GoldK Offering More Retirement Services To Advisors

GoldK, a company based in Waltham, Mass., that provides online retirement plans through financial advisors, has been expanding its business through a number of new initiatives. They include:

• Entering an agreement with 1st Global Inc. of Dallas. Under the agreement, 1st Global‚s affiliated financial advisors can present GoldK‚s retirement plans to their clients and prospects. A broker-dealer founded by two CPAs, 1st Global helps accountants offer financial services. The company‚s affiliates include more than 1,000 accounting firms. The agreement also provides GoldK with additional access to tax and accounting professionals.

• Obtaining $10.5 million in additional venture capital, with $9.5 million of that coming from TH Lee Putnam Ventures. That infusion followed a $26.5 million investment led by Lazard Technology Partners. GoldK‚s capital raising totaled $47 million in January.

• Acquiring Retirement Horizons Inc., a benefits-consulting firm based in Houston that specializes in the design and administration of customized retirement plans for employers. Financial advisors often team with the company to provide retirement services to their clients. The acquisition by GoldK brings an additional 150 plans, 45,000 participants and $900 million under its administration.

• Adding Satuit Capital Micro-Cap Fund to its lineup of mutual funds. GoldK offers funds from various groups, including Janus, Berger, Invesco and many others.

Growing Annuity Business

Minnesota Life Insurance Co., headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., has launched a major effort to expand its annuity distribution and sales.

"Annuities are a scale and risk-management business," said Kerry Geurkink, director of annuity marketing. "Minnesota Life very much understands the risk-management side. We currently are recruiting a team of wholesalers who will help us increase our scale by expanding our distribution system." The company plans to have a wholesaling team of 20 in place by the end of 2003.

Minnesota Life has relied on a network of financial advisors to distribute its products. That network was branded for the first time in May as Securian Financial Network. Geurkink says the evolution in the industry away from exclusive access to products means that advisors in the Securian Financial Network sell products from other manufacturers, and Minnesota Life will distribute its products through additional outlets.

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