Court House

Team Leader Profile – Stephen S. Hand

Meet BPAS Team Leader Stephen S. Hand who talks about collective investment funds and opportunity in Texas.

Aug 30, 2016

collective investment fundsPresident, Hand Benefits & Trust, a BPAS Company

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 about our team leaders.

1. How would you describe your leadership position and the key role you play with BPAS?

As President of Hand Benefits & Trust, a BPAS Company, I oversee all aspects of the business. It’s important that we create a culture of employees that are self-sufficient, with the ability to adapt to change and grow as the company grows. Our employees are empowered and equipped with appropriate resources to complete their jobs. Our culture fosters group thinking with an understanding that management is open to hearing new administrative or product ideas that would benefit the company.

2. What are the benefits of pooled collective funds for participants and plan sponsors?

The 401k market has been trending toward lower cost investment options. Collective Investment Funds are only available to qualified retirement plans. They are not sold to the public like mutual funds that historically have been the primary investment vehicle for 401k plans. Collective Investment Trusts (CITs) can be managed with lower administration expenses versus mutual funds. CITs offer economies of scale without the additional marketing, regulatory, and legal costs associated with registered mutual funds.

This benefits not only lowers the expenses of the fund but generates potentially higher returns by not having retail investors’ cash flows negatively affect the fund, a condition which is common with mutual funds.

3. Do you find being based in Texas gives you a different perspective on things?

Hand Benefits & Trust (a BPAS Company) has been in Texas since 1963 and regulated by the Texas Department of Banking. So, from a business perspective, we are in a great environment and culture for growing our business. Houston has a population of 6 million people with a pool of talented professionals in our industry.

From a regulatory perspective, we are the envy of the nation. Texas is well known for being a great place to have a Trust Company. The Texas Banking Department regulators are some of the best in the business. Our relationship with the Department is very strong with a culture of mutual respect. The goal is for them to be sure we are well capitalized and performing the trust activities in accordance with the appropriate regulations.