Stephen Campbell, Kelly Lueders and Mike
Minutolo create a modern 403(b) plan while
retaining all 100 investments
RECORDKEEPER EMPLO YER: TIAA
TEAM MEMBERS: Stephen Campbell,
Kelly Lueders, Mike Minutolo
TENURE WI TH COMPAN Y: A combined 62 years
BIOS: Stephen Campbell, senior
relationship manager, has worked
for TIAA for 28 years, having a
total of 35 years in the financial
services industry. Kelly Lueders, vice
president, individual engagement
marketing, joined TIAA in 2011,
coming from ACS, a Xerox company.
Mike Minutolo, transition manager,
also has served TIAA for 28 years;
over the last 11, he has focused on
the institutional market.
CLIEN T INDUS TRY: Higher learning
Since regulations revolutionized the traditional 403(b) market, many spon- sors of such plans have made changes to restructure and upgrade them. Arecentexampleinvolved aninstituteofhigherlearning. Whereas manyorgani-zations drastically cut the number of investments offered through their plan, the school
wanted to retain them all. “Participants have long relationships and histories with the
investments they’ve chosen,” the plan sponsor explained.
TIAA, the plan’s recordkeeper, needed to move all of the school’s 20,000 accounts
to one platform. It also was tasked with creating branding—building a perception of the
school’s new “retirement plan for all,” whereas, until now, each participant had thought
in terms of his own personal account with TIAA.
Both undertakings were daunting in scope, yet perhaps the greatest challenge to
the TIAA team was complexity. It needed to complete the changeover on schedule, to
make way for the school to replace its payroll system two months after.
Project Transition Manager Mike Minutolo concurs about the complexity.
“Normally, a client isn’t going through a payroll conversion at the time it’s outsourcing
administrative recordkeeping service. So there was just that much more coordination
that needed to happen.”
TIAA successfully made the changeover, which involved, in part, adapting its plat-
form to handle the school’s new requirements. It also assumed some of the plan admin-
istration previously done by the school. To keep the project on schedule, Minutolo, who
also oversaw the information technology (IT) dimension for TIAA, created several
contingency plans; this let the team reorder the go-live dates if pieces of the project
began to fall behind. “We had a seamless launch of all the various deliverables because
of this approach,” he says.
To ease the change for participants, TIAA reached out to them through town hall
meetings, individual meetings with advisers and outbound calls, says team member
Stephen Campbell, relationship manager for the client. Especially important, the school
thought, was that communications be easy to understand. TIAA’s team Communications
Manager Kelley Lueders “did a fabulous job,” the school wrote, referring to the array of
educational materials she produced, customized for several distinct participant groups—
and all clearly expressed. Throughout, the project, Lueders handled the branding.
The final result was a project completed on time with minimal participant disruption: A mere few participants sought further clarification. Today, all participants
can now benefit from improved plan services such as a redesigned and mobile-ready
website, dedicated telephone support team, and expanded financial advice, as well as
reduced fees. “[TIAA’s] planning, design and execution were extraordinary,” the plan
sponsor says. “I’ve been involved with many large, complex implementations in my
career, and this was as good as they get.” —Karen Wittwer
FROM LEFT: Stephen Campbell
and Mike Minutolo