Retirement Industry People Moves

Former Pentegra SVP launches expert firm focused on group retirement plans; Barber rejoins Franklin Templeton to head municipal bond team; Schwab to acquired fixed income separate accounts manager; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

Art by Subin Yang

Mercer Appoints Wealth Office Business Leader for Dallas

Mercer has named Paul Staples as wealth office business leader for Dallas.

His responsibilities include driving revenue growth for Mercer’s Wealth business, leading key client engagements and building brand and market awareness in Dallas. Staples will report to Marc Madias, Central Market wealth business leader.

“Paul is a proven leader with a deep understanding of key issues facing the investment and retirement industry,” says Tyler Bolander, Dallas office leader. “His breadth of experience will help us further provide trusted advice to our clients while strategically growing our business in this important market.”

Staples has more than 25 years of investment experience. He joined Mercer in April of 2017, serving as the defined contribution (DC) segment leader for the Central region. Prior to that, he spent 13 years as director of DC services at the former Summit Strategies Group.

Staples holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northeastern University.

Former Pentegra SVP Launches Firm Focused on Group Retirement Plans

Pete Swisher has launched Waypoint Fiduciary LLC.

Waypoint’s first engagements are with associations and distributors focused on group retirement plan strategies—multiple employer plans (MEPs), pooled employer plans (PEPs,) “groups of plans,” group trusts, and other pooled programs—but the full scope of services includes an emphasis on systems consulting and specialized research for product builders and global strategists.

Swisher served Pentegra Retirement Services as senior vice president and was a national sales director from 2012 to 2018 and national practice leader from 2019 until February 13. Prior to Pentegra, he led the growth from 2000 to 2012 of Unified Trust Company’s brand as one of the nation’s only discretionary trustees.

Swisher was a founding member of the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) via its first Leadership Council, and served as NAPA’s founding chairman of the Government Affairs Committee, where he worked with policy-makers and industry leaders on issues including the Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, PEPs, Association Retirement Plans, and Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rules.

OneAmerica Names Senior Director of Participant Experience

OneAmerica has promoted Tammy Rabe to fill the role of senior director of participant experience.

Rabe, in her sixth year with OneAmerica, most recently oversaw its Retirement Market Insights program on behalf of its life insurance business line. In that role, Rabe worked with financial professionals delivering insights and education on health and wealth strategies, like Social Security, medicare and long-term care.

Before OneAmerica, Rabe had served in marketing and communications roles with companies in the Indianapolis area for two decades.

“Tammy is a perfect fit for this role because she understands that planning for retirement goes beyond just saving and investing,” says Lynne Smith, head of strategy and business development for OneAmerica, an area that includes participant experience. “It requires us to make important decisions that can help optimize income, reduce expenses and protect wealth throughout our lifetime.”

Not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or any governmental agency.

Barber Rejoins Franklin Templeton to Head Municipal Bond Team

Franklin Templeton announced that Ben Barber, who has most recently served as co-head of municipal bonds at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, will rejoin the firm to succeed Sheila Amoroso as senior vice president, director of municipal bonds on April 27, 2020, overseeing $68 billion in municipal bond investments.

Amoroso, who is currently senior vice president, director of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income’s municipal bond department, has announced her plans to retire after 34 years of service. She will work closely with Barber through a period of transition until her retirement date of July 1.

Barber has over 28 years of industry experience, having started his career in municipal bond investing with Franklin Templeton in 1991, working with several current investment team members, including Amoroso, through 1999, when he joined Goldman Sachs. He will be based in San Mateo, California, and will report to Sonal Desai, CIO, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income.

Franklin Templeton’s 31-member municipal bond team manages a wide variety of single state and national municipal bond strategies for investors in the US and beyond, via a comprehensive fund lineup and separately managed accounts and institutional accounts.

Schwab to Acquire Fixed Income Separate Accounts Manager

The Charles Schwab Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Wasmer, Schroeder & Company, LLC in an all cash purchase. Wasmer Schroeder is an independent investment manager of fixed income separately managed accounts with $10.5 billion in assets under management.

Wasmer Schroeder offers a comprehensive lineup of tax exempt and taxable strategies with strong risk-adjusted performance track records, and a tenured team of investment professionals with deep fixed income expertise. These assets will be a complementary extension of Schwab’s fixed income capabilities and will expand its approximately $90 billion in separately managed accounts.

The firm says the ability to offer clients access to these strategies with established track records will help Schwab deliver on growing client demand for investment solutions that help retirees draw an income from their wealth.

The transaction is expected to close in mid-2020.