The retirement savings industry has grown conflicted, opaque, and inefficient. There is currently over $10 trillion invested with employer-sponsored retirement plans in the U.S., yet less than half of all workers participate.* Additionally, nearly one-third of American households 55 and over have no form of retirement savings,** while the industry hemorrhages billions in unnecessary fees annually. Complexity, high and hidden fees, conflicts of interests, and increasing legal risks have made the industry untenable.
Marcado is a new kind of consulting firm, designed intentionally to confront such inefficiencies. This is why, with over twenty years collective experience in asset management and investment consulting, we have launched our firm. Our values and unique business model specifically engage industry shortfalls, adding value to our clients, making retirement investment more cost efficient and less of a headache for plan sponsors.
Where the industry is plagued with conflicts of interest, Marcado is designed to be independent.
There's no cross-selling into higher margin products and no third-party contracts.
While the industry hemorrhages billions in unnecessary fees, Marcado charges flat fees only.
Our clients get fair, transparent pricing that is often 50% of the industry average,*** and our fees don't grow artificially with the asset-base.
The industry is overly complex, so Marcado focuses on simplifying plan management.
We know the retirement plan isn't your core business, but it's still important. In fact, it's vital for the futures of plan participants.
In a landscape dominated by big firms and big firm bureaucracy, Marcado stays flexible and efficient.
We focus on one thing: comprehensive retirement plan services.
THE MARCADO TEAM
Nathan J. Sharp, Principal
Nathan hails from Evansville, Indiana, where he grew up dreaming of becoming a calmer version of Bobby Knight. He spent an enormous amount of time on the basketball court but learned heart will only take you so far. Upon graduating from Vanderbilt University with a degree in math, his love for kids and coaching led him to the public school system of inner-city Washington D.C. Nathan looks back on his years teaching elementary school and coaching basketball there as some of the most challenging yet fulfilling years of his life.
Nathan's love of numbers also led him to explore work with actuarial firms–another one of his life-long dreams (albeit one that was harder to share with teen peers). It was dating, and later marrying, a native Texan that tipped the scales. In 2002, Nathan began his career in the retirement industry in Austin.
With over 15 years working with retirement plans, Nathan's true passion lies in the mathematics of finance, particularly as it applies to portfolio construction, asset allocation, and tax-saving retirement plan contribution formulas. He has helped design and manage plans with more than $1 billion in assets down to plans that were just starting out, and this work led him to be named one of the “Top 50 Under 40 Retirement Plan Advisers” by NAPA in 2016. Having developed a love for helping clients simplify their plans (and disappointment with the industry's movement toward creating more noise and inefficiency), he launched Marcado in 2017 with an eye toward doing things differently. Nathan earned the AIF® designation in 2010 and is a CFA Exam Level 3 candidate.
Nathan and his wife Stacy are certified foster parents and active members of their community and church in San Antonio. Their home is quite busy, with three biological children, a foster child at times, and a rescue dog named Frida.
ANDREW W. BRONSON, PRINCIPAL
Andrew grew up in Baltimore and moved to Dallas as a teenager. It was there that he began working with and leading an inner-city kids’ day camp. These were largely underprivileged, refugee children from Southeast Asia whose families emigrated to the US during wartime, and it was through working with these children that Andrew realized he could use his talents to help others in ways that were "off the balance sheet."
After graduating from Vanderbilt University with a BA in Economics, Andrew went to work with the asset management company Archon Group, a fully-owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, commissioned to invest on behalf of the Whitehall Street Funds. Andrew’s seven years with Archon centered on management of real estate and loan portfolios across four global offices, including a three-year stint in Bangkok, Thailand.
Impacted by what he experienced living in Thailand, he returned to Asia with his wife Becky, working for the Christian non-profit Mission to the World. They spent seven years there managing projects in support of church-planting, mercy initiatives, and micro-enterprise. Along the way, they both earned masters degrees from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. Andrew continues to support the work in Thailand through development and project consulting, and as a way to maintain his proficiency in the Thai language. The Bronsons have two boys, ages six and three.
Andrew and Nathan met at Vanderbilt and the two have been close friends ever since, including a visit from Nathan to Bangkok where the two actually fought each other in a Muay Thai kick-boxing ring...and survived to one day be business partners.
David V. Ta, Applications Systems Coordinator
David is a creative and entrepreneurial IT consultant. As an entrepreneur, he helped co-found a San Diego-based IT consulting service called UNI, which exists to serve SMEs in streamlining and improving their productivity through the latest software and cloud solutions. He is passionate about helping his clients identify inefficiencies and increase their productivity, while emphasizing people first, then technology. Technology exists at the end of the day to assist people, and if people thrive, their businesses follow. He currently serves as the technology coordinator for Marcado.
His other work experience includes serving as a technical lead at both UCSD Academic and Media Services and at Titleist. David has also served in Bangkok as a nonprofit worker through MTW (Mission to the World), where he was in charge of developing a technology media team that was focused on content curation, social media, and streaming. He is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego and is married to his wife Reagan. He enjoys studying productivity hacks and graphic design in his spare time.
* Estimates from a February 21, 2017 Bloomberg report based on 2016 U.S. Census Bureau research.
** U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates.
*** Based on the Fee Benchmarker report by Ann Schlek & Co., as of April 2019 75% of Marcado’s clients were charged flat fees equal to 50% or less than industry averages given relevant plan size.