Retirement Industry People Moves

Independent Financial Group adds senior vice president; IRI names two new members to board of directors; Ameritas announce new executive vice president; and more.

By DJ Shaw
Art by Subin Yang

Art by Subin Yang


Independent Financial Group adds Senior Vice President

Independent broker-dealer, Independent Financial Group, LLC has announced the addition of Chad Cristo as senior vice president of national sales and marketing. Cristo will be managing all product areas and sponsor relationships for mutual funds, insurance and annuities, advisory services, retirement plans, and alternative investments. Cristo will also be responsible for the development of IFG’s adviser support offerings including practice management.

IRI Names Two New Members to Board of Directors

The Insured Retirement Institute has announced changes to its board of directors.

Joining the IRI board of directors are Michael Eustic, Invesco senior vice president and head of insurance and subadvisory, and A. Roger Marinzoli, senior managing director, head of product development and implementation, TIAA—product and business development.

At Invesco, Eustic leads a team of field consultants focused on leveraging the company’s investment and practice management message across institutional and retail sub-advisory clients. In his nearly three decades in the industry, Eustic has experience as an adviser, wholesaler, relationship manager, national sales manager and head of insurance.

Marinzoli has led efforts in product development, corporate strategy, and corporate development for TIAA. He has more than 25 years of global financial industry experience across the retirement, life insurance, investment management, banking, and financial technology sectors.

TRA adds Director of Client Services

The Retirement Advantage, Inc., a national retirement services company, welcomes Mary Crothers, who will serve as director of client services and will report to Michelle Zentner, vice president of operations. Crothers will primarily be responsible for driving outstanding client service and performance improvement by managing the change process to achieve intended organizational and cultural outcomes.

Crothers has been immersed in the mortgage banking, insurance, and financial services industry over 30 years. She comes to TRA most recently from Redfin Mortgage, where she oversaw all aspects of the company’s training and was an instrumental part of the sales process. Prior to Redfin, Crothers was assistant vice president at Lincoln Financial Group where she led quality, training, business resilience and regulatory controls. Crothers brings a wealth of experience in relationship management, as well as in directing client service teams and will be joining TRA as a leadership team member. Crothers is a Series 6 Registered Rep, Series 26 Registered Principal, and she will be pursuing her QKA designation in the near future.

Ameritas Announce New Executive Vice President

Ameritas President and CEO Bill Lester has announced the election of Jim Kais to executive vice president, retirement plans, effective March 6.

Kais’ accomplishments at Ameritas have included revamping the retirement plans distribution system and attracting seasoned industry experts to his team. He also recently led the successful acquisition by Ameritas of BlueStar Retirement Services, Inc. He has more than two decades of experience in retirement plans. Prior to joining Ameritas in 2018, he held several roles with increasing responsibility culminating as senior vice president, retirement practice leader at Transamerica. Prior to Transamerica, he held various roles at ADP TotalSource, Prudential and Merrill Lynch.

Kais earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and business administration from Ursinus College, Collegeville, Penn., and he holds the FINRA Series 6, 63 and 26 securities registrations.