Retirement Industry People Moves

FuturePlan by Ascensus expands sales team; TRA acquires St. Louis-based firm; Goss Advisors appoints business development director; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

FuturePlan by Ascensus Expands Sales Team

FuturePlan by Ascensus has appointed Jay Hollis as vice president, sales consultant for the Tennessee and Southern Kentucky regions; John Krzeminski as institutional sales support and business development relationship manager; and Lou DePonte as sales effectiveness principal. 

The FuturePlan sales team’s expansion is intended to grow relationships with strategic institutional recordkeeping and financial adviser partners while enhancing regional and consultative support for retirement plan clients.

Hollis will drive sales with financial advisers and strategic alliance platforms while also coordinating sales activities for key employer relationships. With more than 10 years of retirement industry experience from roles with Seven Hills Group and Taylor Wealth Solutions, Hollis fills the role vacated by Mark Wiggins, who was recently appointed as FuturePlan’s divisional vice president for the Southeast and Southwest regions.   

Krzeminski will cultivate institutional relationships to explore new opportunities and deepen FuturePlan’s relationships with existing partners. He has more than 13 years of retirement plan industry experience at Vanguard, Lincoln Financial and Quantum Strategies.  

DePonte will participate in the development of—and ultimately be responsible for—the monitoring of FuturePlan’s sales operations strategy. He brings more than 30 years of experience to his new position and previously held leadership roles at Prudential, The Phoenix Cos. and Hartford Life Insurance.

“In welcoming Jay, John and Lou to the FuturePlan sales team, we’re giving our key institutional partners, financial advisers and business-owner clients access to more than 50 combined years of industry experience and expertise,” says Kasey Price, FuturePlan’s head of sales. “I look forward to working with them to develop and execute strategies to take FuturePlan’s sales efforts to the next level and cement our organization’s standing as a leading national retirement TPA [third-party administrator].”

TRA Acquires St. Louis-Based Firm 

The Retirement Advantage Inc. (TRA) has acquired Total Retirement Solutions Inc. (TRS) of St. Louis.

“This acquisition will allow TRA to serve plan advisers and sponsors in the St. Louis metro area and the surrounding Midwest region. This continues our national expansion and commitment to the highest levels of service that our current clients experience,” says Matt Schoneman, TRA’s president and owner. “This acquisition also enables us to bring our technology and efficiency to TRS clients. Our goal is to ensure a seamless experience for the new clients and partners we are welcoming to TRA.”

The acquisition of TRS was completed on May 31.

Tom Holstein, principal and owner of TRS, adds, “We are excited about the opportunity this transaction will provide TRS’ existing plan sponsors and advisers. In addition, TRA has a strong presence throughout our markets and our clients will continue to benefit from local relationships and expanded products and services. Our clients can have confidence that TRA will always act in their best interests and maintain loyal relationships that are based on trust and integrity.”

Goss Advisors Appoints Business Development Director 

GWM Advisors LLC (Goss Advisors) has appointed David Symecko as director of business development. In his new role, Symecko will be responsible for building a business development team, onboarding individual advisers and adviser teams to Goss Advisors, and educating advisers about the benefits of the independent space.

Symecko has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, working primarily on business development with advisers considering a change to their broker/dealer (B/D) or custody relationship. Most recently, Symecko worked in development roles at Fidelity Investments and LPL Financial.

“David has a proven understanding of the independent advisory space and a track record of building lasting relationships with advisers. In fact, David first recruited my firm to leave the wirehouse and start an RIA [registered investment adviser firm] back in 2011,” says Alex Goss, CEO and co-founder of Goss Advisors. “His support and professional guidance were essential to our founding team as we launched Goss Advisors. His insight, experience and advice are unparalleled within the industry, and we are excited to continue to build on the firm’s success with David’s skilled help.”

“Goss Advisors has a clear vision for its growth and approach to supporting advisers on the path to independence,” Symecko says. “I’m thrilled to be part of a growing team with a shared goal of evolving the adviser industry, creating a strong foundation for advisers seeking the independent business model and providing a network of support for superior client services.”

Symecko holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Texas A&M University as well as numerous designations from FINRA. He resides in and will work from Houston.

Verus Hires Investment Professionals for Pennsylvania Team

Verus has added two investment professionals to the team working out of its Pittsburgh office.

Chris Shelby will be added as director of private markets and Evan Benedict was selected as consulting associate. Shelby and Benedict join investment consulting industry veterans Mark Brubaker, managing director, senior consultant and a member of Verus’ Management Committee, and Ted Herman, managing director, senior consultant.

As a director on the Verus Private Markets investment team that has a presence in all offices, Shelby will provide investment advice to clients to help implement and maintain private markets portfolios. He will focus on the sourcing of investment opportunities, performing due diligence, monitoring investments and generating investment content. His coverage will span the private markets with a focus on private credit and private equity with additional responsibilities across venture capital, growth equity and real assets.

Prior to joining Verus, Shelby was a senior vice president at Wilshire Associates, where he was a member of the Private Markets Group. Shelby graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with summa cum laude honors, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration, majoring in finance with a minor in economics. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Pittsburgh.

Benedict’s primary responsibilities will include assisting clients and collaborating with consultants to prepare deliverables and in-depth portfolio analysis. Benedict has serviced a wide variety of clients, most notably corporate defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) plans. Prior to joining Verus, Benedict was an associate at Wilshire Associates. Benedict graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in finance.

FuturePlan by Ascensus Announces New DVP

FuturePlan by Ascensus has announced that Aaron McIsaac will assume divisional vice president (DVP) responsibilities for the organization’s Southern California region as a result of DVP Greg Taylor’s planned retirement. The change is effective on June 30.

McIsaac will offer consultative support to retirement plan clients while expanding relationships with strategic recordkeeping and financial adviser partners in both the Northwest/Central and Southern California regions. He will continue to report to Kasey Price, FuturePlan’s head of sales, while leveraging his two decades of business development and leadership experience to create and implement growth strategies for FuturePlan’s fast-growing sales team.

McIsaac has been a FuturePlan DVP since January 2020. Prior to that, he was a regional sales director at Goldleaf Partners, a Minnesota-based third-party administrator (TPA) that became part of FuturePlan in 2019. While at Goldleaf Partners, he helped develop the organization into a prominent 3(16) fiduciary services provider. He has also held leadership positions at Benefit Administration Corp. and Partridge River Inc. McIsaac earned his bachelor’s degree in management from The College of St. Scholastica.

Taylor joined FuturePlan’s sales leadership team as a DVP in August 2019. Before that, he was the founder and president of QBI, a California-based TPA recognized for its broad expertise in human capital management and integrated benefits that became part of FuturePlan in 2018. He has been an active member in industry organizations—including the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) and the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA)—throughout his career. Taylor received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

“Greg has been well known and respected in the TPA industry for more than 40 years, and regularly inspires clients and associates with his remarkable work ethic, business acumen and talent for making meaningful connections on a personal level,” Price says. “FuturePlan is extraordinarily grateful for his years of service and wishes him all the best in retirement.

“Aaron’s ability to lead and mentor during both positive and challenging times will ensure that our clients in the Southern California region remain in good hands,” Price continues. “He will provide them with the same exceptional level of support needed to help them meet their objectives.”

American Trust Acquires Denver-Based LT Trust Co.

American Trust Co., a full-service provider of retirement solutions to small- and midsized plan sponsors, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Denver-based LT Trust Co., a national retirement plan provider and recordkeeper.

LT Trust is a full-service retirement plan provider, offering recordkeeping, trust and custodial services to financial intermediaries and their clients. Chairman and CEO Bob Beriault will continue as a consultant to American Trust, as well as a shareholder, and the firm’s approximately 100 employees will all join American Trust at the close of the transaction.

“LT Trust shares our deep commitment to adviser success, evident through the development of its advanced technology platforms and effective experience-driven solutions,” says Micah DiSalvo, chief revenue officer at American Trust. “In addition, LT Trust has extensive experience in the institutional outsourcing space, allowing greater flexibility for participants and plan sponsors, while uniting various players across the industry with the shared goal of improving outcomes for participants. We are eager to leverage that expertise to further amplify the industry impact.”

“It is more important than ever to be innovative and technology-focused to succeed in today’s retirement landscape,” adds Beriault. “American Trust is recognized for the commitment it’s made to the retirement space, consistently innovating and growing to better serve its clients throughout the retirement ecosystem. We are excited to join the team and provide additional technology, services and resources to our collective clients.”

This is American Trust’s third strategic acquisition in the past 12 months. Following the closing of the transaction, American Trust and its affiliates will support more than $125 billion of total retirement assets under advisement, management or custody.