Three Questions with Bill Ryan
President and Chief Fiduciary Officer
Question: Can you tell us more about your team?
Newport Trust Company
Answer: Our team joined Newport Group in connection with their acquisition of Evercore Trust Company’s institutional trust and independent fiduciary services business. The institutional trust and independent fiduciary services business has ongoing responsibility for qualified and non-qualified employee benefit plans, including defined benefit pension plans, defined contribution plans, VEBAs, ESOPs
, rabbi trusts, and plan funds. We serve as an independent fiduciary in a variety of situations responsible for making prudent decisions on behalf of employee benefit plans, acting solely in the interests of plan participants and beneficiaries, and helping to ensure compliance with ERISA. When we combine the existing directed trust business of Newport Trust Company
with the acquired institutional trust and fiduciary services business, Newport Trust Company services more than $75 billion of retirement assets as of September 30, 2017.
Our team of approximately 30 professionals includes experienced ERISA/securities in-house legal counsel, a dedicated team of financial analysts that support our financial review, monitoring and fiduciary practice, as well as relationship managers and support personnel with extensive experience in institutional trust services, and works from three offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
We’ve been fortunate that our team has served as an independent fiduciary to employee benefit plans sponsored by:
Q: What do you see as the biggest growth areas in your business in the next few years?
- 75% of the top 20 corporate plan sponsors in the P&I 1,000
- 50% of the companies comprising the Dow Jones Industrial Average
- 25% of the corporations in the Fortune 500
A: The largest growth engines for our business over the last four to five years (which we would expect to continue over the next few years) have been:
- Serving as independent fiduciary for employer stock in 401(k) plans, both for ongoing stock funds and terminated funds (usually referred to as a stock fund “sunset”)
- Assuming responsibility as successor trustee for large, complicated non-qualified trust (usually referred to as “rabbi trusts”)
- Managing and disposing of large positions in company stock and other assets held by our clients’ defined benefit plans
- Serving as an ERISA auditor to large financial institutions (as part of DOL exemptions or in connection with the new Fiduciary Regulation)
- Pension plan annuitizations, where we select insurers and annuity products in plan terminations and “lift outs”
- Resolving conflicts between plans/plan funds and large institutional managers
We expect rabbi trust services to have strong growth given the natural synergies between our team’s capabilities and Newport Group’s non-qualified plan service business.
Q: What are the key points you want advisors to know about Newport Trust's service offerings?
A: The key points that I would like advisors to know are:
- We have the largest, and most experienced team dealing with complicated ERISA and conflict of interest issues
- Our historic strengths are dealing with employer stock in DB, 401(k) and other plans, rabbi trust services, and complicated remediations or transactions with ERISA implications
- We view ourselves as both resources for our client and innovative "problem solvers" for new and complicated client issues
Bill Ryan is President and Chief Fiduciary Officer of Newport Trust Company, and served as President and Chief Fiduciary Officer of Evercore Trust Company, N.A., prior to the acquisition of Evercore Trust’s institutional trustee and independent fiduciary business by Newport Trust in 2017.
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