At GYL Financial Synergies, we know that every institution has its own unique mission and challenges that require customized solutions. For the past two decades, our advisers have been providing innovative thinking and individually tailored investment solutions to corporations, endowments, foundations, municipalities, Taft-Hartley Plans and insurance pools across the country. During this period, we’ve navigated all kinds of markets, helping trustees, directors and investment committee members meet their goals and their fiduciary responsibilities. We can do the same for you.

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Investment Policy Statement

Developing your investment policy is the first step in our consulting process, creating the blueprint for your entire investment program. Your Investment Policy Statement defines: your investment goals and allowable risk levels; guidelines for delineating allowable investments and prohibited transactions; benchmarks for evaluating performance; guidelines for the selection and removal of investment managers; and service expectations for investment consultants and other service providers. Because of its impact on all your investment activities, we will review your Investment Policy Statement with you on a regular basis. We believe it’s the first step on the path towards good governance.

Manager Search And Selection

Once your investment policy has been established, the search for the right investment managers begins. We encourage you to participate actively in developing the qualifications and constraints that managers must meet in order to become genuine candidates. Our process employs both quantitative and qualitative criteria designed to find managers with prudent investment processes that align with your investment objectives, while maintaining an established track record of success. We believe there is no one-size-fits-all formula to investment manager selection. We consider multiple strategies and philosophies: active; passive; enhanced index; mutual funds; separate accounts; alternative strategies; and commingled trusts.

As with many of life’s decisions, the solution is rarely absolute; for most of our clients, some combination of the above best suits their needs.

Plan Committee Services

We will provide summary reports and statistical updates to your Investment Committee. These may include participation level and demographic reports, a review of goals, fiduciary education, updates on participant meetings and regulatory updates.

Asset Allocation Review

Studies have shown that the principal determinant of a plan’s long-term investment return is its asset allocation. We believe that the asset allocation policy is the most important aspect of the investment management process. Utilizing some of the industry’s most sophisticated and comprehensive asset allocation software, we will create a customized asset allocation plan for your institution. In structuring your plan, our philosophy is to establish a long-term strategic asset allocation developed from a clear understanding of your objectives and risk capacity, and balanced with any specific regulatory or policy considerations.

Performance Monitoring

Performance monitoring enables fiduciaries to assess a plan’s success in absolute and relative terms. It examines: return rates for both your plan and the individual investment managers against their respective indices; the asset allocation versus approved targets; the incurred risk (as indicated by volatility and sensitivity to the market); and the plan’s overall performance relative to the goals set by the investment committee, as stated in the Investment Policy Statement. We utilize a web-based securities-level performance reporting system, which is used by more than 40 institutional consulting firms, including some of the largest in the industry. Client data from each of these firms is aggregated anonymously to establish one of the largest peer performance universes in the industry.

Service Provider Search and Review

We understand the value in having the right vendor for your plan. We also recognize the need to find a balance between the services vendors offer and the fees they charge. We begin our vendor search process by developing requests for proposals (RFPs) from record-keeping platforms based on the plan’s stated goals, objectives and demographics. The responses are then included in a summary report designed to compare a specific record-keeping product’s features, benefits, available investment options and fees to the stated criteria. The search and review process may be performed on an as-needed basis for the plan sponsor’s fiduciary due diligence file, or upon request to provide the information the employer needs to make informed decisions about a product solution.

Plan Fees and Service Benchmarking Reports

It is imperative that fiduciaries understand and evaluate the services your plan receives and the fees it pays. We provide plan benchmarking reports that identify and compare specific plan design elements, including: plan features; investment related information; participant behaviors; plan oversight; plan related fees in comparison to other plans in similar industries; and plan size and/or demographics. The benchmarking report may be comprehensive and include all elements, or it may be a concise summary of specific items and fees. These reports are prepared on an as needed basis or as part of the overall plan-level review.

 

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