The University of Kentucky implemented the use of Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) in 2008. Since then, there have been numerous questions and some complaints on RIAs. Listed below are some Frequently Asked Questions regarding the RIA program from the RIA perspective.
How do I get registered to become an RIA to provide advice to UK retirement plan participants?
To get registered as a RIA, you must have the UK retirement plan participant (employee/retiree/former employee) fill out the Fidelity and/or TIAA Registered Investment Advisor Authorization and Indemnification Form. To obtain a copy of the form, please contact Fidelity at 1-888-766-6815 and TIAA at 1-888-841-0318.
How do I market services to UK retirement plan participants?
UK has a strict policy against solicitation that must be adhered to at all times. RIAs are subject to this policy, as are all other vendors. To view the UK solicitation policy regarding campus sales, see Section 1.N “Campus Sales.” Since direct contact of employees is not permitted, RIA firms may advertise in the Kentucky Kernel or external media such as the Lexington Herald Leader, local radio or TV stations. As with all businesses, word of mouth can be an effective way to grow your business. Prohibited direct contact includes solicitation visits to campus (offices) and calls to UK office phone (work) numbers.
May I call an employee or email them at work to arrange for a meeting or appointment?
If the employee had contacted your firm and has requested a meeting with a RIA from your firm, you may contact the employee in the manner they have requested (home phone, work phone, email, etc.). Cold-calling employees at their work sites is strictly prohibited and could result in the loss of your ability to provide RIA services for UK retirement plan participants and/or eviction from UK property.
May I meet with an employee on the UK campus?
If the employee has a personal office or if meeting space has been made available by the employee’s department, you may meet with the employee on the UK campus if invited by the employee and an appointment has been made.
How should I identify myself when interfacing with UK retirement plan participants?
RIAs should explain to the retirement plan participant they are independent; they should explain that they are not affiliated with Fidelity or TIAA and are not affiliated with UK. The fact that you have been previously approved for advisor fee account deductions from one of these companies does not give you the right to indicate you are the company’s representative. Further, you shall not indicate that you are in any way affiliated with UK, that you are approved by UK, that you are an official RIA of UK’s retirement plan, or any similar UK-related language.