Manifest makes 401(k) transfers efficient and seamless.
When workers change employers, they sometimes leave behind more than the company they used to worked for; often, they also leave behind retirement accounts they might have started. It can be a hassle for both employers and employees to transfer and consolidate these accounts, and especially for those who often change jobs. It’s estimated that $2.5 billion is lost every year because of inefficiencies caused by transfers. As the number of individuals switching positions is on the rise, as much as 60% of employees with account balances under $15,000 cash out, while others leave account balances behind instead of going through the currently arduous transfer process.
Manifest co-founder and CEO Meenakshi Lakshmanan has found a way to tackle this problem via a propietary online platform that streamlines the process of transferring 401(k) earnings. A senior engineer and vice president at Goldman Sachs, Lakshmanan was also in her first year of an MBA program at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2017 when she met Anuraag Tripathi, who had also started a business to tackle the same problem. The two decided to join forces and in January of 2018, presented their concept at Booth’s fintech student challenge, where they took the top prize of $10,000.
In May of 2018, the duo and their team, who have worked in the 401(k) space and built similar technologies in the brokerage industry, were among the 11 start-up finalists that presented at the prestigious New Venture Challenge at Booth’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship. Manifest won the grand prize there, too, receiving over $315,000 in seed funding to test their concept (GBC Founder & CEO Linnea Roberts, who holds an MBA from Booth, was among the judges at the Challenge).
By selling its solution to 401(k) providers and pairing with their existing record keeping systems, Manifest can maximize providers’ assets and decrease their administrative expenses.