Spokane Journal of Business

Randall & Hurley acquires Montana firm

Retirement plan administrator employs 50 people in all now

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-—Samantha Peone
Randall & Hurley shareholders include, left to right, Janet Porco, Marc McCall, and Lynn Hurley.

Spokane-based retirement administration services company Randall & Hurley Inc. has purchased another retirement plan administrator, Helena, Mont.-based Employee Benefit Resources, says Lynn Hurley, president of Randall & Hurley.

With the acquisition, finalized Jan. 1, the firm’s Helena office now serves as Randall & Hurley’s second physical location, she says.

Randall & Hurley is an independent, third-party administrator that primarily focuses on providing administration for employer-sponsored retirement plans, including 401(k) accounts and defined benefit plans, among others.

Headquartered at 1328 N. Whitman Lane, in Liberty Lake, Randall & Hurley occupies 12,000 square feet at its Spokane County office. Its new Montana office covers 5,500 square feet at 828 Great Northern Blvd., in Helena.

Last year,  Randall & Hurley’s revenue totaled $4.7 million, says Hurley. With the addition of the Montana office, she projects 2018’s revenue will be $7.1 million. 

The company now employs 50 people, 45 of whom work full time. Thirty-five employees work out of the Liberty Lake headquarters.

Representatives of the two concerns have known each other for 20 years, she says.

“This is a firm we’ve actually worked pretty close with. We’ve done some projects and have a lot of mutual respect,” she says. “The firm also utilizes the same software system and the same approach we take when we serve our clients.”

Hurley says some companies within the industry are consolidating because it’s more efficient and helps alleviate pressures of rising industry costs, such as technology expenses.

Much retirement plan information is now available online, and required software can be expensive. Because of the extensive amount of confidential information plan administrators manage, many of them also invest significant financial resources into cybersecurity, which she says is a huge priority for Randall & Hurley.

In the case of Randall & Hurley, Hurley describes a third-party administrator as an organization that manages retirement plans and maintains required record keeping as prescribed by the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Department of Labor rules and regulations.

“We don’t do any kind of investment. We don’t sell any kind of products, so we stay completely independent,” she says.

Locally, Randall & Hurley has expanded with the flourishing economy, she says.

“The economy has not only brought in new retirement plans, but the plans we are currently administering are getting bigger,” she says.

Clients include Columbia Surgical Specialists PS, Inland Imaging LLC, Red Lion Hotels Corp., and Wheatland Bank, she says.

Most of the Randall & Hurley’s clients are located within the Inland Empire, but the company works with clients throughout the U.S. Hurley says she’s seen some recent growth in Seattle-area clientele.

With the Montana acquisition, the Randall & Hurley now administers 1,200 retirement plans, she says.

Randall & Hurley started training “junior consultants” three or four years ago, she says. The company typically elevates one or two junior consultants to consultants each year.

Some of Randall & Hurley’s strength lies in the expertise of its highly credentialed staff, Hurley asserts.

The company boasts five actuaries and 20 other employees with various certifications credentialed under the American Retirement Association, she says.

Co-founder Clay Randall also holds a law degree and specializes in Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 law, she says.

The company also offers clients the ability to customize webpages for their employees on Randall & Hurley’s website. If clients choose to do that, their employees don’t see Randall & Hurley’s website when they seek retirement information, says Hurley. Instead, they see information provided by their employer’s human resources division, including appropriate electronic forms for participating in the plans.

That also helps clients promote their plans to employees, she says.

“A lot of clients are really gravitating towards that, because their HR departments know that they really need to be promoting that benefit,” she says.

Clients invest significant amounts of money into their retirement plans, and they also want to help their employees build a secure retirement nest egg, she says.

“Our big focus here in our office … is retirement readiness. We’ve got to get employees ready for retirement because there’s going to be a crisis out there,” she says. “A lot of people are worrying about Social Security (running out before they retire), so this is going to help them get there and have a safe and secure retirement income.”

Since its inception, Randall & Hurley has growth through eight acquisitions. Prior to buying Employee Benefit Resources, Randall & Hurley’s most recent acquisition was Martin, Bircher, Thompson PC, of Kirkland, Wash., in 2007.

Randall & Hurley opened in 1995. Hurley founded the business with Clay Randall, who has since sold his shares and is semiretired. Hurley, Janet Porco, and Marc McCall are the current shareholders of the company, says Hurley.

Samantha Peone
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Reporter Samantha Peone joined the Journal in 2015 as research coordinator before later transitioning into a reporter role. She covers real estate and construction.

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