Retirement Industry People Moves

Johnson Financial joins Farpointe; EdgeCo selects new SVP; Lincoln Financial Group announces executive leader succession plans; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

Johnson Financial Joins Farpointe 

Cetera announced that Johnson Financial LLC has joined Farpointe Wealth Partners, an independent financial advice firm within the Cetera network.

The Mandeville, Louisiana-based Johnson Financial team—a family-run tax and financial planning firm founded by Steven J. Johnson in 1975—oversees more than $210 million in assets. The firm is currently led by Lane M. Johnson and Steven R. Johnson.

“Our firm was founded with the goal of assisting clients in every aspect of their financial lives,” Johnsons say. “As both tax professionals and financial advisers, we are uniquely positioned to achieve that goal. However, it is important that we partner with the right team to set our clients up for success. As we evaluated our path forward, we realized that Cetera Financial Specialists and Farpointe Wealth Partners were the right fit for us.”

Farpointe was founded by financial services veterans Brian Stern and Scott Rawlins in December and now manages a combined total of approximately $800 million in assets. Johnson Financial is the seventh office to join Farpointe in eight months. A few weeks ago, Farpointe announced that financial services executive and former Cetera chief operating officer (COO) Catherine Bonneau had joined Farpointe’s board of directors.

Rawlins and Stern says, “We are thrilled to welcome the Johnson Financial team to the Farpointe family. Their commitment to their clients and holistic, tax-aware financial planning align perfectly with our mission and Cetera’s. Together, we will grow their practice with both teams’ longstanding commitment to an advice-centric experience. We’re excited for what is ahead.”

EdgeCo Selects New SVP 

EdgeCo Holdings L.P. has appointed David Hand as senior vice president.

Hand brings more than 30 years of experience driving growth for financial services firms, as well as delivering expansion through mergers and acquisitions (M&As). He also has experience in the pooled investment space, which the firm says will add value to EdgeCo’s related offerings, including its growing collective investment trust (CIT) business and common trust funds and pooled employer plans (PEPs). Earlier in his career, he was responsible for driving growth at Hand Benefit and Trust. In 2007, the firm was acquired by BPAS, where he stayed on to continue managing the business line.

“David is a recognized leader in many facets of the industry, and he brings a tremendous level of expertise, particularly in the pooled investment space, which will directly benefit our high-net-worth and retirement adviser clients,” says John Moody, CEO of EdgeCo Holdings. “His direction will position EdgeCo as an industry leader in the space and further expand our commitment to our partners.”

In his role as senior vice president, Hand will support all of EdgeCo’s subsidiaries, including Goss Advisors, NewEdge Wealth and American Trust, where he will lead growth and development strategies.

“The retirement industry is evolving rapidly and to succeed, advisers need a partner with a proven business model; one that can deliver a multifaceted, efficient and effective platform that serves their needs today and into the future,” Hand says. “EdgeCo has the vision, bench strength and track record of delivering that support and scalability to advisers, while at the same time spurring ongoing company expansion.”

Hand is an enrolled actuary who holds Series 7 and 63 securities licenses and a Principal 24 broker/dealer license. He will be based in Houston, where he currently resides.

Lincoln Financial Group Announces Executive Leader Succession Plans

Lincoln Financial Group has announced that Dennis R. Glass, president and CEO, will transition roles following the 2022 annual meeting of shareholders planned for next May, becoming the chairman of the board.

Ellen G. Cooper, currently executive vice president, chief investment officer (CIO) and head of enterprise risk and the annuity solutions group, will succeed Glass as president and CEO following the 2022 annual meeting. Cooper will also join the board at that time. Additionally, William H. Cunningham will become the lead independent director upon Glass becoming the board chair.

“The board has engaged in thoughtful long-term succession planning, and today’s announcement demonstrates the strength of that process as well as our depth of talent at the executive level to drive the company’s continued growth and success,” says Cunningham. “Ellen is an outstanding executive who is well-prepared to assume the role of president and CEO and continue to execute the sound strategy that she has played an important role in developing.”

Cooper joined Lincoln in 2012 as executive vice president and CIO, and subsequently added the roles of head of enterprise risk and more recently, head of the annuity solutions group. During her tenure, she has developed and executed on general and separate account investment strategies, overseeing over $300 billion in assets and managing the corporation’s hedge program. In addition to her other roles, Cooper is a member of the Lincoln Financial Foundation Board.

Prior to Lincoln, Cooper was with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, where she served as managing director and global head of insurance strategy. Earlier in her career, she was the chief risk officer for Aegon Americas. She also served as a principal at Ernst & Young LLP and in an insurance consulting role at Towers Perrin. She holds a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science from Temple University as well as Chartered Enterprise Risk Actuary (CERA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) designations.

Thrivent Advisor Network Expands Management Team

Thrivent Advisor Network has added two key members to its management team.

Marc Kawakami, who has more than 30 years of experience in financial services, has joined Thrivent Advisor Network as business consultant, a position where he will serve as second-in-command to Carolyn Armitage, head of Thrivent Advisor NetworkLori Sherman, an industry veteran with experience in marketing, adviser education and client service, has also joined the firm as growth program manager.

“With this expansion of our team, we gain the benefit of two strong professionals who understand the challenges faced by independent advisers and what they need to succeed,” Armitage says. “Marc and Lori are both able to draw on many years of executive management and consulting experience to help the Thrivent Advisor Network team execute the goal of creating a first-class advisory platform that can evolve with the changes in the industry and the needs of advisers.”

Kawakami will be responsible for integrated strategy execution of all projects and initiatives across the entire Thrivent Advisor Network platform in collaboration with other channel leaders, shared services, strategic partnerships and distribution leaders. He will also provide strategic thought leadership to these areas to execute on key initiatives that support Thrivent’s goals.

Most recently, Kawakami was principal of his own firm, New River Associates, where he provided consulting services for registered investment adviser (RIA) firms and financial advisers. He previously served as senior vice president, institutional sales with Transamerica. Earlier in his career, he spent 14 years with ING Advisors Network as senior vice president, product research and support and then as head of advisory services, leading the adviser business. He is a graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential.

As growth program manager, Sherman joins Juli Wilder’s team and is charged with broadening and supporting the growth office offerings to Thrivent Advisor Network business owners and affiliates. Her primary focus will be on key growth initiatives and delivering educational content to support and encourage teams as they reach for the next level in their business.

Sherman has more than 19 years of experience working in both home and field offices, most recently as marketing director for Cetera Advisor Networks’ Whittier, California, branch. Other stops on her career path included time spent with Erman Retirement Advisory, ING Advisors Network and Pacific Life.

GTCR and Reverence Capital Partners Add Chief Legal Officer

GTCR LLC and Reverence Capital Partners L.P. have announced that Kate Sandman McKinley will become chief legal officer of the newly independent company, Allspring Global Investments, following closing of the transaction.

McKinley will report to Joseph A. Sullivan, who will serve as chairman and CEO of Allspring. She will join from State Street Global Advisors, where she has served as general counsel and senior vice president since 2019.

Sullivan says, “The appointment of Kate McKinley represents another important milestone as Allspring becomes an independent company later this year. Kate has one of the most respected legal minds in the asset management industry and will bring her vast experience, energy and exceptional judgment to Allspring.”

McKinley has spent the past 11 years with State Street Global Advisors, where she oversaw the company’s entire legal function. Prior to joining State Street, she served as assistant general counsel, wealth and investment management at Bank of America from 2005 to 2010. McKinley began her legal career as an associate in the investment management group at WilmerHale. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a juris doctor degree from Boston College.

McKinley adds, “I am delighted to join Allspring at this unique point in the firm’s evolution. This is an incredible platform to build from, and I look forward to the opportunity to partner with Joe and the team to write the next chapter.”

On February 23, GTCR LLC and Reverence Capital Partners L.P. announced that they had agreed to acquire WFAM from Wells Fargo & Co. The name change to Allspring Global Investments is expected to go into effect upon the closing date of the transaction, which is anticipated to occur in the second half of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

Verus Adds New Managing Director

Verus has announced that veteran investment consultant Michael Patalsky has joined the firm as a managing director and senior consultant in its Pittsburgh office.

“During the last 15 months we have seen a great deal of interest from institutional investors based on the East Coast and in the Midwest in learning more about our capabilities in serving them from our Pittsburgh presence,” says Jeffrey MacLean, chief executive officer, Verus.

“We are pleased that Mike, who has more than two decades of investment consulting experience, determined that the opportunities for professional growth at Verus aligned with his career goals,” MacLean adds.

Mark Brubaker, senior managing director, senior consultant and head of the Pittsburgh team notes, “Mike is a dedicated investment professional with incredible experience and a stellar reputation among the institutional investment community. We expect to him to be a valuable addition to our team as we continue to expand our presence on the East Coast and Midwest.”

Patalsky has more than 21 years of experience advising institutional investors on managing their asset portfolios. His experience spans all functions of asset management across a variety of client types, including asset allocation/portfolio strategy development, risk management, asset-class level portfolio structuring, and investment manager due diligence and selection with public and private investments.

Prior to joining Verus, Patalsky was most recently director-investments at Willis Towers Watson, where he served as lead consultant to both investment advisory and outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) clients. He also was previously a managing director and principal at Wilshire Associates, where he had a nine-year career advising Fortune 500 corporations, university foundations, other nonprofits and public funds.

Earlier in his career, Patalsky worked in the benefits investment and finance group at PPG Industries Inc., which managed approximately $5 billion in pension and corporate foundation assets, and at Hewitt Associates in its defined contribution (DC) services practice.

Patalsky graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in finance and earned his master’s degree from the Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business. Patalsky is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and is a member of the CFA Society of Pittsburgh.

PlanSoCo Adds National Director of Higher Education

Plan Solutions Collective LLC (PlanSoCo) has added Ricardo Coronado as its national director of higher education.

Coronado, a 30-year senior executive of human resources (HR) management in the higher education sector, is the former chief title IX officer at Tarrant County College. He is an expert in the areas of title IX administration, professional development, talent acquisition, career development, compensation and benefits, retirement plans, employee relations, higher education, and leadership development. 

Coronado’s education includes a Ph.D. in educational human resource development and a master’s degree in industrial education with both degrees from Texas A&M University, College Station. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government with honors from the University of Texas at Austin and an associate degree from McLennan Community College (Waco, Texas).  

Vanguard Announces Senior Leadership Changes

Vanguard has announced the retirement of John Marcante, chief information officer, following 28 years with the firm.

Nitin Tandon, Vanguard’s current head of retail and corporate systems within the information technology (IT) division, will join Vanguard’s senior staff immediately and become chief information officer, overseeing all aspects of the company’s use of technology globally, when Marcante retires in November. 

Marcante joined Vanguard in 1993 and has been a leader for nearly three decades. Prior to becoming Vanguard’s chief information officer in 2012, Marcante worked in leadership positions in both Vanguard’s IT and business units.

Tandon joined Vanguard in 2019 as a member of Marcante’s senior team. Tandon currently leads retail and corporate systems within the IT division and previously served as Vanguard’s chief technology officer. In this role, Tandon was responsible for setting Vanguard’s technology vision, strategy and adoption of emerging technologies (e.g., cloud, data and analytics, artificial intelligence [AI] and machine learning). He has led programs for Vanguard, including the firm’s enterprise technology and client-experience modernization strategy. 

Prior to joining the firm, Tandon was a partner in the technology group within Deloitte Consulting. Most recently, he led Deloitte’s cloud practice in financial services and cloud strategy practice across all industries. Over Tandon’s 17-year Deloitte career, he led various IT strategy, optimization and transformation programs for many of the largest financial services institutions. 

“We’re eager to tap Nitin’s technical vision, eye for talent and proven delivery for this important role,” says Buckley. “Nitin has made a meaningful impact on Vanguard’s technology offering in a short period of time, and I’m excited to welcome him to our senior staff.”

DCIIA Appoints VP of Research and Member Engagement

The Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) has announced that Pamela Hess has joined the nonprofit organization as vice president of research and member engagement.  

Previously, Hess was with Aon Hewitt and served as its director of retirement research.   

“We are thrilled to welcome Pam back to DCIIA,” says Lew Minsky, president and CEO of DCIIA. “Her breadth and depth of industry experience make her the ideal person to fill this important role, and as a founding member of DCIIA in 2010 she is already well acquainted with our mission, vision and values and will be a real asset for us and our members going forward.” 

“It is a pleasure to re-join DCIIA and see how the organization has evolved over the last decade,” says Hess. “I am excited to contribute to our future growth and the many important initiatives that DCIIA, the Retirement Research Center and the Plan Sponsor Institute are undertaking to improve retirement outcomes.” 

Earlier in her career, Hess worked on the investment side at Aon Hewitt and Smith Barney. She has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with concentrations in accounting, finance and managerial and organizational behavior. Hess has been a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder since 2002. 


TIAA has appointed Dave Dowrich as chief financial officer (CFO).

Dowrich will join the firm on November 1 from Prudential Financial, where he was CFO for the company’s international business, based in Japan. At TIAA, he will be responsible for the Fortune 100 company’s financial planning, general account, management and reporting, as well as its actuarial, tax and accounting operations and strategies. He will be based in New York, reporting to TIAA President and CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett, and he will join the company’s executive committee.

“Every aspect and all stages of Dave’s career combine to make him the perfect leader for our critical financial actions,” says Duckett. “His insights and skills are broad, deep and globally informed and will further elevate our capabilities and care on behalf of our clients. I am proud to call him a colleague.”

Over his nearly 30-year career, Dowrich was at American International Group as interim CEO of international life and retirement; CFO of AIG Japan and Asia Pacific; and CFO and chief financial actuary of institutional markets. He also held senior roles in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, advising life, non-life and financial guaranty insurance clients, and has reinsurance and structuring experience at Swiss Re and Canada Life Reinsurance.

“TIAA has an enviable record of delivering for its clients, backed by many decades of financial strength and stability, and it is an honor to join this mission-driven organization at such an exciting time in its history,” Dowrich says. 

Dowrich is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries, member of the American Academy of Actuaries and associate of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. Dowrich is also on the boards of The Entrepreneurial Network (TEN) Habitat and the Industry Advisory Council of the Business School at Medgar Evers College. He received a bachelor’s degree, with honors, in actuarial science and applied statistics from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.