State-sponsored 529 college savings programs shoulder many responsibilities related to the successful ongoing execution of their program, such as making investment decisions, monitoring operational processes, and enhancing participants’ online experience in order to attract new accounts and increase contributions to existing ones. These obligations may be overwhelming and daunting, which is why they turn to firms like Gemini for their program’s management and administration. Our focus is to improve operational efficiency, increase participation, and enhance the overall experience for both the state and 529 plan participants, all at a competitive price.
The Gemini Difference
In addition to being a service provider, we are your partner. Gemini developed from Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) roots, and we remain close to this community. This background and continued connection means we deeply understand how to successfully distribute and market retail investment products. We are much more than just an administrator.
Gemini offers you and your participants comprehensive and engaged personal services and is backed by the financial strength of NorthStar Financial Services Group, whose combined size gives us the strength to enhance our relationships and maintain more robust tools and resources to empower our partners. Additionally, we are technology innovators who can improve your interactivity with your participants and connect you with a new generation of savers.
529 Plan Services
Increasing plan participation is a major 529 plan policy objective, putting a large focus on the enrollment and service experience, as well as marketing and distribution to increase awareness and plan reach. Accordingly, Gemini, in collaboration with our sister firms in the NorthStar family, offers both marketing leadership and supplemental support for 529 plans, and can act as the named distributor to support sales efforts and marketing compliance.
Specifically, through our shared services model, Gemini and NorthStar can provide your plan many valuable services including:
Governance and fiduciary solutions
Participant servicing and recordkeeping
Back and middle office function support
Regulatory compliance and oversight to meet industry standards and best practices
Full agency-level range of marketing support in a lead or supplemental capacity
Providing non-proprietary investment line-ups as the named advisor or with third party investment advisors
Custody and trading services
Dedicated client service for advisors and investors
Website, Mobile, and Robo-Advisor
Gemini’s 529 participant web portal is mobile friendly, easy to navigate, and includes transactional and video capability. We also offer the industry’s first robo-advisor capability adapted to the 529 market.
For state sponsored 529 programs moving plan administration over to Gemini, we have established a highly effective implementation process and built an experienced transition team to move the program seamlessly and swiftly.
Security of Information
NorthStar and its subsidiaries, including Gemini, have been issued a third-party certification for adherence to the requirements of ISO/IEC 27001 principles, a set of rigorous global information security management standards (ISMS) designed to reflect industry best practices for safeguarding confidential information against potential threats. This demonstrates our commitment to preventing unauthorized access and fraudulent use of confidential information.
The state-sponsored 529 community has welcomed Gemini’s services for these savings plans. We have memberships in the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) and the College Savings Foundation (CSF), which, among others, allow for strategic thinking across the community, and are integral to the advocacy of 529 and ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) plans, as well as other state-sponsored initiatives.