As seen in 401kWire.com – Thursday, February 11, 2021
The whole team at an Atlanta area TPA is staying on after the firm was acquired last month, and that was a key factor in the decision, according to the firm’s chief.
Allison Hawkins — owner of Sugar Hill, Georgia-based R. Bruce Tanner & Associates (RBT) before selling to The Retirement Advantage (TRA) at the beginning of the year as previously reported — confirms that she fielded several bids, two from national firms and one from a local firm. Making sure that the whole six-person RBT team “would have a place” with the acquirer was part of why she went with Appleton, Wisconsin-based TRA, Hawkins says.
“I just liked their approach of keeping everything kind of business as usual,” Hawkins tells 401kWire. “I think it’s good for the clients, and I think that’s smart business on the part of TRA.”
“We are staying in our office space,” Hawkins says, adding that she hopes the TRA team puts down roots in the area. “Atlanta is a great market.”
As for why she decided to sell, Hawkins points to the rise of MEPs, PEPs, and SARPs as one factor, and the ongoing pandemic as another.
“I love the business. Business is good,” Hawkins says. “COVID took a toll.”
R. Bruce Tanner, Hawkins’ father, founded his eponymous TPA in 1980.
“I came to work for him right out of college,” Hawkins says.
When Tanner retired in 2008, Hawkins took over the company.
“I really had to pick up the bootstraps and learn how to do sales and marketing,” Hawkins says.
Now, Hawkins says, Tanner has been telling her to get out and enjoy life.
“My parents are aging. I’m aging,” Hawkins says. “It might be nice not to be the boss.”
“We had a nice offer from a great company. It just seemed like the right thing to do,” Hawkins adds. “Also, it seemed like the right thing to do for my employees … Our clients are long-term, too. That was a big consideration.”