The Innovator Jesse Taylor

RPAG’s Senior Vice President of Business Development, Jesse Taylor, is one of the most influential people in the industry when it comes to innovative ideas and solutions. We recently caught up with him to hear about his career journey, thoughts on the industry’s future, and how he keeps things positive while making big moves in business development.

From Humble Beginnings to Industry Leadership

Jesse’s journey into business development began with a strong foundation rooted in family. "I grew up in a 401(k) family," he shares. "My dad started a TPA called Qualified Benefits (QBI) in 1978 and grew it into one the nation’s largest. While I never necessarily wanted to get into the 401(k) industry, I think I was always destined for it." His sister, Jennifer Love, also followed a similar path, is now one of Fidelity’s top wholesalers.

Initially, Jesse started his career in the advertising industry, but the economic downturn during the Great Recession led him to explore opportunities in financial services. Through a combination of luck and persistence, he connected with RPAG’s founders, Nick Della Vedova and Vince Giovinazzo, in 2009, as they were looking to expand RPAG. He began his journey with them in 2010 as a Sales and Marketing Assistant, quickly proving his value by helping to launch e401k after becoming an RFP Analyst in his first year.

A Dynamic Career Path

Throughout his tenure at RPAG, he has held various roles that have allowed him to grow and evolve. He worked on the RPAG Support Team and switched over to Marketing in in 2012, servicing as the firm’s Marketing Director until 2020. He explains, “I was – and still am – passionate about marketing and how powerful it can be to help communicate your firm’s values and mission.” During this period, he helped rebrand RPAG, launch flexPATH Strategies, and deeply integrated himself into the industry through marketing. "I got to see firsthand how advisors run and operate their businesses and how they leverage RPAG to build scale."

By 2020, as The Pandemic changed the business landscape, he embraced the opportunity to take over sales and business development for RPAG. "From day-one, my goal has always been to help advisors be successful," he says. "It’s a butterfly effect. What you do can have a massive impact with potentially millions of hardworking Americans by helping advisors help their clients."

Building and Maintaining Client Relationships

In the relationship-based industry of retirement plan consulting, Jesse emphasizes the importance of building and maintaining strong client relationships. "We provide technology and resources, and advisors provide a service to their customers. Everything we do is about relationships," he notes. His approach is simple yet effective: treat everyone with kindness and respect. "Clients that you lose could move companies down the road and hopefully they had such a positive experience, that they want to work with you in the future."

Overcoming Challenges with Grace

Reflecting on a significant challenge, he recalls a major sales opportunity in 2018. Despite putting together a meticulously crafted RFP and presenting it flawlessly, Jesse did not win the business. "Losing with grace is important," he says. "Just because it didn’t work out today doesn’t mean it won’t work out down the road." Keeping that relationship alive eventually brought the client to RPAG five years later.

Milestones and Growth

Several milestones have shaped his approach to business development. Presenting at the RPAG National Conference on the Main Stage in his first year with the firm, closing his his first RPAG membership deal in 2020, and bringing in the firm’s largest client to date in 2022 were significant achievements. Celebrating 5 and 10-year anniversaries with the company also marked his ongoing commitment to RPAG. "I’ve been tremendously fortunate to have so much mentorship from all the senior leaders at RPAG, as well as my friends and former colleagues from NFP," he adds.

Advice for Aspiring Professionals

For those aspiring to enter a business development role in the retirement planning industry, he offers sage advice: "The retirement plan consulting industry is noble. At RPAG, we are humble servants to our clients. The people who do the best in our industry always want to help the most amount of people. When I talk to the younger team members at RPAG, I like to remind them that everything they do can make an impact. Our members work with over 120,000 companies in the US, serving over 10 million Americans. Every conversation, email, system or marketing resource can provide better results and outcomes, ultimately helping people retire successfully."

Vision for the Future

Looking ahead, he envisions a future where RPAG continues to evolve and lead the market. "For myself, I want to continue learning from others on how to be a good leader and inspire others. My vision for RPAG is to stay at the forefront of technology and offer solutions that make a significant impact.”

His journey at RPAG is a testament to the power of persistence, adaptability, and a deep commitment to client success. As he continues to lead and innovate, there is no doubt that he will drive RPAG to new heights, making a lasting impact on the retirement planning industry.


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