Empower Retirement, one year on

Empower Retirement, one year on

Edmund F. Murphy III

As Empower Retirement recognizes its first anniversary this week, there are a number of accomplishments and lessons learned we could discuss.

However, the most important message today is a sincere expression of gratitude to the 30,000 plan sponsors, 7.5 million participants and countless advisors and consultants we work with every day.

In some form or another, I’ve been at work in the financial services industry since I graduated from college more than 30 years ago. I’ve personally witnessed some really great developments over that time. I’ve seen people of modest means build wealth that allows for comfortable retirements, I’ve seen families send kids to college based on smart investing habits, and I’ve seen entrepreneurs grow great businesses from small amounts of capital.

I’ve seen some really tough times, as well. It wasn’t that long ago we were hearing terms like “too big to fail” and “moral hazard” in conjunction with unprecedented developments in the financial markets.

Over the last three decades, the one consistent thread in every single, successful client interaction I’ve ever observed is the importance of trust.

When a person engages a financial institution for help with reaching a particular goal, the relationship is largely built on one person placing his or her trust in the other. Sure, there are contracts, and there are laws and numerous regulators — all of which exist to bolster that trust. These are important and necessary elements of our industry. But when all is said and done, trust must exist between people to make any relationship work.

A year ago we created a new organization out of three well-known and successful retirement businesses. Out of three we chose to stand up a new brand that we’re proud to call Empower Retirement.

We had doubters. We had supporters. We faced questions from those who thought a new brand was too risky. Admittedly, we even argued amongst ourselves about this strategy.

We went to market with Empower because we knew we were backed by a great team that, at its core, is oriented to serving clients first. Because of that client-centric orientation, we had the confidence that a fresh, new brand would find success.

Ultimately, our clients also put their trust in our team.

I can speak for the whole team at Empower and say we are grateful for this trust and will continue to earn it every single day as we begin our second year.

* as of June 30, 2015

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