Meet the Team
Over 25 Years of payment processing leadership and industry innovation.
Kevin Spaeth has been working in the defined contribution retirement space with a focus on 401(k) plans since 1997. His broad background in many facets of the industry – Third Party Administrators, recordkeepers, a mutual fund company and an advisory firm – brings a unique and valuable perspective to the PenChecks team. Kevin began his career with Merrill Lynch after graduating from Seton Hall University, and relocated to the West Coast in 2001 to help American Funds build their PlanPremier product. Since 2006, he has focused on working with TPAs. He managed sales for National Retirement Services’ west coast offices before moving on to work for Great-West, helping them build their TPA programs. While at Great-West, Kevin helped the company transform into Empower. Kevin is a member of the National Institute of Pension Administrators, and serves on the Membership and Industry Ambassador committees. He served two terms as president of the Western Pension Benefit Council’s Los Angeles chapter, and currently sits on the board of the Portland chapter.
Prior to joining PenChecks, Kevin worked for the largest recordkeeper in the TPA space, Empower, for 10 years. During that time he learned how different TPAs work and what’s important to them. He also learned how recordkeepers think. This is important for PenChecks to improve integrations with recordkeepers, thus providing better service to their TPAs.
“I joined PenChecks’ because several friends in the industry told me it’s a great company and a great place to work,” says Kevin. “What really got my attention is PenChecks’ innovative culture and ‘get it done’ mindset, which allows me to be responsive and make things happen. If I have a new idea or a different perspective I know it will be listened to from top down.”
Unique Approach to Problem Solving
In a service business like PenChecks, building long-term relationships with clients is essential to success. Kevin considers the people he does business with as his friends rather than his clients. In fact, some of his best friends own or work at TPAs. He believes building friendships rather than clients creates a more open, trusting relationship that benefits both sides. Kevin also differs in his approach to one of PenChecks’ most valued attributes – problem solving.
“One of good things about friend relationships is I don’t have to sound intelligent when I don’t know the answer to something,” he says. “With the constant change in the retirement industry there are plenty of times I don’t have a solution. When that occurs I tell the friend I don’t have the answer – yet. Then I start talking and we explore what sounds reasonable and what doesn’t until we work through the problem.”
“There are a lot of challenges ahead for the people we do business with – fee compression, cyber security risks, consolidation in TPA and record-keeper marketplaces, and financial services firms divesting themselves of their retirement services divisions,” Kevin adds. “In situations like these the best solution comes from working together instead of me pretending to know it all.”
“I’m excited to work with PenChecks because they always do right by the client,” he adds. “You hear a lot about ‘doing the right thing’ from companies in our industry but you don’t see it a lot. At PenChecks I see people walking the talk day in and day out.”
The Great Outdoors
A resident of the Pacific northwest, Kevin spends much of his free time hiking in the Cascades, Columbia River Gorge, and Coastal Range. He also has a long-term goal of visiting all 423 units of the National Park Service – 109 already checked off, 314 to go. A devoted father, Kevin spends a lot of time with his three school-aged children, James, Lively and Lily.
Best piece of advice: If you don’t know the answer to a question, let the person know. Then commit to finding the answer and do it!
Calling All Career Seekers.
We’re looking for team players. Browse our current opportunities: