Case Study 1

Defined Contribution Recordkeeper Search


WILLIAMS GROUP was engaged to assist an International Architectural company that managed a $60 million defined contribution plan. Interviews with the investment committee revealed gaps in plan governance. Benchmarks revealed that the portfolio was underperforming, record keeping expenses and advisor fees were above market. The plan sponsor’s investment committee had no experience with benchmarking for DC plans and wanted to investigate market opportunities on the cusp of the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed new fiduciary rules.

Corporate work


  • Source high-quality recordkeeper with the ability to provide “high touch- high feel” for the plan sponsors and participants.
  • Find a recordkeeper that provides integration of participant account balances on the record keeping platform for the company ESOP plan.
  • Create a fund line up that would gain the trust of the investment committee.

The Process


Source Data


Governance / Issue RFP


Investment Analysis & Review Performance Track Records


Final Selection & Interviews


Negotiate Fees & Contracts


Transition Oversight


  • Williams Group educated the committee on the apparent gaps from governance standpoint including; Committee Charter, Investment Policy Statement, and minutes of the committee’s meetings
  • Amendments and refinements to the documents and fiduciary process were recommended
  • Williams Group also performed a historical review and deep analysis of the investment track records.

Recordkeeper Search

  • Sourced data and administered a Request for Information from over 12 qualified record-keeping candidates.
  • Administered an RFP and perform detailed due diligence
  • Independently interviewed each of the candidates.

Final Selection and Interviews

  • Prepared a comprehensive analysis for each of one of the candidates with a recommendation for three finalists; moderated for organized and coordinated the finalist’s presentations and selection conference.
  • Negotiated and reviewed fees and contracts.
  • Participated in client onboarding weekly meetings and provided oversight during the blackout period.


  • Converted recordkeeping fees from a percentage of assets to a flat dollar per participant, reducing the cost by 66% resulting in $140,000 in annual savings to the plan sponsor.
  • Introduced a new fun line up of both active and indexed investments, taking into consideration “lowest net cost”, resulting in a savings to participants of $75,000 annually.
  • Transition target date funds to a new series with a more appropriate glide path, investment mix and consistent performance.
  • The transition to new recordkeeper, investment lineup and target date solution was accomplished without a hitch.