Retirement Industry People Moves

SageView adds Bloomfield Hills wealth practice; ExamFX acquires Training Consultants; BNY Mellon launches Pershing X; and more.

By DJ Shaw

Art by Subin Yang

SageView Expands Wealth Management Business With Acquisition of Bloomfield Hills Financial

Effective September 30, SageView Advisory Group has acquired Michigan-based Bloomfield Hills Financial, a wealth management firm originally formed in 1999. The acquisition adds $1.8 billion in assets under management (AUM) to SageView.

“Growing our wealth management business is a key focus for us over the next few years,” says Randy Long, SageView founder and managing principal. “The acquisition of Bloomfield Hills Financial represents an exciting, strategic expansion of our wealth management offering both in the upper Midwest and nationwide.”

Bloomfield Hills Financial focuses on full service financial planning for clients, including investment, retirement, estate and insurance planning, education, risk management and tax consultation. The firm is led by Kevin VanDyke, who will join SageView as managing director. In total, the acquisition brings 50 new team members to SageView in six locations, including two in Michigan, and one each in California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Texas.

“Through their nationwide footprint and extensive team of experienced investment professionals, SageView offers our firm the depth of scale to fully meet the needs of our clients and further expand our practice,” VanDyke says.

Gladstone Associates served as exclusive financial adviser to Bloomfield Hills Financial in the transaction.

ExamFX Acquires Training Consultants

ExamFX, an Ascend Learning brand focused on licensing training for the insurance and financial services industries, has acquired Training Consultants, a provider of securities licensing training with more than 40 years of experience. The acquisition seeks to create a comprehensive solution for insurance and securities licensing training in the financial services industry.

“Training Consultants is a highly regarded brand in the industry serving capital markets, insurance and diversified financial services segments,” says Scott Barnes, ExamFX general manager. “Incorporating Training Consultants’ products will expand ExamFX’s portfolio, providing industry-leading learning tools and resources for all learners.”

Once integrated, clients and candidates will have access to the resources of both companies, which includes a new learning platform, live virtual instruction and an analytics tool that provides data visualization, predictive modeling and actionable insights.

“Training Consultants’ alignment with ExamFX will create an elevated and comprehensive solution by combining expert content and learning technology,” says Tim McClinton, Ascend Learning Safety and Security president. “I’m excited about this new venture and helping financial services professionals advance their careers with our market-leading materials.”

BNY Mellon’s Pershing Launches New Business Unit in Pershing X

BNY Mellon’s Pershing has appointed Ainslie Simmonds as president of Pershing X, a new business unit within Pershing that will design and build innovative solutions for the advisory industry. The new unit will accelerate Pershing’s delivery of consumer grade digital experiences to its clients, as well as the broader marketplace.  

Pershing X is an extension of the “client experience reimagined” initiative that Pershing announced in April. The new unit will incubate, engineer and deliver a comprehensive, all-in-one set of advisory capabilities to Pershing’s wealth solutions clients, including broker/dealers (B/Ds), registered investment advisers (RIAs) and trust companies.

“Pershing X will deliver [an] end-to-end advisory platform, helping financial services firms solve the challenge of managing multiple and disconnected technology tools and data sets for their advisers and fueling our clients’ business growth,” says Pershing CEO Jim Crowley.

Pershing X aims to transform the advisory marketplace by helping firms attract new clients, better serve existing clients and ultimately grow assets under management (AUM). Clients using Pershing X’s solutions will also benefit from access to enterprise offerings provided by BNY Mellon wealth management and investment management.

“We’re thrilled that Ainslie Simmonds will be leading Pershing X. Ainslie has been a transformative leader in the advisory space for 20 years and we are excited to leverage her leadership, insights and experience in leading digital and innovation initiatives,” says Robin Vince, BNY Mellon vice chairman and head of global market infrastructure.

As president of Pershing X, Simmonds will join Pershing’s executive committee. She brings two decades of experience in wealth management and digital solutions to her new role. She was active in launching several fintech firms, including financial planning company LearnVest and brokerage and trading software firm thinkorswim. Most recently, she was executive vice president at PIMCO Investments, where she was global head of digital. Prior to PIMCO, she was executive officer and head of digital products and design at Northwestern Mutual.

OneDigital Hires Chief Investment Officer

OneDigital Investment Advisors, a registered investment adviser (RIA) focused on corporate retirement plans, has hired Saumen Chattopadhyay as its chief investment officer (CIO). 

In this new role, Saumen will lead OneDigital’s portfolio management and due diligence team that is responsible for economic forecasting, retirement plan investment selection, collective investment trust (CIT) management, defining benefits strategies, managing endowment and foundation programs and the firm’s wealth advisory business. He will focus on providing strategies for OneDigital’s customers that meet the ever-changing macroeconomic environment by building investment portfolios and making investment-directed decisions for OneDigital’s Retirement + Wealth division. Saumen will also chair the RIA’s investment committee, which sets strategy and allocation for OneDigital’s various investment strategies.

“Saumen is an outstanding addition to our executive team and brings the right combination of investment experience, innovation and a proven track record of leadership ability to assemble and manage an exceptional portfolio management team,” says Vince Morris OneDigital Retirement + Wealth president.

Saumen brings extensive experience to the position, having served in senior roles at other national financial firms during his 25-year career in financial services. He has significant executive leadership experience as a chief investment officer, head of investment and lead portfolio manager at large institutions with $100 billion under management.

Most recently, Chattopadhyay was the chief investment officer of the Carson Group, where he managed a $20 billion investment platform and a team of 14 investment professionals. In his role at OneDigital, Saumen will be responsible for providing executive oversight of the firm’s investment strategy and execution, in addition to overseeing all institutional and high-net-worth client accounts.

LGIM America Hires Senior DC Strategist

LGIM America (LGIMA), a registered investment adviser (RIA) specializing in designing and managing investment solutions across active fixed income, index, multi-asset and liability driven investment for the U.S. market, has announced that James “Jimmy” Veneruso has joined as senior defined contribution (DC) strategist. Veneruso complements the team committed to actively championing LGIMA’s DC investment solutions with a heavy focus on retirement income, decumulation and fixed income strategies. He will be reporting directly to Rob Capone, head of defined contribution.

Veneruso brings with him nearly 15 years of financial and DC experience. Most recently, he served as senior vice president, defined contribution consulting at Callan Associates, where he combined analytical rigor with client facing responsibilities.

“We are thrilled to attract the level of talent that Jimmy will bring to our team,” says Capone. “Jimmy’s extensive and practical defined contribution industry experience will evolve our market positioning in the DC solutions space as well as further develop and present products and services that help meet industry and client demand.”

Vestwell Hires Chief Technology Officer, Promotes Chief Product Officer

Vestwell has announced its hire of Rob Molchon as its chief technology officer and promoted Ryan Anderson to chief product officer

Molchon, who has more than 25 years of experience as a technology leader, was previously the senior vice president of engineering at Integral Ad Science, where he created a global software development organization and was responsible for new product development, high-throughput data collection, big data processing, software quality and release engineering. 

Prior to joining Integral Ad Science, Molchon held leadership positions at Sizmek, DG Fastchannel and Unicast. As Vestwell’s chief technology officer, he will be responsible for driving the firm’s technological advancements and overseeing the firm’s engineering organization. 

Ryan Anderson joined Vestwell in 2019 as the firm’s senior vice president of product and design and is responsible for leading and facilitating Vestwell’s product roadmap. Prior to Vestwell, he was the chief product officer at Advizr.  Anderson was also the founder and managing partner of New York City-based product design studio Alchemy50 and, prior to that, he spent several years directing product design for FactSet. He has more than 20 years of experience.

Molchon will be taking over duties for Vestwell’s previous chief technology officer, John Skovron, who has been with the firm for nearly four years. Skovron will be retiring in 2022 but will be staying on to help with Molchon’s transition. Both roles will report directly to the firm’s CEO, Aaron Schumm

Last month, Vestwell announced it named industry veteran Lori Hardwick as its board chairman. The company also added the former CEO of Green Dot Bank, Mary Dent, to its board of directors.  

Wealth Strategist Joins GW&K Investment Management 

GW&K Investment Management (GW&K), an entrepreneurial-driven investment management firm offering active equity and fixed-income investment solutions to meet the needs of a diverse client base, announced that it is continuing the expansion of its private wealth management team with the hiring of Melissa Jacoby as wealth strategist

Jacoby will report to Dan Fasciano, who joined the firm in June as private wealth management director.  Both hires are major steps forward in expanding the firm’s already unique wealth management capabilities and expertise.

As wealth strategist, a newly created position at GW&K, Jacoby brings more than two decades of direct advisory experience as an expert on strategies for wealth accumulation and preservation, as well as tax, estate, trust, philanthropic and wealth planning solutions.

Prior to joining GW&K in Boston, Jacoby was the associate director of fiduciary services at Goulston and Storrs P.C., where she had overall responsibility for a team of trust administrators, family office specialists, operations personnel and investment advisers. Before that, she was a senior vice president and regional fiduciary adviser at U.S. Trust/Bank of America and chief operating officer at First Financial Trust. Previously, she was a senior trust officer and a member of the private client group and tax department at Wilmer Hale.

Jacoby began her career at LPL Financial Services, where she assisted individual investors and brokers in reviewing, designing and creating financial plans. 

iJoin Taps Head of National Sales Team

LDI-MAP, doing business as iJoin, has announced the hiring of Chris Phillips to lead the company’s growing business development team. As sales and distribution vice president, he will focus on helping institutional recordkeepers and managed account partners leverage iJoin’s personalized, goal-based participant experience technology.

Phillips brings more than 20 years of retirement industry business development experience to his role, most recently leading institutional sales for CUNA Mutual. As iJoin’s head of distribution, Phillips is supported by Chip Moore, a business development vice president who focuses on independent recordkeeper relationships and their go-to-market initiatives.

“Chris is joining us as opportunities in the institutional space are rapidly expanding for iJoin,” says iJoin CEO Steve McCoy. “His business development leadership and creativity will help partner organizations consume our technologies and deliver much needed innovation to the market.”

iJoin enables retirement plan advisers and their recordkeeper partners to collaborate and present highly personalized, goal-based enrollment and engagement experiences supported by natively integrated communications, managed account offerings, and financial wellness and education experiences tailored to each user.

CAPTRUST Grows Texas Presence with the Addition of Covenant

CAPTRUST Financial Advisors has announced that Covenant Multifamily Offices has joined the firm. The firm has offices in several Texas cities including San Antonio, Dallas and Boerne. It also has an office in Oklahoma City. Collectively, the firm brings to CAPTRUST more than $2.6 billion in assets across more than 500 clients.

Founded in 2010, Covenant offers a comprehensive suite of services—including family office services, wealth transfer planning and tax preparation—in addition to its core wealth management offering. The firm is led by founder and managing director John Eadie, along with Barry Beal, Justin Pawl and Karl Eggerss. Forty-four additional team members will also join CAPTRUST.

“While we had previously been on the other side of the table, adding four firms since 2012, we knew that joining CAPTRUST was the right next step for Covenant when we saw the alignment of our two cultures, which both focus on serving our clients, colleagues and communities,” says Eadie. “We’re excited to bring the advantages of CAPTRUST’s resources to our clients, which will enhance our high-touch, boutique client service model.”

Covenant is the 52nd firm to join CAPTRUST since 2006 and will take on the CAPTRUST brand moving forward. Republic Capital Group acted as exclusive adviser to Covenant.

Separately, CAPTRUST has also announced the closing of the transaction to acquire Chicago-based Ellwood Associates. That firm adds an additional $90 billion in assets. With the addition of the Ellwood and Covenant teams, CAPTRUST now has more than 1,000 employees nationwide.

T. Rowe Price Names Head of Global Marketing

T. Rowe Price Group announced that Theresa McLaughlin will join the firm later this month as head of global marketing.

She will be responsible for marketing campaign development, brand strategy and management, digital solutions and client experiences, and investment and product content. McLaughlin will closely align with the firm’s segment marketing teams and chair the firm’s marketing leadership team, a senior governance forum composed of marketing leaders across global business lines.

McLaughlin most recently served as global chief marketing officer for State Street Corporation. Previously, McLaughlin was global chief marketing, customer experience and corporate citizenship officer for TD Bank Group. She was also chief marketing officer at Citizens Financial Group.

McLaughlin will be based at the firm’s corporate headquarters in Baltimore and report to Robert Higginbotham, head of global distribution.