FPS Services Offers One Platform for Multiple Providers in 403(b) Space

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FPS Services, LLC, an affiliate of FPS Group, LLC and a Bluff Point company, today announced the rollout of its Investment Provider Xchange (IPX)TM platform. The IPX platform is a trading and recordkeeping platform focused on serving 403(b) districts, participants, and their investment providers. “IPX gives us an ease of processing that is otherwise found only in a single investment provider plan design, but with the ability to offer all of the obvious benefits sought by employers who prefer a multi-provider plan for their participants,” said James Olson, head of product development at FPS Services.

FPS Group

At the core of IPX is the integration of FPS’s trust and recordkeeping systems with online portals for plan sponsors, participants, advisors, and the administrative systems and services of TSA Consulting Group, which is one of the largest providers of administration and consulting services among K-12 403(b) plans nationwide. That integration gives employers and participants access to account balances and activity in addition to education content and product information, all from a single site and source. “The platform essentially gives those 403(b) participants who hold investments from multiple providers the same access to their total account information, just like 401(k) participants have had for years,” according to Scott Pearson, President of FPS Trust Company which provides the necessary custodial services.

“Mutual fund companies servicing the 401(k) space learned the benefits of a DCIO approach more than a dozen years ago when open architecture became the norm via DTCC’s Defined Contribution Clearance & Settlement System,” added Olson. FPS Trust accesses DTCC via its Matrix/Broadridge trading relationship, providing a simplified settlement process. And since payment automation and tax reporting are core offerings of FPS Trust, participating mutual fund companies and insurance carriers can outsource participant distributions using the trust company’s distribution and payment processing capabilities. In addition, FPS Services handles recordkeeping responsibilities like statement production.

“Creating standardization of the employer and plan participant experience is accomplished while also including the specific branding required by investment providers chosen by the districts,” states Joe Rollins of TSA Consulting Group. “As a consultant to our district clients, we believe the IPX platform will provide them with additional investment choice and a better participant experience while improving our efficiency in delivering the administrative services which otherwise would become a greater challenge and more costly in the non-standardized environment we all wade through today,” added Rollins. TSA Consulting Group will be introducing the IPX platform and services to selected district customers over the coming months and into 2015, with widespread rollout and implementation throughout 2015.

FPS Services already supports a collection of brand name mutual fund and annuity providers and continues to establish relationships with additional providers. Since the Investment Provider community will have an opportunity through IPX to increase distribution, outsource recordkeeping and settle participant investment activity, the platform partners, including FPS Services, FPS Trust and TSA Consulting Group, expect the Investment Provider community to catch on quickly. “By combining plan administration and participant recordkeeping with trust/custody services while still allowing the employer and participants to maintain choice of investment providers, IPX becomes a unique platform in the space,” said Olson.

Bluff Point Associates, a private equity firm based in Westport, Connecticut, actively invests in information services companies supporting the banking, trust, securities, retirement and wealth management sectors of the financial services industry, as well as the healthcare information services sector.

FPS Group affiliates include:

  • FPS Services, LLC--Delivering the IPX platform and plan administration services, including recordkeeping and mutual fund trading services.
  • FPS Trust Company, LLC--A Colorado trust company providing trust/custody and cash processing solutions including paying agent services.
  • Nexus Financial Services, LLC--A software development company with a specialty in software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.

FPS also partners with the following key contributors to the IPX platform:

  • TSA Consulting Group, Inc. (TSACG)--A third-party administrator (TPA) for 403(b)/457(b) plan sponsors.
  • Innovest Systems, LLC (Innovest)--Provides the InnoTrust trust accounting software to the IPX platform.
  • Internet Pipeline, Inc. (iPipeline)--Provides the AFFIRM solution to the IPX platform in support of point-of-sale enrollment and other transactions.

More information is available at http://www.FPSGroupLLC.com.

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Joseph Rollins
TSA Consulting Group, Inc.
+1 888-777-5827 Ext: 1120
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James Olson
FPS Services
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TSA Consulting Group, Inc.
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TSA Consulting Group, Inc.