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Bob Architect Joins Valic

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Just got word that Bob Architect, formerly Senior Tax Law Specialist and 403(b) guru has joined VALIC as Vice President of Compliance and Market Strategy. More info coming.

 

Dan Otter

 

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It's my understanding that VALIC is evolving. I'll be curious to hear what others think about this development.

 

 

My initial reaction is the same as sschullo.

 

Can you tell us more about what you mean by evolving?

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My sources tell me that while Bob may have been the author of these crazy regs, he didn't have as much leeway in them as we might believe. In fact, it is my understanding that higher ups controlled much of the structure. This is not to say I have any behind the scenes knowledge or that Bob didn't want the regs exactly as they turned out, but that he might not be the one to blame, simply the one who had to deal with them.

 

I, for one am not happy about how the regs turned out.

 

ScottyD

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Of course, Bob is not to blame for this mess. This move has a pattern, albeit a tiny one but significant never the less. Our first financial consultant to LAUSD's 457b oversight committee also went to Valic to become some mucky muck VP of whatever. Consider this, after negotiating Valic's contract to be the 457b’s TPA with the 2nd largest school district in the country and then proceeds to ramrod her expensive selections that included plenty of revenue sharing fees for VALIC through the committee with LAUSD blessing (over members objections), she also decides to go to VALIC too. These people have no shame. BTW, we used this as part of a move to terminate VALIC's contract by passing a motion recommending to the CFO, but the CFO did nothing. Luckily, Valic's 5 year contract will be ending in about 1.5 years, thank god.

 

Steve

 

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Here's the press release...

 

NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED 403(b) EXPERT BOB ARCHITECT JOINS VALIC

 

Architect Cites State of the Art 403(b) Compliance Solutions, Continuous Commitment to Retirement Plan Market and History of Success as Reasons for Joining VALIC

 

HOUSTON, January 11, 2010 —VALIC, a leading retirement plan provider to K-12 schools, higher education and healthcare institutions, has hired Bob Architect, formerly Senior Tax Law Specialist and 403(b) guidance author in the Employee Plans Division of the Internal Revenue Service, as Vice President of Compliance and Market Strategy. In this role, Architect will apply his 35 years of 403(b) regulatory experience and leading expertise to help VALIC continue to enhance business and compliance strategies for supporting employers and helping to meet the needs of their retirement plans. He will also be instrumental in developing key educational content, including articles and white papers, to continue his efforts in assisting plan sponsors and their counsel navigate through often complicated rules and regulations. Architect will report to Glenn Harris, Executive Vice President, Group Management and National Markets for VALIC.

 

“I am absolutely thrilled to join VALIC – the industry’s most tenured leader,” said Bob Architect. “While I was at the IRS, I always respected VALIC’s commitment to the 403(b) market and the company’s focus on outreach to plan sponsors and participants. After 35 years of working to shape the 403(b) landscape and educate the market, with VALIC, I can work directly with plan sponsors, plan participants and a company that shares my passion for outreach, education and plan compliance solutions. VALIC’s focus on the 403(b) market is unparalleled and I’m delighted to share this commitment.”

 

Architect continued, “For a number of important reasons, much of today’s 403(b) market continues to be a multi-vendor marketplace. I can’t stress enough the critical importance of compliance coordination across multiple vendors, and VALIC has addressed this essential function directly with Retirement Manager, its industry leading vendor-neutral solution for managing multiple retirement plans and multiple vendors. Throughout my career, I have continued to see VALIC at the forefront in understanding the important 403(b) rules and requirements, and supporting employers in implementing them.”

 

Bruce Abrams, President and CEO of VALIC, said, “Our goal at VALIC is to help Americans plan for and enjoy a secure retirement. Bob has the ideal experience and expertise to help us continue to develop innovative services designed with plan sponsors in mind. It is a natural fit for the most recognized thought leader on 403(b)s to join VALIC.”

 

Architect is a recognized expert in the 403(b) industry, responsible for drafting recent 403(b) regulations as well as a number of guidance pieces affecting the 403(b) marketplace. From 1975 – 2009, Architect served as Senior Tax Law Specialist with the Employee Plans Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Since 1978, his specialty was in the area of 403(b) tax-sheltered plans. In addition, since 2000, he was involved in governmental and tax-exempt 457 plans and most recently had been working on regulations under section 457(f) of the Internal Revenue Code. Architect was also actively involved in the IRS's examination efforts concerning these plans, which included organizing and leading national 403(b) and 457 training sessions for IRS field examiners. Additionally, Architect spearheaded the IRS’s public outreach and educational efforts in this area, having made well over 200 presentations as well as numerous webcasts.

 

Prior to joining the IRS, Architect served in the Armed Forces as a Captain in the Army. He received his J.D. degree from Brooklyn Law School and his LL.M. from the New York University School of Law. He is a member of the New York State and District of Columbia Bar Associations.

 

For more than half a century, VALIC has served as a leading plan provider for K-12 schools, higher education and healthcare institutions. As of September 2009, VALIC has over $61 billion in assets and manages plans for more than 25,000 groups, serving more than two million plan participants. VALIC represents The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc. and VALIC Retirement Services Company.

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My respect with Bob A. is gone now. What a disappointment when he said that he looked to Valic as a leader in the 403b system to help people plan for retirement. You have got to be kidding!

 

Bruce Abrams, President and CEO of VALIC, said, “Our goal at VALIC is to help Americans plan for and enjoy a secure retirement. Bob has the ideal experience and expertise to help us continue to develop innovative services designed with plan sponsors in mind. It is a natural fit for the most recognized thought leader on 403(b)s to join VALIC.”

 

This is a sad day.

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Bob Architect may have the best of credentials and experience, but VALIC is still VALIC. You can put all of the lipstick that you want on a pig, but ...

 

 

When VALIC first joined LAUSD as the 457b TPA, it wasn called VALIC. But because word got around that VALIC meant Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company and annuities was equated with ripoffs, they changed the name to AIG Retirement. It should be no surprise that after AIG's horrific scandal last year, they changed the name AGAIN, back to VALIC.

 

Ten years ago, National Tax Shelter Annuities Association also changed its name to National Tax Shelter Accounts Association.

 

Like you said, you can put a dress on a pig, but its still....

 

Steve

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