Retirement Industry People Moves

This week brings new hires, promotions and acquisitions at T. Rowe Price, Wilshire Consulting, Envisage, and more.

T. Rowe Price recently appointed Marla Skeffington to the newly created position of head of client services for its U.S. Investment Services (USIS) financial institutions business.

Skeffington will be responsible for leading the division’s client relationship management strategy for the intermediary and institutional clients, which include defined contribution investment only (DCIO) recordkeeper partners and plan sponsors, banks and broker-dealers (B/Ds), and for providing client services internally, companywide. Overseeing a group of about 10 client service professionals, she will also serve on the division’s leadership team.  

Previously, Skeffington was a senior marketing manager in T. Rowe Price Global Investment Services (GIS) division, where she led all aspects of fixed-income go-to-market planning and marketing campaigns for the firm’s North American institutional clients. She held several executive-level positions in marketing and client service at Western Asset Management Company, a Legg Mason subsidiary. Skeffington, who has more than a decade of experience in the asset management industry, reports to George Riedel, head of USIS financial institutions services, who cites her experience in client service and marketing, as well as her leadership abilities.

Skeffington holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in business administration from Suffolk University in Boston.

NEXT: Client services VP moves into corporate strategy at Envisage.

Christen Marsenison has been promoted to vice president of corporate strategy and development at Envisage Information Systems (EIS), where she will drive analysis of marketplace trends and participant behavior patterns.

Steff McGonagle, president and chief executive of EIS, cites Marsenison’s experience and expertise as essential for the firm’s initiative in creating systems and technologies to better serve Millennials in retirement planning.

Marsenison spent the past five years acting as vice president of client services for EIS. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, and is a Society of Professional Asset-Managers and Record Keepers (SPARK) Institute board member.

 NEXT: Bates & Co. acquires Jacksonville, Florida, TPA.

Pension Plan Professionals Inc. (P3), a Jacksonville, Florida, third-party administrator (TPA) of employer retirement plans, has been acquired by Bates & Co. Inc., a retirement plan administration and consulting service provider in Winter Park, Florida.

Founded by Dale Smith, P3 has supplied consulting, actuarial and administrative services to retirement plan sponsors in the Southeast for close to 30 years. The acquisition gives Bates & Co., serving the Orlando area since the 1980s, a northern Florida base.

The two firms hope to exploit a shared business philosophy and similar operating methods, to foster growth and expansion, Bates & Co. says. Its strategy, which includes retaining the Jacksonville office and staff, also will involve enhancing support and technological resources and increasing personal contact via a larger field force, the company says.

According to Bates founder and President John Laskowitz, the firm has a reputation for attention to detail and accuracy, delivered with personalized integrity and professional excellence.

Bates & Co., a non-producing TPA, works with all retirement plan platform providers.

NEXT: Wilshire Consulting promotes managing director to president.

Andrew Junkin has been promoted to president of Wilshire Consulting, the institutional advisory and outsourced-CIO [chief investment officer] business unit of Wilshire Associates.

A recent appointment to the firm’s board of directors, Junkin leaves his position as the unit’s managing director, which he has held since 2006, and replaces Julia Bonafede, a long-time Wilshire veteran. She will assist with the management transition.

Junkin was ranked twice by Chief Investment Officer magazine, an Asset International publication, as one of the 25 most influential consultants globally. A member of Wilshire Consulting’s investment committee, he joined the firm in 2005 as a vice president and has been responsible for advising corporate and public retirement plans ranging in size from $1 billion to more than $300 billion.

Dennis Tito, Wilshire Associates founder, chief executive and board chairman, cites Junkin’s managerial acumen/expertise and significant contributions to the firm during his tenure as inspiring the promotion.

Junkin also served as director of research and senior consultant at Asset Services Co. He holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Alternative Investment designations.

Wilshire Consulting provides custom investment consulting solutions to plan sponsors.

NEXT: New York Bank acquires New Hampshire TPA.

NBT Bank, based in New York with branches in Vermont, said it has acquired Third Party Administrators Inc. (TPA), a retirement plan services company in Bedford, New Hampshire. The business provides administrative services for 401(k), profit sharing and defined benefit plans for more than 700 businesses as well as Cafeteria Plan administration. TPA, with 23 employees and assets under administration of more than $850 million, will continue operating as a stand-alone business, retaining its staff, business name and location. Neil Tullis, who will continue in his role as president of TPA, said the firm plans to increase its referral network and accelerate organic growth.

Timothy Brenner, president of wealth management at NBT Bank, cited TPA’s stellar reputation in the industry and said its services dovetail with the bank’s own retirement plan services as well as the recordkeeping services offered by its sister company, EPIC Advisors Inc.

NBT Bank, N.A., is a full-service bank with a network of more than 155 banking locations in six states, including five locations in southern New Hampshire.

NEXT:  Fidelity Investments rolls out distribution and client service unit

Fidelity Investments has created a distribution and client service organization, Fidelity Institutional Asset Management, which brings together the distribution and client service teams from Pyramis Global Advisors and Fidelity Financial Advisor Solutions, as well as the consultant relations team from Fidelity’s Professional Services Group. The newly integrated entity will serve the U.S. institutional marketplace.

“Aligning our institutional sales and service capabilities into one business under a single leader expands and strengthens Fidelity’s commitment to the institutional marketplace,” said Gerard McGraw, president, Fidelity Institutional.

Jeffrey Lagarce has been named president of Fidelity Institutional Asset Management, where he will report to McGraw. He has more than 30 years of experience in global institutional investment, 15 years of which have been spent with Fidelity. He most recently acted as president of Pyramis Global Advisors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Assumption College.

Scott Couto will report to Lagarce in his role as head of distribution. He will lead Fidelity Institutional Asset Management’s sales, relationship management and consultant relations teams.

Couto holds a bachelor’s degree in finance/economics from Babson College and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. He has 25 years of experience in the asset management industry. He has been with Fidelity since 2009, holding the position of president of Fidelity Financial Advisor Solutions since July 2011.

NEXT: BlackRock VP joins Commonfund’s sales team.

Ellen Blix has joined the sales team of Commonfund as a managing director. She will be based in San Francisco, focusing on building relationships with mission-based nonprofit institutions, pension plans and family offices in the Western region. Her previous roles include positions at Lehman Brothers and J.P. Morgan Securities, most recently acting as vice president in the global client group at BlackRock.

Blix holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in business administration in finance from Columbia University.

NEXT: BMO Global Asset Management adds to municipal fixed income.

Robert Wimmel has joined BMO Global Asset Management as head of municipal fixed income. Wimmel, who has 20 years’ experience in fixed income, was previously at Invesco as head of investment-grade municipals. He began working at BMO in August and reports to John Boritzke, managing director of fixed income for the firm. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Brian Sipich and Tom Byron, who were previously at Invesco on Wimmel’s investment-grade municipals team, also have been added to the municipal fixed-income portfolio management team. Together, they were largely responsible for managing more than $13 billion in tax-exempt open- and closed-end funds. Both report to Wimmel.

NEXT: LGIMA names a senior investment director and a fixed-income strategist.

Ivy Wong Flores has joined registered investment adviser (RIA) Legal & General Investment Management America Inc. (LGIMA) as senior investment director. Flores, who has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry,  will oversee sales and consultant relations on the West Coast. She reports to Tom Meyers, managing senior investment director and head of distribution.

Previously, she served in several client service and sales executive positions for nearly 13 years at Western Asset Management Company, where she built and managed large institutional client and prospect relationships,. Before that, she held roles at U.S. Trust Company. Flores holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Riverside, and a master’s in business administration from Claremont Graduate University.

Jason Shoup comes to LGIMA as a senior portfolio manager and fixed-income strategist. Shoup spent the past 10 years at Citigroup, most recently as director, head of U.S. high-grade credit strategy, advising institutional clients and publishing credit research reports. He reports to Dave Nirtaut and Jeff Koch, co-heads of U.S. fixed income at LGIMA.

Shoup holds a bachelor’s degree from Seattle University, with concentrations in physics, applied mathematics and humanities; he holds a master’s degree in financial engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

NEXT: Voya hires chief marketing officer for retirement unit. 

Karen Eisenbach has joined Voya Financial Inc. as chief marketing officer for its retirement business. Based in Voya’s Windsor office, she will oversee the company’s marketing strategy for its institutional and retail retirement segments.

Eisenbach has held leadership positions at Nationwide Financial and National City Bank, managed her own consulting business and, most recently, acted as executive director of retirement marketing for J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

She will report to chief executive of retirement Charles P. Nelson, who credited Eisenbach for “her depth of experience in private and public sector retirement markets, knowledge of different product lines and distribution channels, and successful track record managing high-performing teams.”

Eisenbach holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from The Ohio State University.