Paul Sommerstad, AIF®, QPFC®



Client Advisory


Paul is a Partner in the firm’s Retirement Plan Services Group. He has more than fifteen years of experience in the retirement plan industry and specializes in helping organizations understand how plan design can dramatically improve their employees’ ability to successfully retire and how proper governance can limit personal fiduciary liability. Paul has worked with a variety of public, private, and nonprofit organizations providing them with proven strategies that have resulted in improved outcomes for thousands of retirement plan participants. He is an ardent researcher of behavioral economics and prides himself in using plain language to help plan committees and participants accomplish their goals and objectives.

Prior to joining Cerity Partners, Paul was a Senior ERISA Consultant with Blue Prairie Group where his expertise in vendor negotiations resulted in lower total plan and administrative costs and improved service levels for institutional clients of all sizes.


  • B.A. in Financial Management, University of St. Thomas – Opus School of Business


  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary
  • Qualified Plan Financial Consultant
  • Certified Behavioral Finance Analyst (CBFA)
  • PLANADVISER 2024 Top Retirement Plan Advisers

Q & A


What inspired you to pursue your career in financial management? How?

Neither of my parents were in financial services, though my mother was a public school elementary teacher for 40 years. Her love of helping others flowed through to me and I was pretty good with numbers growing up. Now I’m focused on leveraging behavioral psychology to improve the lives of Americans while reducing their daily stress.

Was there a specific incident in your life that made it clear you were made for this career?

Serving as a captain of our football team in college helped teach me effective leadership and communication skills. Observing retirement plan committee meetings while I interned in college further shaped my awareness of committee dynamics and behavioral psychology. To this day, I learn something new about how our brains work and that is why I enjoy this opportunity to serve so many hard working people.

What should your clients know the most about you?

I love karaoke. If we ever get the chance to sing some Prince songs together, let’s do it!

What do you do in your personal life that helps you help your clients?

Krisanthy and I have two young boys, 5 and 2 years old, and they keep us quite active. One important skill that we practice every day with our boys is active listening. Affirming their feelings, watching their body language for cues and distilling complex topics down to words they understand are part of my daily life at home and with my valued clients.

What does the world need now more than anything?

A genuine empathy for those who have different lived experiences than our own. Listen first, speak later.

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