Walker MacRae Inc., Manchester, N.H., is the only defined contribution provider named for a Western TV star and the keepers of a Scottish castle.
And the group is making a play for offering defined contribution plan services in unexpected ways too. Just as there are no Walkers or MacRaes at the firm, this new provider does not actually provide any services in-house but contracts with others to offer unbundled-type arrangements for smaller plan sponsors.
It supplies plan sponsors with transparent pricing that shows how the revenue sharing is applied to the cost of the plan.
"We don't provide retirement plan services, we make them more efficient," said Alan Valenca, Walker MacRae's senior vice president of sales. All revenue shared by mutual funds, investment managers or other service providers is deposited in a special account from which plan expenses are paid, he said. Any excess is available to be allocated to participant accounts.
And what about the name?
"Well, Walker MacRae are family names," said J. Lake Killgore, chief operating officer and one of the firm's seven founders. "Walker is the maiden name of my mother's favorite grandmother." That grandmother's sister is the mother of cowboy actor Clint Walker.
MacRae is a family name of Lance M. Roberts, Walker MacRae senior vice president and co-founder. In Scotland, the MacRaes were the protectors and the hereditary keepers of Eilean Donan, a castle set at the meeting of three Highland lochs. The castle, built in the 13th century by Alexander II of Scotland, was destroyed when its store of gunpowder blew up during a Jacobite uprising in 1719. It stood in ruins until 1912, when John MacRae spent 20 years rebuilding it. Today, Eilean Donan is the most photographed castle in Scotland.
"We were fortunate to have great names to work with," Ms. Killgore said.