The Entrust Group, Inc., a self-directed retirement account provider with an operations center in Reno, launched a health savings account product, The Entrust Self-Directed HAS. Holders use the accounts to pay for current or future medical expenses, when combined with a high deductible health care plan.
"Our industry is small but growing rapidly," says Keith Stunck, director of development and training at The Entrust Group's Reno office. "Companies like ours administer 3 percent of the health savings account market. But our business grows 30 percent annually in assets and accounts."
Reno became operations center of the company in 2006, and northern Nevada is home to support staff such as training and support, marketing and sales. It employs eight at its office on Double Boulevard. Founded in 1982, the company is based in Oakland, Calif.
"We plan to be in all 50 states by the end of 2010 and will increase staff at the Reno office proportionately," says Stunck. Entrust Group has established 27 franchise locations since it began selling franchises in 1991.
Sales are handled by franchisees while the Reno office provides training and marketing materials, says
Stunck. One franchise operation operates out of the Reno office.
To serve a customer base that's 25 percent business and 75 percent individual investors, Stunck says, "We train 25,000 to 30,000 individuals each year on how to invest health savings account funds."
The challenge in this business, he says, is letting people know they can take control of their own investment needs. And that a wide array of investment vehicles exists, not just the IRA or 401K.
Each franchised office presents three to four seminars a week, offered through universities and at Entrust Group offices. Sales outreach is handled through CPAs, Realtors and financial planners.
Entrust does not recommend or represent investments, as does a stockbroker, but rather acts as administrator and conduit to custodians such as banks of individual investment choices, he explains. The industry is governed by banking guidelines and regulated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.