Linton, who was hired in July, has organized the team into three areas: Product Management, Product Development, and Channel Management (see “BofA Merrill Lynch Adds Two to Retirement Team“).
Karen Mara, a 26-year veteran of the firm, will lead Product Management, where she will oversee SEP, Simple, Basic, Investment Link, and Retirement Cash Management Account (RCMA Investment Only Account). Previously, Mara worked closely with small business plans through BofA’s Advisor Alliance Product (formerly MLConnect) and Relationship Management group (see “BofA Merrill Revitalizes Recordkeeping Platform“).
Kate Lavelle will head the Product Development unit. As new legislation and regulations keep cropping up, she will be responsible for creating products that match clients’ changing needs. Before taking on this new leadership role, Lavelle worked closely with Mara and led Product Management and Development.
The only member of Linton’s team to be hired from outside the company is Dee Sawyer, as Channel Strategy and Development Director. Sawyer joins the organization from Fidelity Investments where she held several senior product management, client management and marketing roles during her 15-year tenure. Most recently, she had responsibility for Market & Client Insights and Plan Sponsor Marketing for Fidelity’s 401(k) business.