Retirement Industry People Moves

Moneta hires first female CIO; Mesirow Board of Directors appoints new president; TRA hires Mid-Atlantic regional sales consultant; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

Art by Subin Yang

Moneta Hires First Female CIO 

Moneta, a registered investment adviser (RIA) headquartered in Missouri, has appointed Aoifinn Devitt as its first female chief investment officer (CIO).

Bringing more than two decades of financial industry experience and a diverse international background, Devitt’s responsibilities will include aligning Moneta’s investment programs with broader firm goals, as well as overseeing the research, evaluation and selection of asset classes and investment vehicles. 

“Aoifinn’s impressive skill set and extensive experience across asset classes and management structures make her the perfect fit for the CIO role,” says Keith Bowles, chief operating officer (COO) of Moneta. “We’re thrilled to welcome her to our senior leadership team and are eager to see her make her mark.”

Originally from Ireland, Devitt spent her early career working in London as an investment banking associate at Goldman Sachs International and a specialist consultant at Cambridge Associates Limited. Devitt also founded Clontarf Capital, a pan-alternatives research and consulting firm. More recently, she served as CIO for the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago and head of investment for Ireland at Hermes Fund Managers Ireland Limited. 

“I am incredibly proud to be joining Moneta as CIO,” Devitt says. “The firm’s legacy coupled with its leading position as one of America’s top 10 independent RIAs make it the ideal place for me. Further, Moneta’s strategic approach to growth—attracting like-minded advisers who appreciate the value of shared equity in a member-owned RIA—is one that I can wholeheartedly stand behind. I look forward to leveraging my expertise to help Moneta maximize results and maintain its elevated standard of excellence long into the future.”

Devitt is also a licensed attorney who has been a member of the New York State Bar Association since 1996. She earned her law degree from Trinity College Dublin and master’s in business administration from INSEAD in France.

Mesirow Board of Directors Appoints New President

Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc. has appointed Natalie A. Brown as president following a unanimous vote by the firm’s board of directors.

In her role as president, Brown will work closely with Richard S. Price, Mesirow’s chairman and CEO, on all facets of corporate strategy. She joined Mesirow in 2018, most recently serving as the firm’s chief financial officer (CFO) and chief administrative officer.

“Natalie is a natural leader with deep financial services experience and an ability to navigate through complex challenges and opportunities successfully. Her core values align with the firm’s, which makes her an ideal choice for this role,” Price says. “As we are emerging from the pandemic, we see increased optimism in the communities we operate in and a sense of renewal among our clients. I look forward to partnering with Natalie on our corporate strategy and serving our clients through a diverse set of differentiated, personalized financial products and services.”

Over the past several years, Brown has advised the firm’s board of directors and businesses on financial, operational and organizational strategy, playing a pivotal role in recent lift-in acquisitions, key senior hires and technological innovation. She has also acted as liaison between Mesirow business leaders and corporate services to develop strategic alignment with important firm initiatives.

“I am honored to serve as Mesirow’s president, continuing to work closely with Richard and our exceptional business leaders,” Brown says. “Mesirow’s talented employees have an entrepreneurial spirit, a passion for serving clients and a commitment to social good, and I am dedicated to providing the best career experiences for them. Together, I believe we will extend the firm’s decades of success in the financial services industry and create significant value for our clients.”

As president of Mesirow, Brown succeeds Dominick Mondi, who retired in February after 12 years of service in a series of executive roles. Jesse Keig, who has been with the firm since 2006, most recently as financial controller, assumes the role of chief financial officer (CFO), with responsibilities spanning the firm’s accounting operations, business accounting, financial reporting, tax, and financial planning and analysis.

Brown is currently a member of the Mesirow Board of Directors and is involved in the firm’s Employee Resource Groups and community engagement initiatives.

Before joining Mesirow, Brown spent 18 years at Nuveen, where she held senior accounting, finance and investor relations roles. She spent the early part of her career in finance and accounting at Kraft Foods and KPMG. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

TRA Hires Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Consultant 

The Retirement Advantage Inc. (TRA) has hired Paul Phan as its latest regional sales consultant, providing service to the Mid-Atlantic area of Washington D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Phan will report to Darin Erdmann, TRA’s national sales manager.

Phan joins TRA from Mutual of Omaha (MoO) and lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he operated as a regional sales director. Before MoO, he had various roles with the NADA Retirement Trust, Mutual of America and Phan Financial Capital Management. Phan will be tasked with partnering with financial advisers and wholesalers to design and implement optimal retirement plan concepts for businesses.

“Throughout his career, Paul has been a results-driven leader. He has consistently demonstrated his expertise, serving in various roles within the retirement plan industry which makes him a well-rounded addition to the team,” Erdmann says. “Paul has a unique understanding and depth of experience in this marketplace; we are proud to welcome him to our team and look forward to his valuable insights and contributions.”

“TRA is a company that is clearly dedicated to doing whatever it takes for its clients and believes in the power of innovation to stay on the absolute leading edge of the industry,” Phan says. “There’s no question that these factors have helped the company achieve the position that it enjoys today. I am looking forward to devoting my efforts to TRA’s continued success.”

Paul acquired his bachelor’s degree in economics from Seton Hall University and a master’s from Keuka College. He holds his FINRA Series 6, Series 63 and 65 licenses and the Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS) and Kravitz Cash Balance (CBC) designations.

Broadridge Acquires AdvisorStream

Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. has acquired AdvisorStream, a provider of digital engagement and marketing solutions for the global wealth and insurance industries.

AdvisorStream’s adviser marketing platform enables advisers to drive revenue and growth by providing personalized and consistent client communications. The platform combines marketing automation with content licensed from global sources such as Dow Jones Newswires, the New York Times, Forbes, Bloomberg Media and The Globe & Mail.

Broadridge’s broad data foundation, combined with AdvisorStream, will empower financial advisers to pinpoint what is most relevant and engaging for individual prospects and clients at each step of the investor lifecycle. Advisers can drive revenue and growth by providing every investor with the right communication, at the right time, in the manner that is most meaningful to them. In addition, AdvisorStream’s robust compliance capabilities provide flexibility for advisers while still easily integrating into existing head office marketing workflows.

“The events of 2020 have transformed the nature of adviser and client collaboration and communications. They have also heightened overall investor expectations for personalized and relevant communications from their adviser,” says Michael Alexander, president of wealth management at Broadridge. “AdvisorStream’s platform provides the most effective means for advisers to engage, convert and nurture relationships by leveraging highly credible content across digital channels. The acquisition of AdvisorStream is the latest example of Broadridge growing our wealth management business by expanding our core offerings for clients.”

“When we created AdvisorStream, we set out to help advisers grow by solving the challenge of connecting with clients, building trust and credibility by leveraging technology for better communications,” says Kevin Mulhern, CEO of AdvisorStream. “Becoming part of Broadridge will allow us to deliver our adviser solutions to a broader client set and enhance the effectiveness of our platform as we bring a premium omni-channel solution to wealth firms and advisers of all stripes globally.”

Alantra, a global mid-market investment banking specialist, was AdvisorStream’s sole financial adviser on the transaction. 

Wilshire Selects Managing Director

Wilshire has appointed Gary Rynhoud as managing director of Wilshire, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business development.

In this role, Rynhoud is responsible for building and growing relationships with institutional investors in the EMEA region, across Wilshire’s breadth of capabilities.

“Gary’s extensive international experience with institutional clients as a senior executive in the asset management and benchmark industry makes him well-positioned to further Wilshire’s goal of building strong client relationships and an increased presence across EMEA and into Asia Pacific,” says Mark Makepeace, chief executive officer of Wilshire. “As Wilshire continues to grow and expand into new geographical markets, we remain committed to providing high-quality investment, benchmark and analytics solutions to a wide variety of clients across the financial markets ecosystem.” 

Rynhoud joined Wilshire from FTSE Russell where he served for the last five years as head of business development, Middle East and Africa. In that role, he was responsible for business strategy execution and account development across asset owner, asset management, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and consulting clients, as well as sovereign wealth funds across the region. Prior to this role, he worked for 16 years at Man Investments with institutional, private banking and ultra-high-net-worth family office clients in a variety of roles, including five years in product structuring and global sales management, and more than six years in the Middle East.

“Wilshire’s reputation for exceptional, client-focused investment solutions with a deep pedigree in the space and solid client relationships, made my decision to join the team an easy one,” Rynhoud said. “Institutions should feel confident that they have the right long-term partner to help them navigate the economic cycles ahead. I look forward to helping expand Wilshire’s reach and relationships alongside a strong, well-respected team.”

Rynhoud earned a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

T. Rowe Price Brings in Business Development Executive 

Chris Tarui will be joining the institutional business of T. Rowe Price as business development executive, alternatives.

In the newly created role, Tarui will be responsible for helping to formulate and drive the firm’s business development efforts for alternative investments with institutional clients globally. He will report to Chris Newman, head of Americas, and a member of T. Rowe Price’s Global Distribution Executive Committee.

Tarui joins T. Rowe Price from PIMCO, where he served as executive vice president, institutional account manager. He has more than 17 years of experience in the financial services industry, and previously served as a director at KKR & Co. and as a client adviser for Bridgewater Associates LLC. Tarui holds a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California (USC)’s Marshall School of Business.

In his role as business development executive, alternatives, Tarui will create a global distribution plan for alternative investments and lead the sales effort, while identifying and cultivating new business prospects and partnering with distribution teams across sales, client service and consultant relations. T. Rowe Price has identified liquid and private alternatives as an area of strategic investment for the firm over the next two to three years.

SageView Advisory Groups Adds Chief Development Officer 

Jeremy Holly has joined SageView Advisory Group as chief development officer based out of SageView’s headquarters in Newport Beach.

Holly brings over 20 years’ experience in financial services, with direct expertise in developing and executing a diverse mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategy.

“As the RIA [registered investment adviser] and wealth management industries continue to evolve and consolidate further, I believe SageView is in a great position to provide a highly attractive opportunity to firms looking to grow and scale, and to executives looking for a succession plan,” Holly says.

In his new role, Holly will lead M&A as well as organic growth opportunities at SageView, under the guidance of SageView Managing Principal and CEO Randy Long and President Jon Upham

Most recently, Holly was the senior vice president, corporate development and adviser financial solutions at LPL Financial, responsible for M&A strategy, deal execution and integration. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

“SageView will continue to have a strong focus on organic growth, but as we put greater emphasis on M&A, we were looking for a leader to spearhead our efforts,” Long says. “Jeremy Holly is a proven executive who has a track record of successful acquisitions and integrations and has already hit the ground running. We know he will be a great asset to our executive leadership team and our future growth plans.”

QMA Hires David Blanchett as Managing Director and Retirement Research Head 

QMA LLC, the quantitative equity and multi-asset solutions specialist of PGIM, has hired leading retirement academic and researcher David Blanchett as managing director and head of retirement research.  

“We have been focused on solving upcoming challenges in the retirement space,” says QMA’s CEO Andrew Dyson. “Over the next 10 years, income solutions will come to dominate the DC [defined contribution] marketplace. David is a recognized retirement thought leader and his experience will be invaluable as we position ourselves for the future.”  

“With $214 billion managed on behalf of defined contribution clients across multiple asset classes and vehicles, PGIM has a significant retirement focus,” says PGIM president and CEO David Hunt. “We are committed to providing best-in-class support to our clients and in delivering new and innovative retirement solutions founded on market-leading research.”

Blanchett joins from Morningstar Investment Management LLC, where he was most recently head of retirement research. He has published over 100 papers in a variety of industry and academic journals. Blanchett’s research has received awards from associations including the Academy of Financial Services, the CFP Board, the Financial Analysts Journal and the Financial Planning Association. He is also a regular contributor to Advisor Perspectives, ThinkAdvisor and the Wall Street Journal.

“I am incredibly excited to join QMA given PGIM’s position as a leader in the retirement space,” Blanchett says. “I look forward to working alongside some of the brightest minds in the industry to develop new proprietary investment solutions to improve retirement outcomes for potentially millions of investors and DC participants.” 

Blanchett is an adjunct professor of wealth management at The American College of Financial Services and was formerly a member of the ERISA [Employee Retirement Income Security Act] Advisory Council.

Alerus Adds New Senior Business Adviser

 Alerus has added Jeffrey Scott as a senior business adviser, retirement specialist.

In this role, Scott will provide comprehensive retirement solutions to business clients, including 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), health and wellness programs, payroll, wealth management, insurance, and other services. He will also collaborate with experts across Alerus to ensure business clients have access to the company’s full suite of diversified financial services. 

Scott has nearly 30 years of experience in the financial industry and has extensive expertise in managing corporate retirement plans. He specializes in providing retirement education and financial literacy training for advisers and clients. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He is based at Alerus’ office in Minnetonka, Minnesota.