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Our History


Joe Thomson’s career in the financial services market has coincided with the baby boomer generation’s transition from wealth accumulation to retirement. From the early days of PLANCO to Pacer Financial’s current business model, Joe’s goal has always been to provide financial advisors and their baby boomer clients with investment vehicles that evolve with their needs.

1977: Founds PLANCO Thomson co-founds PLANCO, one of the first and most successful independent financial marketing and wholesaling organizations in North America.

Oldest baby boomers are in their early thirties – starting families, careers, and investing.

1984: PLANCO starts working with Hartford Financial Services

Most boomers have entered the workforce; they start to follow investments more closely.

1998: Sells PLANCO to the Hartford The success of PLANCO leads Thomson and his partners to sell PLANCO to Hartford Life Insurance Company in 1998.

Boomers are in peak earning years, figuring what they need to retire.

2004: Founds Pacer Financial Thomson founds Pacer Financial to offer low cost, tax efficient solutions to today’s investors.

Many boomers still recovering from dot com crash – trying to get back on track for retirement.

2008: Pacer Financial partners with a start-up exchange traded fund company to launch a series of ETFs. Pacer Financial is responsible for building the brand and raising approximately $650 million in assets during one of the biggest financial crises in history.

Concerns over retirement build as financial crisis worsens.

2009: Pacer Financial collaborates with an investment manager that builds ETF models for separately managed accounts and 401k plans. Pacer Financial raises approximately $400 million in assets in less than 2 years for the firm.

2010: Pacer Financial partners with Royal Bank of Scotland as the exclusive sales and marketer for their line of exchange traded notes in the United States. Pacer Financial’s team raises approximately $725 million. RBS called the ETNs in July 2015.

First boomers entering retirement, concerned about next market drop.

2012: Pacer Financial receives approval to operate as a distributor.

2013: Pacer Financial partners with MassMutual to offer fixed annuity products to select firms in the financial advisor channel.

2015: Pacer Financial launches Pacer ETFs and serves as the Fund’s distributor.