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Francis Investment Counsel Recognized as "Best in Class"


"By definition, the phrase "best in class" denotes the highest current performance level - one that may be used as a goal to be equaled or exceeded." - PLANSPONSOR Magazine


Brookfield, Wisconsin
– Since 2004, Francis Investment Counsel has been committed to achieving the best retirement outcomes for their clients. This commitment extends to their own employees, and for this reason, the firm is honored that its own 401(k) plan was recently recognized as a 2015 "Best in Class" plan by PLANSPONSOR Magazine.

As part of its annual defined contribution plan survey, PLANSPONSOR reviewed 4,500 plans across the nation. An independent panel of industry experts then rated each plan considering criteria such as plan design, oversight, and participant outcomes. From these evaluations, just 29 plans received the "Best in Class" recognition, demonstrating exceptional design and procedures, as well as effective utilization by plan participants. The Francis Investment Counsel plan further differentiated itself as the only micro-plan recognized as "Best in Class."

“This is an incredible honor for our Firm, and it ratifies our belief that the plan design strategies and oversight procedures that we advise our clients to implement truly represent industry best practices,” said Michael Francis, President of Francis Investment Counsel. “To think that from a pool of over 4,500 plans the Francis plan would stand among the most highly regarded by industry experts is truly gratifying. It is a testament to our employees as well; they obviously are practicing what they preach.”


2015 represents the inaugural year for PLANSPONSOR’s “Best in Class” designation, and formal recognition was given to each plan at the PLANSPONSOR National Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The complete list of the 2015 "Best in Class" plans, along with PLANSPONSOR's criteria for the recognition, can be found here.

PLANSPONSOR's 2015 Best in Class 401(k) Plan recognition received based on response to Asset International's 2014 PLANSPONSOR Defined Contribution Survey. Entries on behalf of 3,802 401(k) plans were received. No submission fees were required. Plan entries were rated through a proprietary system that weighted usage/implementation of more than 30 criteria related to plan design, oversight/governance and participant outcomes, with numeric scores assigned to each attribute. Plans that achieved a total score of more than 90 points, on a 100-point scale, were designated as “Best in Class.” Francis Investment Counsel's own 401(k) plan was one of the 29 plans recognized in the inaugural year of the award. Plans may be recognized only once with PLANSPONSOR's "Best in Class" designation. Francis Investment Counsel is not affiliated with, does not receive remuneration from, or provide remuneration to Asset International.

More About Francis Investment Counsel
Francis Investment Counsel LLC is a fee-only Registered Investment Adviser that focuses on providing independent investment consulting and employee education services to the qualified plan marketplace. As an ERISA fiduciary, the firm delivers conflict-free investment advisory services to plan sponsors and also offers extensive education and personal financial advice to plan participants. To learn more, visit