American Trust Retirement Acquires Pension Inc. of Iowa

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American Trust Retirement, a division of family-owned American Trust, announces the acquisition of Pension Inc. of Iowa.

Carolyn Hawks Grabow

Carolyn Hawks Grabow
Co-founder and owner Pension Inc. of Iowa

In American Trust Retirement I have found a best-in-class and growing suitor to build on the foundation of excellence my associates and I have worked so hard build.

Nick Schrup, president and co-chairman of American Trust & Savings Bank and Carolyn Hawks Grabow, co-founder and owner of Pension Inc. of Iowa, announce the acquisition of Pension Inc. of Iowa by American Trust Retirement effective March 31, 2014.

American Trust Retirement is a division of the American Trust Financial Management Group with assets under management of more than $2 billion. American Trust is a family-owned bank founded in 1911 in the beautiful and historic bluffs of Dubuque, Iowa, along the Mississippi River.

Pension Inc., with over 350 retirement plan clients throughout the country, is located at the same river in scenic Bettendorf, Iowa, and provides “unbundled” third-party administrative services for over $430 million in qualified assets and more than 14,000 plan participants. American Trust anticipates Pension Inc. will continue to do business under that name until December 31, 2014.

Carolyn began her career nearly 30 years ago at American Trust in the trust department. She is a native of Davenport, graduated from Clarke University, and is pleased to keep Pension Inc. positioned with a strong Iowa-based company just a little more than an hour’s drive away.

Since Carolyn founded the business more than 25 years ago, the industry has evolved such that she feels that to get Pension Inc. and its staff to the next level of service excellence, another level of assets are necessary to broaden the scope and offerings of her company. “In American Trust Retirement I have found a best-in-class and growing suitor to build on the foundation of excellence my associates and I have worked so hard for,” said Grabow.

Kurt Wedewer, American Trust Retirement executive vice president and division manager, is pleased that Carolyn has agreed to join the new company through March 2016 to aid in the transition.

“American Trust Retirement provides clients with the cornerstones of a quality retirement plan that are typically made available to only large clients, and does so in a ‘bundled’ approach that brings with it tremendous control and cost savings. These cornerstones — service, technology, plan design, fiduciary oversight, investments, and cost efficiency — are American Trust Retirement’s highest aspirations and achievements,” said Wedewer.

Award-winning American Trust Retirement is unique as a discretionary trustee and therefore is able to assume and manage specific responsibilities of retirement plans. As participants become more involved in their plan, naming a discretionary trustee is important to reduce plan sponsors’ potential liability for legal and compliance responsibilities, Internal Revenue Service Regulations, ERISA, Department of Labor regulations, and general trust laws.

“With this acquisition there is great potential for both Pension Inc. and American Trust,” Wedewer added. “The unbundled Pension Inc. service model that serves clients so well will be coupled with the alternative opportunities of the American Trust Retirement bundled cornerstones to offer current and potential clients the ‘best of the best’.”

Pension Inc. will continue its commitment to provide personalized “boutique” administration services to all types of retirement plans, including: 401(k), Profit Sharing (Traditional, Integrated, Age-Weighted, Cross-Tested), ERISA/Non-ERISA 403(b), 457 Deferred Compensation, Multi-Employer, Cash Balance, and Davis Bacon.

More about American Trust Retirement
American Trust Retirement is a division of the American Trust Financial Management Group whose assets under management now exceed $2 billion, and is a subsidiary of ATBancorp, Inc. Headquartered in Iowa, American Trust Retirement has offices in Dubuque, Iowa City, and West Des Moines. It also offers retirement planning and wealth management services in San Mateo, California. For more information, visit

More about Pension Inc. of Iowa
Pension Inc. of Iowa was incorporated July 1, 1988. At Pension Inc., plan administration is not a sideline, it is their exclusive business. Following an unbundled approach, which separates the administration of a plan from the investment services, they are able to provide fair and impartial plan analysis while working with any provider. Pension Inc. performs no adjunct services, provides no tax, audit or payroll services, nor do they sell investments or give investment advice. Their only focus is the administration of retirement plans. For more information visit

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Peggy Hudson