AndCo Consulting (AndCo) has announced the addition of Sara Searle as compliance officer. In her new role, Searle will work with Chief Compliance Officer Matt DeConcini to ensure that all legal and regulatory requirements are fulfilled with clients and to complete regulatory filings required of a registered investment adviser (RIA) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Searle joins AndCo with over 10 years of compliance experience. Most recently, Searle was chief compliance officer at Triloma Financial Group, LLC, where she was responsible for enhancing and overseeing the execution of the broker/dealer’s (B/D) entire compliance program, including policy drafting, leading annual review, designing and delivering training, and resolving and remediating exceptions.
“As a firm, we are committed to safeguarding our mission of representing the sole interests of our clients by redefining independence,” says Mike Welker, president and CEO of AndCo. “Having someone with Sara’s experience on our compliance team ensures that we are able to go above and beyond to meet that goal. We are thrilled to have her on board.”
Searle officially joined AndCo Consulting on January 16.
RIA Firm Partners with Focus
Focus Financial Partners (Focus) has announced that Cornerstone Wealth Group (Cornerstone), a registered investment advisory firm headquartered in Huntersville, North Carolina, officially joined the partnership on January 1.
Cornerstone has a total of eight offices in North Carolina, South Carolina and San Francisco, California. The firm’s retirement plan consulting division, Cornerstone Retire, is recognized as a disciplined fiduciary partner to 401(k) plans nationwide.
The latest transition was completed with the help of Focus Independence, a program designed to help advisory teams currently associated with wirehouses and broker/dealers to transition into fully independent wealth management businesses. The program offers access to a suite of services and solutions providers in technology, operations, compliance and marketing, and also facilitated Cornerstone’s partnership with Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions, who will serve as the firm’s primary custodian.
“We had been looking for a partner who would help the Cornerstone team elevate our firm to the next level. Focus turned out to be a perfect fit for us because of its ability to provide us superb access to capital, expertise in M&A and value-add growth support,” says Craig Rubrecht, CEO and managing partner of Cornerstone.
“We are excited to partner with and support the outstanding entrepreneurial vision of the Cornerstone team as they embark upon the next stage of their growth,” says Chris Dupuy, president of Focus Independence. “Cornerstone’s strong presence and reputation in the Carolinas make it a great platform for future M&A transactions that can bring together the fragmented RIA market in the region.”
Securian Financial Group Hires Regional Sales Vice Presidents for Small and Middle Market Employers
Industry veterans Evan Gray and Eric Fox have joined Securian Financial Group as regional sales vice presidents, working with advisers to bring Securian’s retirement plan solutions to small and mid-size employers.
Based in Boston, Gray is supporting retirement plan advisers located in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. Prior to joining Securian, he served as a regional sales director with OneAmerica Retirement Services. Gray holds FINRA Series 6, 7, 24 and 63 registrations and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Westfield State College in Massachusetts.
Fox joins Eric Schneeman in the St. Paul sales office, boosting the strength of this top-selling location, and will support advisers in the greater Twin Cities. Most recently, Fox was a regional sales vice president with Transamerica Retirement. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 registrations and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin.
“Evan and Eric, with a combined 40 years of experience in the industry, are outstanding additions to our team,” says Steve Chappell, Securian’s national vice president of retirement plan sales. “We are continuing to add talent to our sales force due to enthusiasm for our open architecture platform, growing demand for our high touch, innovative approach to retirement plans and the platform level ERISA 3(38) fiduciary service on our Securian Signature Series investments.”
WEX Health and dailyVest Form Collaboration for HSA Consumers
WEX Health has selected dailyVest to further enhance the investment capabilities and user experience for WEX Health consumers utilizing health savings account (HSA) investment tools.
The new partnership leverages dailyVest’s core investment personalization and performance calculation engine known as PIP for producing interactive, real-time investment and personal rate of return content and visualization for WEX Health’s platform. The addition of the new portal technology can provide employers and benefits administrators access to improved data analytics and customization tools that can create a more seamless, integrated experience for consumers.
According to the Devenir Research 2017 Midyear HSA Market Report, the number of HSA accounts surpassed 21 million, holding about $42.7 billion in assets, from June 2016 to June 2017. The report also states that HSA investments have seen substantial growth—with assets reaching an estimated $6.8 billion in June 2017, up 44% year over year. With HSA investing on the rise, WEX Health hopes to enhance consumer engagement within this growing space by partnering with dailyVest.
“The dailyVest platform aligns nicely with the user experience and the team brings a wealth of expertise to the table. They have the ability to present important financial information to consumers in a way that is impactful, yet easy to understand,” says Matt Dallahan, senior vice president of Strategy and Development at WEX Health. “By providing user-friendly visualizations, we can now offer an experience that appeals to both novice and experienced investors.”
FIA Promotes Consultants and Analysts Within Firm
Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC (FIA) has announced the following promotions within the firm.
Kevin O’Brien, has been named a partner and senior consultant of the firm. He most recently served as a senior consultant after joining FIA in 2011. O’Brien is a member of FIA’s Investment Committee and the Discretionary Investment Subcommittee. His experience includes advising institutional clients and assisting them with asset allocation, investment manager selection, and pension plan issues such as de-risking strategies and plan terminations.
Peter Nadeau, has been named a senior consultant at the firm. He most recently served as a consultant after joining FIA in 2014. Nadeau is a member of FIA’s Employee Communication and Education Committee. His focus is on defined contribution (DC) retirement plans in both the corporate and tax-exempt markets.
Scott Boulton has been named a consultant and research analyst at the firm. He most recently served as a research analyst and associate consultant after joining FIA in 2014. He is a member of the defined contribution team, advising both ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) and non-ERISA defined contribution plans. He is a member of FIA’s Employee Communication and Education Committee.
Andrea McAndrew, has been named a consultant and research analyst at the firm. She most recently served as a research analyst after joining FIA in 2015. McAndrew has over 15 years of investment experience, with a focus on alternative investments. She is a member of the CFA Institute and the Hartford CFA Society.
Dennis Scarpa, has been named a consultant and research analyst at the firm. He most recently served as a research analyst and associate consultant after joining FIA in 2013. Scarpa is a member of the defined contribution team and services clients including for-profit corporations, colleges and universities, and healthcare organizations. He is a member of the CFA Institute and the Hartford CFA Society.
Matthew Pranaitis has been named a research analyst at the firm. He most recently served as an associate research analyst after joining FIA in 2016. Matt is a member of the client-focused research group. He interned at FIA for two summers before joining the firm full-time.