Retirement Industry People Moves

Regional Director for Qualified Retirement Plan Sales Joins Pentegra; ABG to Partner with Stadion for Managed Account Retirement Strategy; Provident to Move Into Ascensus’ Retirement Division 

Pentegra announced today that Keith Cattaneo has joined the organization as a regional director for qualified retirement plan sales. Reporting to Pete Swisher, Pentegra senior vice president of national sales, Cattaneo will spearhead the company’s business development efforts throughout Northern California and Oregon.  

According to Swisher, “Keith is a talented professional with extensive industry knowledge and a strong track record of professional success and will play a key role in marketing Pentegra’s qualified retirement plan and fiduciary outsourcing solutions to advisers and their clients. The past five years of steady growth are giving way to a true breakthrough period for Pentegra due to the rising demand for genuine 3(16) and multiple-employer-plan expertise.”

Cattaneo, having more than 20 years of experience in the retirement plan industry, brings extensive knowledge to Pentegra.  Most recently, he was with NFP as producer and business development lead. Previously, he spent seven years with Great-West Financial as a 401(k) regional sales director for Northern California and Southern Nevada, as well as Lincoln Financial Group. He began his career with Franklin Templeton Investments, where he held a number of operational positions before joining the firm’s 401(k) team. 

Says Cattaneo, “Pentegra offers clear differentiators in the retirement plan marketplace. Its fiduciary outsourcing solutions and multiple employer plan offerings are unique in the industry today and a clear advantage.”

He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from St. Mary’s College along with FINRA Series 6 and 63 securities registrations and health and life insurance licenses.  

NEXT: ABG to Partner with Stadion for Managed Account Retirement Strategy 

Stadion Money Management, known for its participant-level, customized retirement solutions and nontraditional investment strategies, has announced a partnership with Alliance Benefit Group LLC (ABG). ABG member firms will have access to Stadion’s managed account retirement strategy, StoryLine, built with SPDR exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Stadion describes StoryLine as “an innovative retirement planning solution built specifically for 401(k) participants in adviser-sold plans.”

“Our rationale in making StoryLine available to ABG’s network is to enable the advisers and recordkeepers who comprise this group to offer plan sponsors a more personalized managed account solution than target-date funds [TDFs],” says Jud Doherty, president and CEO of Stadion. “Since its launch in early 2016, we’ve seen overwhelming enthusiasm for StoryLine’s ability to provide a scalable, participant-focused, technology-based solution that helps participants forge their own retirement paths.”

StoryLine approaches every plan sponsor and employee as being unique. The StoryLine process first seeks insight into a plan’s overall makeup, with the intent of tailoring default options for the individual plan sponsor. Then, via Stadion’s new participant-centric web interface, each employee can further define his own investment path based on personal risk profiles.

StoryLine allows—at the employee’s discretion—the inclusion of outside and spousal assets to facilitate more comprehensive retirement planning. The end goal is to have each participant on a personalized path that goes well beyond typical age-based investment strategies. 

Says Don Mackanos, president of Alliance Benefit Group, “One of ABG’s core values is flexibility, which is reflected in the way we work with advisers. This focus aligns seamlessly with StoryLine’s ability to customize retirement solutions based on the specifics of each participant’s individual circumstances and is something we really value.”

NEXT: Provident to Move Into Ascensus’ Retirement Division 

Ascensus has entered into an agreement to acquire Provident Trust Group. Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval. Provident, a nondiscretionary administrator and custodian of individual retirement account (IRA) assets, will become part of Ascensus’ retirement division immediately upon closing of the acquisition.

“Welcoming Provident and its dedicated team of associates to the Ascensus family allows our company to participate in the large and growing self-directed IRA markets that are focused on traditional and alternative asset classes,” says Shannon Kelly, Ascensus’ president of retirement. “In the end, this acquisition is about offering our clients even more ways to save for the future.”

“Provident’s stated mission has been to empower customers to self-direct their retirement assets through innovative retirement plan solutions, ease of access, and an extraordinary customer experience,” says Theresa Fette, Provident’s CEO. “By joining Ascensus, we’re reaffirming our commitment to a marketplace that provides clients with greater visibility and access to alternative assets.”

“Ascensus views Provident as an anchor business with best-of-breed technology platforms that leverage digital, e-signature, workflow, document management and trust accounting capabilities,” says Raghav Nandagopal, Ascensus’ executive vice president of corporate development and mergers and acquisition. “It also holds the potential for additional bolt-on acquisition opportunities to create significant scale, efficiency and margin expansion.”

Macquarie Capital served as exclusive financial adviser, and Howard & Howard acted as legal counsel to Provident. Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP acted as legal counsel to Ascensus.

NEXT: Great-West Financial and Putnam Announce New Head Appointees


Great-West Financial announced the appointment of Scott C. Sipple as president of Great-West Investments, where he will provide leadership of the firm’s efforts to identify, create and deliver investment, retirement income and advice solutions for the retirement market. The appointment is effective immediately.

Sipple joins Great-West from Putnam Investments in Boston, where he served as head of global investment strategies. Putnam veteran Michael Wands, with over 30 years of industry experience, will succeed Sipple as head of global investment strategies atPutnam.   

Great-West Financial and Putnam Investments are the U.S. operating companies of Great-West Lifeco, both of which are led by Robert L. Reynolds, who serves as president and CEO at each company. Sipple and Wands will report directly to Reynolds at their respective firms.

“Since its formal establishment in 2016, Great-West Investments has been a great growth story—and with Scott’s leadership we will continue that expansion,” says Reynolds. “The breadth of Scott’s experience uniquely qualifies him for his new role in which he will lead the creation and delivery of solutions employed by plan sponsors and their advisers to the benefit of individual savers.”

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Sipple joined Putnam in 2009 and has worked in the investment industry since 1985. He has 30 years of industry experience in numerous senior leadership roles on both the buy and sell sides. He began his career in equity capital markets and trading, ultimately heading capital markets for a large regional investment bank. His responsibilities over the years have included global portfolio strategy, product management, managed accounts and institutional banks and strategic relationships.

Wands replaces Sipple at Putnam Investments, effective immediately, and is responsible for overseeing teams focused on equity, fixed income and global asset allocation products for the firm’s retail, institutional and retirement businesses.

“Mike brings enormous investment management and client-focused experience to his new role leading a highly talented team that serves as a powerful bridge between Putnam’s product manufacturing and distribution capabilities,” Reynolds says.

NEXT: Franklin Templeton Employs Two Retirement Plan Strategists 

Franklin Templeton’s Kevin Murphy has been promoted to the newly established role of national retirement plan strategist. Based in New York City, Murphy, a senior vice president, reports to Yaqub Ahmed, head of defined contribution (DC) – U.S.

In this new role, Murphy is responsible for managing and growing the firm’s mid-market DC advisory home office relationships. His primary focus is on mid-market advisory firms with a national footprint, and he serves as the primary liaison with these firms at their home offices. He will also be responsible for the overall segment strategy and implementation. Murphy also leads the firm’s health savings account (HSA) initiative. 

Murphy, who previously served as a senior retirement plan strategist, has 18 years of industry experience and joined Franklin Templeton in 2011 as a DC specialist, partnering with both the retail and institutional divisions. Prior to this, he was a regional vice president with Columbia Management’s defined contribution investment only (DCIO) team. Murphy holds a B.S. in agriculture from the University of Delaware. He was selected by the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) for its list of the Top 100 Defined Contribution Wholesalers in the industry, 2014 through 2017.

Additionally, Liam Grubb has joined Franklin Templeton as vice president and senior retirement plan strategist, filling Murphy’s previous role and also reporting to Ahmed. Grubb, also, is based in New York City, and covers the Mid-Atlantic Region, which spans the East Coast from the New York metropolitan area to Virginia. His primary focus will be marketing and servicing Franklin Templeton’s accumulation and income investment solutions in DC plans through retirement-focused advisers and consultants.

Grubb comes with 10 years of industry experience, having most recently served as a senior associate within PIMCO’s defined contribution practice. Prior to PIMCO, he was a senior account manager at Bloomberg Finance working in New York City and Hong Kong. He holds a B.A. in government from Georgetown University and earned a Masters in global finance from the New York University Stern School of Business. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential and is a CAIA Level II candidate.

“The U.S. retirement market continues to rapidly evolve, and it is critical that we expand our resources and maintain a client-centric approach with professionals such as Kevin and Liam, who truly understand the industry’s shifting dynamics,” says Dan O’Lear, head of retail distribution, U.S. advisory services and president, Franklin Templeton Distributors Inc.

“We remain focused on the mantra of ‘Improving participant retirement outcomes’ by partnering with plan sponsors, providers and advisers, and we accomplish this by delivering innovative outcomes-based solutions through our DC professionals such as Kevin and Liam,” says Ahmed.

NEXT: DWC Adds Former Manager of Retirement Plan Services as Partner 

DWC – The 401(k) Experts has expanded its team by adding Jennifer Gibbs Swets, ERPA, QPA, QKA [Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent, Qualified Pension Administrator, Qualified 401(k) Administrator], as its newest partner.

Swets’ announcement follows that of Lori Reay, who joined DWC as a partner in September.

“Jen’s passion for the industry and dedication to client service fits seamlessly with our firm. Her work ideology—treating each case with attentiveness to individual client needs—aligns seamlessly with the DWC company philosophy,” says Keith Clark, DWC co-founder and managing partner.

Swets, a former senior manager of retirement plan services at Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, brings over 15 years of retirement services experience. She specializes in creative and innovative plan design, adding a valuable skill set to the DWC team.

“The retirement plan industry is ever-changing, and it’s crucial to find a company that proactively adapts to those changes, while also serving its clients accordingly,” Swets says. “DWC has consistently and successfully responded to industry changes in the best way that serves its clients.”

Based in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Swets will work with clients and financial advisers on a local and national level to help design and maintain retirement plans. Besides Clark and Reay, she joins existing partners Doug Hoefer and Adam Pozek.

NEXT: Proskauer Promotes 23 Lawyers to Partner or Senior Counsel

International law firm Proskauer today announced the promotions of 23 lawyers—14 to partner and nine to senior counsel.

“We are pleased to promote this outstanding group to our ranks as partner and senior counsel,” says Proskauer Chairman Joe Leccese. “We applaud them on achieving this significant milestone in their careers and are confident that they will continue to make remarkable contributions to our clients in the years ahead.”

The firm’s new partners and senior counsel who serve the retirement and wealth management industries are: 


  • Christopher Ahn, in Los Angeles, represents purchasers, sellers and financial advisers in connection with merger and acquisition transactions, debt and equity securities transactions, corporate restructurings, the formation of joint ventures and strategic partnerships, and corporate and board governance.
  • Camille Higonnet, in Boston, specializes in fund formation, institutional investor representation, co-investments and buy- and sell-side secondary transactions, as well as day-to-day compliance and regulatory matters for private fund sponsors. She advises a broad spectrum of private fund clients on the structuring and operations of private funds globally, and advises private fund sponsors throughout the lifespan of a fund, including with respect to ongoing general partner and management company internal governance and day-to-day operational issues.
  • Matthew McBride, in Boston, represents private equity sponsors in the organization and operation of private investment funds across multiple asset classes and strategies. In addition, he also advises sponsors on internal economic arrangements, joint ventures, spin-outs, regulatory compliance and other governance matters.
  • Andrew Shore, in London, advises a range of fund managers, from first-time funds to market leaders, on all aspects of their business, including the formation, raising and operation of their investment funds. He also represents clients on secondary transactions and co-investments, and advises institutional investors with respect to their fund investments.

Senior Counsel

  • Nathaniel Birdsall, in New York City, advises high-net-worth individuals and families in their personal tax, gift and estate planning. He advises clients with respect to charitable gifting, insurance planning and intergenerational transfers of closely held business interests, marketable securities, real estate and tangible property.
  • Anthony Cacace, in New York City, advises clients on the full spectrum of employee benefits matters, with a focus on the representation of boards of trustees of multiemployer pension and welfare benefit funds governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). He counsels these boards with respect to compliance issues and also litigates on their behalf.
  • Brian Huber, in Boston, focuses on tax and economic planning for a broad range of private fund clients. He advises private equity fund managers on tax aspects of fundraising and internal organizational matters, as well as investment activities. He also represents U.S. and non-U.S. investors in connection with the tax and economic aspects of their investments in venture capital funds, buyout funds, hedge funds and other investment partnerships and structures.
  • Charles Lee, in Washington, D.C., advises companies, investment funds and individuals on compliance with the federal securities laws, with a focus on preparing U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings for public companies and their shareholders, advising on capital raising and business combination transactions, and maintaining best practice corporate governance policies.
  • Damian Myers, in Washington, D.C., counsels private and public companies on matters related to employee benefits and executive compensation law, with a focus on tax qualified retirement and health and welfare plan compliance. 
  • Rachel Philion, in New York City, represents management in a broad range of employment-related litigation, including wage-and-hour, employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation and compensation disputes, as well as whistleblowing, wrongful discharge and breach of contract matters. She is co-head of the firm’s wage-and-hour practice group, and has significant experience litigating nationwide class and collective actions, in addition to trying jury and non-jury cases. 
  • Lindsay Rehns, in Boca Raton, assists high-net-worth individuals and families with developing suitable estate plans to maximize and protect the transfer of wealth. She counsels clients on estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning as well as probate, estate and trust administration and fiduciary litigation matters.

More information regarding the promotions can be found here

NEXT: Former Field VP for OneAmerica Rejoins 

Shelley Schumacher has rejoined OneAmerica as field vice president, key accounts. She’ll be based in the company’s Milwaukee office. 

Schumacher has over 30 years of experience in the retirement plan industry, serving in both provider and adviser roles. She had spent more than a decade at BMO Retirement Services before transitioning to OneAmerica, following the September 1, 2015, acquisition. She spent a year as field vice president - service before taking another opportunity. She rejoined OneAmerica in August.

“We welcome back Shelley to a role that is crucial to OneAmerica,” says Alan R. Blaskowski, senior field vice president - service. “She will assist with complex client service situations that arise with key relationships throughout the country.” 

Her areas of focus include mergers and acquisitions, sales opportunities, and liaison for relationship managers/executives, advisers and plan sponsors.