ING Rolls Out New Banking Channel and 401(k) Payroll Strategy to Grow Distributor-Sold Business
Two-pronged approach expands ING’s reach to small and mid-sized corporate retirement plans
ING’s U.S. Retirement division announced today that it is executing a twofold strategy to expand its reach to small and mid-sized corporate retirement plans and to support the distributors that serve this market.
One component involves building ING’s presence in the banking channel by establishing a network of key relationships with local and regional banks, credit unions and plan intermediaries who work within the banking industry. A second component involves forging connections with national and regional payroll companies to create a seamless payroll capability that simplifies plan administration for 401(k) practitioners and customers.
“We’re very excited about the potential for growth in these two emerging channels,” said Bill Elmslie, head of National Intermediary Distribution and Service for ING U.S. Retirement Services. “We believe this dual approach will help deepen our relationships with distributors and plan sponsors while expanding ING’s leadership in the small and mid corporate market.”
National Strategy for Banking Channel Distribution
ING recognizes that thousands of community banks, regional banks and credit unions across America are looking for opportunities to expand their business. One growing trend is that commercial lending officers and trust departments see value in being able to offer 401(k) plans to their small and mid-sized corporate clients.
While ING has conducted some banking channel sales in the past, it is now moving forward with a more deliberate approach to serve this market. The effort is being supported by a new member of ING’s distribution organization, Jim Bailey, who serves as head of Banking Relationships. In this new role, Bailey will coordinate closely with ING’s new regional Payroll and Bank Distribution teams to cultivate dozens of strategic relationships. He and the teams report to Ginger Brennan, head of National Distribution Management for Small and Mid Corporate Markets within ING’s intermediary distribution and service organization.
Bailey comes to ING from Community Bank and Trust in Wisconsin, where he oversaw business development in the trust and commercial lending departments for several years. Previously, Bailey spent 18 years in the banking industry with an emphasis on retirement plan development.
“Jim brings a wealth of local banking expertise to ING, including first-hand knowledge of the unique needs and opportunities that exist in the retirement space,” noted Brennan. “With our localized field support, fiduciary service offerings and best-in-class tools and platforms, ING can be an attractive plan provider for many of these institutions across the country.”
Seamless “Two-Way” Payroll Integration with ING’s Pay with Ease
In addition to banking channel growth, ING is building relationships with many well-regarded national and regional payroll companies this year to bring a fully integrated 401(k) payroll navigation interface to advisors, third-party administrators (TPAs) and their clients. The service offered by ING is called Pay with Ease, and the strategy for its development also falls under Brennan.
Pay with Ease will enable ING to link directly to a sponsor’s payroll provider and establish a “two-way” process to share vital plan and payroll contribution information, such as enrollments, contribution rate changes, hardship suspensions, reinstatements and loan repayments.
By using this service, the adviser, TPA and employer will no longer have to be involved in a number of time-consuming tasks associated with processing 401(k) contributions. In fact, industry research has found that a fully integrated payroll interface like Pay with Ease can save an estimated 6 hours each pay period, or well over 100 hours per year. Practitioners will benefit from having a service they can offer clients that demonstrates value and helps them grow business. Sponsors will also benefit from a capability that simplifies plan management and is driven by experienced retirement plan and payroll professionals.
As part of the roll-out, ING will be conducting a series of seminars around the country to bring advisers, payroll companies and TPAs together to learn more about this capability and generate marketing and business building ideas.
“ING is committed to identifying the needs of our customers and distributors, and coming up with ways to make their jobs easier,” added Brennan. “Through these payroll relationships and our seamless interface, we can help them save time and resources each pay period by eliminating a significant administrative burden.”
ING’s Retirement business holds top rankings in the defined contribution industry with more than $300 billion in combined assets under management and administration. It is one of the few providers that serves all types and sizes of customers, including corporate, government, healthcare, K-12 and higher education employers.
ING U.S. is a subsidiary of Dutch-based ING Groep NV. In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits and financial planning. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 20 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.us.