Hefren-Tillotson, Inc. is a Pittsburgh-based firm serving various individual and institutional clients. With more than $7.7 billion assets under management (AUM), the fee-based financial advisor has 95 advisors who advise nearly 25,000 clients.
Hefren-Tillotson, Inc. Background
Founded in 1948 and licensed as both a securities broker-dealer and investment advisor, Hefren operates as a private wealth management firm with multiple offices throughout Pennsylvania. The firm has two offices in Pittsburgh, but it also offers advisory services through its Butler, Greensburg, Wexford and Canonsburg offices.
The firm’s management team possesses a range of backgrounds and specialties. The team includes four certified financial planners (CFPs), four chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two certified public accountants (CPAs), two accredited investment fiduciary auditor (AIFAs) and one personal financial specialist (PFS).
Hefren-Tillotson, Inc. Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Hefren serves non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, pension funds, non-profit organizations, endowments and foundations. The firm’s minimum account size varies based on account type. Specifically, the minimum sizes for its investment advisory programs generally range from $25,000 to $100,000.
Services Offered by Hefren-Tillotson, Inc.
Hefren-Tillotson primarily offers the following advisory services:
- Portfolio management
- Financial planning
- Educational seminars/workshops
Hefren-Tillotson, Inc. Investment Philosophy
The firm’s website describes its investment ideology as one that strives to earn its clients’ trust by giving them comprehensive, unbiased advice surrounding all aspects of their financial situation.
Hefren says its investment approach consists of a conservative, long-term philosophy and diversified strategy focused on asset allocation and sector weightings. The firm also regularly manages and monitors portfolios, and its advisors select investment managers with specific knowledge regarding certain areas of the market.
Fees Under Hefren-Tillotson, Inc.
The firm is primarily compensated through asset-based fees, as well as through a percentage of commission or fee-based revenue. Below are the fee schedules for Hefren’s investment advisory programs. When it comes to assets that are more than $10,000,000, the firm makes fees negotiable.
|Asset Management*, MasterPlan Pathway*, Advisory*, Pathway Pro*, Managed Account Program**|
|Amount of assets||Annual management fee|
|First $1,000,000 plus||1.00%|
|Next $1,000,000 plus||0.75%|
(*)$6.00 transaction service charge will be incurred on equity and ETF transactions
(**)Portfolio Manager Fee (0.25% - 0.80% est) for separately managed accounts
|Retirement Plan Review|
|Amount of assets||Annual management fee|
The firm charges a flat management fee of 1.0% for its American Funds F-2 Direct Program, and it charges 0.25% for its hybrid brokerage and investment portfolio review program. For the firm’s MASTERPLAN financial review, it charges hourly rates ranging from $50 to $250. For 401(k) and profit sharing plans, Hefren’s annual rates range from 0.25% to 0.75%. The firm’s personal retirement services typically require 0.35% of AUM and a minimum annual fee of $500. Hefren’s advisory fees are generally billed and payable quarterly in advance.
Hefren-Tillotson, Inc. Awards and Recognition
The firm was recently named as one of the Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2019 Best Places to Work. Companies were chosen and ranked based on online surveys completed by employees.
The firm’s executive vice president, James Meredith, was recently named one of Barron’s 2019 Top 100 Independent Wealth Advisors. The magazine recognizes advisors based off AUM, revenue generated and quality of service.
What to Watch Out For
Firm representatives can earn commissions from certain transactions, creating a conflict of interest if advisors favor commission-based products over client needs. The firm’s fiduciary obligation ensures that the firm honors and prioritizes each client’s best interest.
The firm’s Form ADV lists 15 disclosures, which primarily include regulatory action and civil judicial action disclosures. The firm’s most recent regulatory action disclosure occurred in September 2019.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) found that Hefren breached its fiduciary duty and violated Section 206(3) of the Advisers Act by receiving undisclosed financial compensation from an unaffiliated clearing broker. The case resulted in an $80,000 fine, censure, cease and desist, disgorgement of $254,060 and prejudgement interest of $45,905.29.
Opening an Account With Hefren-Tillotson, Inc.
You’ll have several options for setting up an account with Hefren. You can visit any of the firm’s Pennsylvania locations to speak with an advisor, or you can fill out the firm’s contact form on its website. You can also reach the firm’s headquarters through its toll-free number or local number. Its toll-free number is (888) 405-0990. The firm’s local number is (412) 434-0990.
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All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.