Our logo represents the philosophy and mission of Mark D. Mensack, LLC. In medieval times knighthood was associated with the ideals of chivalry and honor. From this era we also get the original definition of “champion;” a champion was one who fought on behalf of another to protect their honor or rights. Today a champion might also be defined as an advocate.
“Prudent” comes from the Latin “prudens” meaning foresight. Today it can mean cautious, wary, reasonable or of sound judgment. Prudence also describes the primary duty of all fiduciaries according to the Uniform Prudent Investor Act (UPIA) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA.)
Whether you have fiduciary responsibility as a 401k plan sponsor, as a member of a non-profit board of directors, or as some other sort of trustee, your first fiduciary duty is that of prudence. Prudence demands one to act “with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent man acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims.” ERISA 404(a)(1)(B)
Due to the phrase “familiar with such matters,” this definition of the Prudent Person Rule has been interpreted as the Prudent Expert Rule. Regardless, in Brussian v. RJR Nabisco the 5th Circuit Court stated that “Fiduciary obligations are among the “highest known to the law.”” An executive summary of ERISA Fiduciary Risk can be found here.
While all fiduciaries are held to this standard, few are familiar with the fiduciary standards found in the UPIA or ERISA. Fewer still realize that a fiduciary can be held personally liable if they breach these highest obligations known to the law.
Mark D. Mensack, LLC. is your Prudent Champion in the fiduciary arena protecting retirement plan sponsors, board members and trustees from fiduciary breaches.