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Trenton Hazen

Nepsis Introduces Corporate Retirement Division

Northwestern Mutual’s Trenton Hazen will lead the new division and develop retirement plan services at the $500 million RIA.

Nepsis, a Twin Cities-based RIA founded by Chief Investment Officer Mark Pearson, has created an in-house corporate retirement plan division as it builds out a suite of family office capabilities that includes asset management, financial planning, tax planning and preparation, estate planning, insurance, business management and 401(k) services.

Trenton Hazen left Northwestern Mutual, where he spent about five years as a retirement plan specialist, to head up the new division as director of retirement plan services. 

“His role has two main objectives,” Pearson told “One is to manage the book of business that he already has and will bring over. The other is to work with our advisors to create solutions and bring in more business.” 

Assets managed by Hazen at Northwestern were not made available.  

“It’s an incredibly exciting time in the firm’s growth trajectory," Hazen shared in a statement. "This opportunity perfectly matches my interest in getting to the heart of business owners’ needs and assisting them in crafting appropriate retirement plans.”   

The latest announcement comes just months after Nepsis established an in-house tax department via acquisition, last year.  

“We think that the retirement plan business is underserved among RIAs,” Pearson said. “When you own a CPA firm like we do, along with the wealth management, your retirement plan people can work in conjunction with the CPAs and with the wealth managers in providing solutions to business owners. It's another extension of the family office framework." 

Corporate retirement capabilities have garnered growing interest in the RIA space of late, evidenced by Creative Planning’s acquisition of Mesirow’s $13 billion business late last year and Modern Wealth’s recent launch.  

Pearson expects the new division will ultimately bolster lead generation on the private wealth side while enhancing services available to existing business owner clients.  

In the near term, Nepsis is focused on hiring more CPAs and estate planning attorneys in anticipation of a tax-related announcement expected in the coming weeks.  

“I'll have to make some decisions in terms of what we need to do internally to make sure we manage that because I believe it’s going to bring us some significant opportunities,” Pearson said, declining to share more details due to legal constraints.   

The Nepsis model delivers services via a Salesforce-based technology platform leveraging AI and a stable of specialized service providers. Advisors are typically expected to act as intermediaries in a relationship management capacity. The firm reached nearly $300 million in advisory assets at the end of 2023 and Pearson said another $200 million has been onboarded this year. With 35 employees—including 14 advisors, half of whom are W-2—three associate advisors will be joining next month, and the search for another is underway. 

“We don’t want to be seen as just a linear organization of financial planning and asset management,” Pearson noted. “We want clients to be able to come in and get expertise in various areas that not only impact proactive tax planning but also proactive financial, estate, retirement investment and giving—with clarity. And I believe the retirement component is a significant step in that overall process.” 

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