Acquisition Creates One of Georgia's Largest Pension Consulting Firms

TEGRA Financial Partners, a subsidiary of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP, (HA&W) the largest independent certified public accounting and business advisory firm in Georgia, announced it has acquired Olson & Swenson, Inc., an Atlanta-based full service and pension consulting firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We are excited to work with the partners and professionals of Olson & Swenson because of their sterling reputation and the fact we have a similar mix of business,” Nick Bhandari, CFP, managing director of TEGRA Financial Partners and HA&W partner, said in announcing the acquisition. “Our growing team will provide the best tools and advice possible to build the future of our clients.”

Bhandari added that the combination will provide current Olson & Swenson clients with a wider range of services designed to enhance their retirement plans. TEGRA will oversee approximately 750 qualified retirement plans, making it one of the largest pension consulting firms in Georgia. It will administer a wide variety of plans, including defined benefit pension plans, profit sharing plans (including cross-tested), 401(k) plans, ESOPs and others.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Staff Report Concerning Examinations of Select Pension Consultants, there were approximately 1,742 SEC-registered investment advisers indicating they provide pension consulting services. For these companies, including TEGRA, the recently approved Pension Protection Act of 2006 will significantly contribute to an improved bottom line.

“Anyone in the system who currently manages money is going to see a real increase in flows,” David Wray, president of Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America, a Chicago based group that principally represent retirement plan sponsors, told the Wall Street Journal.

The Pension Protection Act of 2006, although focusing in large part on how companies must manage their pension plan in the future, also contains measures affecting 401(k) and individual retirement account (IRA) plans. Most significant among the provisions is that employers can increase employee participation in their retirement plans by automatically enrolling workers. Employees would have to opt-out of company retirement plans, rather than opting in, which is the current business practice. Further, the act encourages plan sponsors to hire outside financial advisers to provide workers with personal financial planning guidance while allowing plan administrators, even if the administrator is an investment firm, to recommend their own funds, so long as those funds are in the best interest of the worker.

TEGRA was created in October 2004 when HA&W Capital Partners, LLC and HA&W Benefit Advisors, LLC joined resources. The name change did not reflect a change in ownership or leadership. Tegra means “integrity” in Latin, a quality which is at the core of the services provided.

Habif, Arogeti & Wynne provides services in the traditional areas of audit, accounting, tax and consulting. In addition, the firm offers fully integrated financial planning, asset management, retirement plan administration, financial staffing and management services.

More information on pension legislation can be found in Pension Overhaul Bill Heads to Bush and Verbal Agreement Found in Pension Bill Negotiations.

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