was founded in 1997 and is based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Vantage Benefits Administrators is a full-service employee benefits consultant, TPA, and professional fiduciary based in Dallas, Texas. The firm specializes in comprehensive, cutting-edge corporate benefit program administration, offering fiduciary services as needed. Independent of all carriers and investment product providers, Vantage is unbiased in its pursuit of its clients’ best interests. The company emphasizes transparency, integrity, responsiveness, and cost efficiency.
Mid Atlantic is pleased to welcome the following ModelxChange™ managers to its 401(k) ModelxChange™ platform:
Glovista Investments is an advisory firm formed by seasoned finance professionals with decades of market experience spanning many geographic regions and products. The firm seeks to provide investment management services to both institutional and high net worth clients, including state and municipal pension funds, endowments, RIAs, family offices, and high net worth individuals. Glovista’s core values are integrity, independence, innovation, and intellectual commitment and is committed to creating value for its customers, employees, and shareholders.
GeaSphere Advisors in Cranston and Warwick, Rhode Island, is an independent advisory firm that recognizes the importance of its fiduciary responsibility to provide clients with prudent investment management and unbiased advice. The GeaSphere proprietary research study and technical methodology is the first step to its portfolio construction and management of its model portfolios. The firm’s portfolio construction begins with its 60 year empirical research study and investing philosophy rooted in the relationship of free cash flow to the stock price. GeaSphere’s rules-based diversification method alongside the proprietary stock valuation philosophy gives its investors uncompromising value for true piece of mind investing.
Epic Trust Advisors is an independent financial services firm serving clients throughout Washington state. It primarily helps individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of investment and insurance products customized to their personal needs and objectives. The firm has developed its business by reaching out, nurturing, and maintaining close, trusting relationships with each client. Epic’s mission is to simplify the finances of its clients and help them to enjoy the people and causes in their lives that matter more to them than their money.
We are pleased to welcome Gebhardt Financial Group to the Mid Atlantic family. Gebhardt is a wealth management firm based out of Sugarcreek, Ohio. The rep group consists of Phil Gebhardt and junior advisor Brooks Numbers, both of whom are affiliated with Mid Atlantic Capital Corporation and Mid Atlantic Financial Management. Phil was formerly with LPL for 15 years as a financial advisor and an OSJ Branch Manager/Registered Principal.
Gebhardt will be managing its assets through Mid Atlantic via direct business, brokerage, and fee-based accounts. The firm will also be creating models through ModelxChange for its accounts, in addition to conducting general wealth management for individuals and overseeing qualified plans.
Mid Atlantic would like to welcome Kerns Capital Management to our family.
Kerns Capital Management is headquartered in Houston, Texas and was founded in 1996 to provide fiduciary investment services to 401(k) retirement plan sponsors, including oversight, and investment management. The firm’s attention to prudence and its appreciation for the wealth devastation of bear markets has guided its evolution in the development of product designed to help investors grow and protect wealth. Today, KCM provides investment management and advisory services to mutual funds, hedge funds, high-net worth individuals and corporate retirement plans. KCM utilizes “intelligent” Smart Glide retirement target date strategies that are adjusted periodically and managed “To Retirement,” which is a glide path targeting the retirement date as the point where the portfolio risk is at its lowest at the end of a plan participant’s Wealth Accumulation Stage where participants are entering the Distribution Stage.
We are happy to welcome GeaSphere Advisors to the Mid Atlantic family.
Based in Cranston, Rhode Island, GeaSphere Advisors is an independent and privately owned registered investment advisory firm providing comprehensive investment research and analysis, professional money management for financial advisors and individuals, and long term financial and income planning to individuals and corporations. GeaSphere builds investment portfolios using its proprietary research philosophy called the GeaSphere Analysis System. This is a three-part system in which the first two parts are based in the research of a company’s free cash flow (current and historical) and the third part is based on a company’s price action as a gauge of investor sentiment. The GeaSphere system’s main goal is to buy securities priced at a discount to the historical relationship of the company’s Price to Free Cash Flow, which allows for determining the current buy price and future sell price based on the same relationship. All of the firm’s model portfolios use its own exclusive methods and historical data base as the basis for portfolio construction and management.
This is an urgent reminder that new floating NAV rules, fees, and gates on certain money market funds will be taking effect on October 14, 2016…
Advisors and money managers must be in compliance with the SEC’s mandated reforms by this date and are urged to begin the necessary preparation process right away, if not currently underway.
As part of the process, advisors and managers may need to take into account the following:
• transition period
• shareholder approval
• evaluation of current investments
• regulatory impact
• potential alternative investments
As an added service to our business partners, Mid Atlantic Trust Company (MATC) has made available an alternative platform solution to help accommodate these new reforms…
DepositxChange™, an FDIC insured service, seamlessly connects 401(k) participants and banks to provide participants with a cash deposit within their retirement account, whether it is part of a qualified defined contribution plan space model or a standalone investment.
Vertical Management Systems, Inc. (VMS) announced today that Mid Atlantic Trust Company (MATC) will be added to its list of advisors and third party administrators as a trading destination and custody provider.
This access to MATC’s wide array of funds, ETFs, and advanced tools such as ModelxChange™ offers plan sponsors, advisors, and TPAs who utilize Retirement Revolution a variety of investment options to best service their plans.
Please click here to see the official press release for more information.
MetLife announced today the new addition of Wilmington Trust’s MetLife Stable Value Solutions Fund to Mid Atlantic Trust Company’s ModelxChange® platform. MetLife Stable Value Solutions Fund will be the first stable value option available for ModelxChange®, one of the original platforms of its kind that enables 401(k) professionals to incorporate investment models into a retirement plan through a single interface.
Please click here to read the official press release for additional information.
By now, you are likely well aware that new SEC-approved money market reform rules will soon be implemented. The regulatory environment is changing daily as new reforms and rules are expected to carry a significant impact on the qualified plan space and open architecture platforms. These changing regulations create new and unique challenges and opportunities from a compliance, product, sales, operations, and technology perspective.
Even with the wall-to-wall financial news coverage regarding money market reform, you may still have lingering questions. Michele Coletti, Sr. Vice President of Mid Atlantic Retirement Plan Services, recently compiled answers to some important and frequently asked questions concerning money market reform. Please click the button next to the questions below to view a detailed explanation.
What is money market reform?
In 2014, the SEC approved new rules under the Investment Company Act of 1940, amending the operation of money market mutual funds. The SEC is requiring Institutional money market funds to sell and redeem shares based on the current market-based valuation of the portfolio, rounded to the fourth decimal place. The rule also allows fund boards new flexibility to control heavy redemption demands to protect remaining shareholders. The goal of these new regulations is to preserve the integrity of money markets as instruments of liquidity and to ensure that the valuation of each fund is transparent to investors.
What are the new classifications of money market funds?
Effective on or before October 14, 2016, each money market fund will be required to classify itself as one of the following: Government, Retail, or Institutional. The classifications are tied to the underlying portfolio.
Government funds must hold 99.5% or more of their assets in cash or government based securities. Retail money markets will be restricted only to beneficial owners who are natural persons. Institutional funds are funds that do not qualify as retail or government.
What is the effective date?
What are the implications of the fund classifications?
Each fund’s classification has impact on shareholders, custodians, dealers, and recordkeepers. First and foremost, the classification dictates the requirements for stable versus floating NAV (referred to as “FNAV”), as well as the imposition of liquidity fees and gates.
|Money Market Funds|
|Floating NAV (FNAV)||No||Yes||No|
Secondly, the classification impacts the types of entities that can hold a position within the fund. Account eligibility is based on social code (account type), as compared to the money fund classification. In the case of retirement plans, the SEC has ruled that participants are the beneficial owners and natural persons; therefore, retirement plans are eligible to hold Retail funds. However, Retail funds are subject to fees and gates, making them potentially complex investments for daily valued defined contribution plans.
When will I learn the classification of each money fund?
Mid Atlantic is being notified separately by each issuer as the issuer’s board and portfolio managers evaluate accounts under management, portfolio composition, and future strategy. Mid Atlantic is evaluating these notices and working with the fund companies to identify accounts that might require liquidation or mapping to alternative investments. Your relationship manager will then be in touch to provide support.
Mid Atlantic has modified the TNS investment screener to validate prospective account setups against money market category and account social code to identify eligibility. Mid Atlantic has also rolled out new reports to identify holdings that will require liquidation or transfer into alternate securities or products.
When will the new TNS money market categories be populated?
What if my plans are holding positions in funds that will be ineligible on or before 10/14/16?
Since account eligibility is based on a comparison of social code and fund category, some existing accounts will become immediately ineligible to hold positions they have already funded. In those scenarios, we see a variety of potential outcomes:
- Some funds will make advance notice of force liquidations and then close the ineligible accounts on a set date.
- Some funds will map ineligible accounts into a “like fund” that supports the social code.
- Some funds will leave the account open but delist from NSCC, thereby creating a pseudo-close where no electronic trading, pricing, reconciliation, or dividend processing can occur, requiring voluntary liquidation of the account. As Mid Atlantic is notified of funds taking this approach, we will get in touch quickly to allow you as much time as possible to wind down the position. As of today, six issuers have delisted Institutional funds: Wells Fargo, Fidelity, Federated, JP Morgan, BlackRock, and Goldman Sachs. Those notices have been distributed as Service Announcements and are also posted on the MATC homepage under the Announcement section.
How many NAV strikes a day are permitted for floating NAV funds?
Will the Mid Atlantic price file contain multiple strike prices?
So how do I know what price each money market trade will receive?
Each institutional money market trade with a floating NAV fund will receive the strike price of the next NAV computation after receipt of the trade. For intraday trades, a strike price of 9:00 a.m. might be transmitted to NSCC at 10:30 a.m., and a strike price of 11:00 a.m. might be transmitted to NSCC at 12:30 p.m. A trade received by the fund at 10 a.m. would receive the 11:00 a.m. strike price.
Institutional fund trades sent during the evening hours may receive either the end of day NAV strike or the first NAV strike of the next business day, subject to the rules of each individual fund per its prospectus filing. That is why institutional fund strike times are also referred to as trade cutoff times. For this reason, we highly urge you to NOT perform price-dependent processing for any institutional money market positions.
Government and retail funds will continue to price based on end of day NAV.
When would a liquidity fee or gate occur?
How would I be notified of a fee or gate?
At this time, there is no automated mechanism for a fund to notify the industry of a fee or gate. Notification to Mid Atlantic will occur via call or email from the fund. Mid Atlantic will in turn send notifications and alerts as soon as the details of the fee or gate are confirmed with the fund.
The notice from the fund will usually be retroactive to prevent a run on the fund (i.e. an 11 a.m. gate could be announced at 11:30 a.m.), although funds can optionally announce an end of day effective time.
How do funds impose fees or gates?
When trading in funds that have fees or gates, the platform sets a flag on each sell order indicating to the fund whether the fund should impose the fee or gate or whether the intermediary will be calculating the fee and imposing the gate at the beneficial owner level. Funds also retain the right to “hard gate” a fund and ignore the intermediary’s request, thereby rejecting all sell trades to prevent a run on a fund.
The imposition of a fee or gate is determined relative to the timestamp when the trade is “in good order”. The definition of “in good order” is discretionary and determined based on who is assessing the fee or gate.
What timestamp will be used on money market liquidations?
What happens if a fund assesses a fee?
Why will Mid Atlantic not permit recordkeepers to use their own timestamping and calculate their own fees?
The new rules impose considerable compliance oversight if a contracted dealer such as Mid Atlantic allows underlying firms to timestamp orders and to independently compute liquidity fees or assess gates. Liquidity fees must be estimated on trade date, before the next NAV strike, with proceeds to be delivered to the funds via wire (outside NSCC settlement) on the next business day. Due to the extremely manual processes of liquidity fee management, and the extensive oversight by the funds of any fees not computed by the fund, Mid Atlantic is standardizing all trades as fund-assessed.
Each underlying Mid Atlantic client performs recordkeeping on many different software systems and many versions/releases of those systems. Given the potential variances across underlying firms based on software systems and internal controls, allowing an underlying firm to monitor fees and gates is not feasible since Mid Atlantic will be subject to very stringent audit controls and oversight by the funds specific to money market trading.
What is the impact to same day/cross family transfers and exchanges?
Will Mid Atlantic custody or trade money markets in a super omnibus account?
What if my firm is a bank/trust with omnibus positions?
What is the impact to fee disclosures and fact sheets?
What other system changes should I anticipate with money market reform?
Note that money market NAVs can now run to four decimal places, thereby impacting calculations throughout all trading, transfer agency, and sub systems for confirmations, dividends, transfers, and other activity. Reports will also require updating to accommodate the longer price precision.
All account valuations will be performed at end of day NAVs, but accounts with FNAVs may have specific trades performed at values not reflective of the end of day NAV.
Mid Atlantic will not edit any inbound or outbound client file layouts. Some systems already read the “fee” field in a confirmation record and others do not. If you remain in funds subject to fees and gates, please consult with your system vendor to determine if your confirm import will recognize a liquidity redemption fee in a confirmation or settlement record.
What happens next?
One alternative platform solution available through Mid Atlantic Trust Company (MATC) to help accommodate these new reforms is DepositxChange™, an FDIC insured service. DepositxChange™ seamlessly connects 401(k) participants and banks to provide participants with a cash deposit within their retirement account, whether it is part of a qualified defined contribution plan space model or a standalone investment.
Recently, Mid Atlantic held its 2016 National Partner Conference at the elegant, award-winning Château Élan Winery & Resort in Braselton, Georgia. In addition, Mid Atlantic went “pedal to the metal” by undertaking a race car theme to help make this year’s conference a truly high octane event for all attendees!
Among this year’s featured presenters was Bruce Johnstone, Managing Director of Fidelity Investments. Bruce literally illustrated his take on current economic and market conditions by intertwining it with his famous cartoon drawings which proved to be quite a crowd pleaser! Meanwhile, Dr. Daniel Crosby, Executive Director of The Center of Outcomes, coached the audience on some of the finer points of behavioral finance, including how financial professionals can effectively communicate and fine tune their message so that it is easily recalled and stands out from competitors.
Many thanks to Bruce, Daniel, and all of our valued speakers, sponsors, and business partners for helping produce another successful Mid Atlantic annual conference. We hope to see everyone again next year!