Legg Mason Invests in a Retirement Plan Startup
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Friday, April 15, 2016

Legg Mason Invests in a Retirement Plan Startup

Legg Mason is backing a new startup in an attempt to tackle the so-called retirement coverage crisis.

Today Gary Kleinschmidt, head of DC I-O sales at the Baltimore-based multi-boutique, confirms that Legg [profile] has taken a 30-percent stake in Sarasota, Florida-based iVEZT. iVEZT's first offering is the EZ IRA, a kind of simplified retirement plan savings vehicle that still takes advantage of the power of workplace benefits and payroll deduction.

Jeff Harris, CEO of workers' comp outsourcing shop Cennairus Financial, is the leader of iVEZT and owns the other 70 percent of the startup. Aspire, an open-architecture recordkeeper for 401(k)s and other retirement plans, is handling recordkeeping and administration for iVEZT's EZ IRA platform. And naturally the investment lineup for the new platform features funds from Legg and its affiliates.

To get the EZ IRA out there to small businesses, the allies will be connecting with both local advisors and local payroll companies.

"We're going to market through the payroll companies to all their new plans," Kleinschmidt tells MFWire. "And we'll have an advisor locator."

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