Vince Spina – President, BPAS Actuarial & Pension Services, BPAS Healthcare Consulting Services
At BPAS, our team leaders play a crucial role in shaping the present and future of our company. But beyond their titles and official bios, we wanted to share a little bit more about these extraordinary individuals. Rather than write a simple profile, we wanted to have each one tell us who they are in their own words. So, we sent them a series of questions about their work and their backgrounds, and we asked them to answer their favorites.
Every so often we’ll post their answers and let you learn a little more than you might expect from our team leaders.
1. What experiences led to your joining BPAS and becoming a Team Leader?
In 2003, I was a Partner at PricewaterhouseCooper serving in the role of Market Leader of their Global Human Resources office in Syracuse. My 15 years there gave me exposure to clients in many industries: finance, retail, higher education, healthcare, manufacturing and government, and ranging in size from start-ups to billions of dollars in revenue.
It was an ideal start to a business career. Because of Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, our particular office was looking at having to disengage from a large block of our business. This new law precluded PricewaterhouseCooper from serving as both an auditor for a company, and as an actuary for the plans that the company sponsored.
I then received a call from Barry Kublin (BPAS CEO) who said, “because of Sarbanes-Oxley, you might have to let some staff go, and we might be interested in having them join us.” My response was, “why not buy the whole thing?”
That call was in February 2003, and we joined BPAS on August 1, 2003; a pretty quick open-to-close transaction! It’s been an exhilarating ride ever since, and I love being part of an entrepreneurial atmosphere with the structure and support of a disciplined public company. It’s been an ideal place to combine efforts in a very client- focused culture, regardless of whether the client is the plan participant or plan sponsor.
2. How would you describe your leadership position and the role you play with BPAS?
I oversee the side of BPAS that deals with the design, implementation, and administration of defined benefit programs; all plans that are self-funded by the sponsor, either pension or healthcare. Because these plans are self-funded with specific levels of benefits provided, often many years or decades into the future, we have a heavy actuarial foundation. This allows us to partner with sponsors to help them more effectively manage these plans in a financially efficient manner.
3. In the current economic climate, what can small business owners do to reach their retirement goals?
The most important thing that one can do to meet retirement goals is to have a plan. Like all good plans, it requires starting at the finish and working backwards. When people do this planning, they will almost certainly come to the conclusion that they will need to save and invest more than they are currently doing. It is because people are living longer and the interest and growth environment is considerably lower than in the past. And, by far the most efficient way to save is through tax-qualified plans such as 401(k) and cash balance plans.
4. What keeps you up at night?
I sleep very soundly. On the one hand, I know that collectively the country has made promises to its citizens in the form of Social Security and Medicare that it cannot keep without dramatic changes. And the longer we wait to make changes, the more draconian the changes will be. But Winston Churchill said, “America always does the right thing, after exhausting every other option first.” We haven’t even gotten to the point where we are examining options yet so things are going to get rocky in the next 5 to 10 years. But in my heart, I am very optimistic and know we will eventually work through all of our “mess.”
5. When you worked at PricewaterhouseCooper, were you ever involved with tallying the Oscar votes?
No, that was strictly on the audit side of the house, and a West Coast “plum job.” The closest I have come to show business is a cameo role in a low-budget film called “King Lee.” My IMDB profile is here. It also means I am only four degrees from Kevin Bacon. You can see for yourself at http://oracleofbacon.org/ by searching on Vinny Spina.