Your 3(38) Fiduciary Partner

As a growing number of financial advisors seek out the products and services of true investment fiduciaries for their 401(k) retirement plan business, it becomes vital that they partner with professionals who can help them build their practice. Moreover, it is important to understand the finer points of the services offered and evaluate the benefits of those services to their practice, the plan sponsor and plan participants.
As a 3(38) Investment Manager, Synergy Financial Management helps you and your client mitigate fiduciary risk so they can focus their time and effort on running their business, and you can focus on running your business.

Financial advisors who work with Synergy Financial Management, LLC (SFM) access our professional management capabilities, including custom-built solutions that help you successfully compete in the 401(k) marketplace.

Custom Planning and Presale Planning

Every situation is unique. We are committed to helping you discover and prioritize what is most important to you and your clients, and then building a solution that fits. From presale to participant enrollment to post-implementation monitoring, we have a plan.

Portfolio Management—Ours or Yours

Whether you are using our proprietary investment philosophies and process, following our models, or asking us to consider your investment philosophies, we will develop an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) and fulfill our duty as a 3(38) fiduciary partner.

Custom Portfolio Construction Advice

We help you construct portfolios, philosophies, and processes that address your investor’s diversification needs, risk parameters, and life goals.

Practice Management

As your partner, we can help guide you through the 401(k) client acquisition and implementation process, develop client retention strategies, and help you expand your 401(k) business.

24/7 Help

We stand ready to connect with you one-on-one at anytime. With our deep and extensive financial professional background, we can discuss a wide range of topics ranging from asset allocation or focused portfolio strategies, to tax strategies, hedging strategies and even marketing and branding. The financial world is our stage and you are our star. Let us help you shine!

Insightful Communication

We will help you make sense of the markets, economics and geopolitical risk on a quarterly basis. Share our insight with your clients and add your insights to ours.

Insured and Bonded

You and your client can enjoy the peace of mind that we carry an ERISA E&O insurance policy and bond.

 The Gold Standard  in fiduciary investment management services


What is a 3(38) investment manager?

Definition: ERISA Section 3(38) Fiduciary

Section 3(38) is an “investment manager” and by definition is a fiduciary because they take 1) discretion, 2) authority, and 3) control of the plan’s assets. ERISA provides that a plan sponsor can delegate the significant responsibility (and significant liability) of selecting, monitoring and replacing of investments to the 3(38) investment manager fiduciary.

A 3(38) fiduciary can only be (a) a bank, (b) an insurance company, or (c) a registered investment advisor (RIA). (Synergy Financial Management, LLC is a SEC registered Investment Advisor- RIA) subject to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

Once a 3(38) is properly named, the plan sponsor effectively hands over authority to the 3(38) fiduciary to make investment decisions. The 3(38) fiduciary (SFM) therefore assumes legal responsibility and liability for the decisions it makes, which enables the plan sponsor to better manage and mitigate their fiduciary risk.

The role of an ERISA 3(38) investment manager

A plan sponsor may designate a Section 3(38) investment manager to accept the fiduciary responsibility to:

  • Select the investment options for the plan;
  • Construct model portfolios which may be offered to plan participants;
  • Construct qualified default investment alternatives (“QDIA”) in accordance with U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) guidelines which may be used as default investment selections for participants who fail to make an affirmative investment election;
  • Monitor the investment options and models and make appropriate changes;
  • At least annually, provide the plan sponsor with an overview regarding the selection of the investment options offered to plan participants and the advisor’s management of the models. This should enable the plan sponsor to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility regarding the sponsor’s engagement of the manager.