Retirement Industry People Moves

The Standard Hires Officer of Compliance and Ethics; Willis Towers Watson Appoints Head of Investment Solutions; Director of Fund Administration Joins Triloma; and more. 

The Standard Hires Officer of Compliance and Ethics 

Standard Insurance Co. announced today that Deanna Laidler has been named The Standard’s compliance and ethics officer.

In her new role, Laidler will oversee The Standard’s insurance, retirement, individual annuities and broker/dealer (B/D) compliance teams and be responsible for the corporate compliance program, which includes business conduct, ethics and corporate policy governance. 

Most recently, Laidler was senior assistant attorney general for the Oregon Department of Justice and provided guidance to various state agencies. Prior to this, she was associate counsel and compliance officer at Moda Health and was responsible for the company’s corporate compliance program and coordinating policy submissions with state regulators. She has held other legal and compliance officer roles throughout her career. 

“Deanna is a valuable addition to our team. Her expertise and experience ensures our compliance program will continue to be an integral part of our culture and a fundamental ingredient in our success as a company,” says Holley Franklin, vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary at The Standard.

Laidler received her Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Whitman College. She earned both her Juris Doctor and Master of Legal Letters in health law from DePaul University College of Law. 

NEXT: Willis Towers Watson Appoints Head of Investment Solutions

Willis Towers Watson has announced the appointment of Clint Cary as head of U.S. delegated investment solutions. Cary, based in Chicago, will have overall responsibility for driving the growth strategy of the company’s U.S. delegated business and managing the development and implementation of all delegated investment solutions for clients in the U.S. He reports to Kemp Ross, global head of delegated investment solutions and joins the investments leadership at Willis Towers Watson.

“We are very excited to have Clint onboard and leading our delegated investment solutions team,” says Ross. “Clint brings a proven track record of implementation of investments innovation through outsourced chief investment officer, or OCIO, solutions for defined benefit [DB] and defined contribution [DC] retirement plans, as well as for foundations, endowments and other asset owners. We look forward to his many contributions.” 

Cary joins Willis Towers Watson after nine years at Aon Hewitt, where he most recently served as head of U.S. delegated solutions and chief investment officer. Prior to Aon, Cary spent three years at Northern Trust. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Drake University.

NEXT: Director of Fund Administration Joins Triloma

Hill Huckman joined Triloma Energy Advisors as director of fund administration. Huckman is responsible for the administrative, tax and operational activities for the Triloma EIG Energy Income Funds. He also leads the day-to-day management and oversight of certain third-party service providers, including the sub-administrators, and manages the engagement of the external auditor.

Huckman was responsible for a broad range of activities including procedure development, distribution calculations, tax return reporting, financial statement preparation and third-party service provider management in his role as fund tax director for Transamerica. He also served as a member of the valuation committee, investment risk committee and trade oversight committee and was the tax officer of the Transamerica family of funds. Besides his experience with Transamerica, Huckman held various positions with Invesco overseeing various aspects of financial and tax accounting for registered investment companies. He received a B.B.A. in accounting and a Masters of Accountancy from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

“Hill brings a tremendous wealth of operational and tax experience to Triloma,” says Elizabeth Strouse, chief financial officer (CFO) of Triloma. “We are pleased to welcome him to the team at this time of continued growth for our organization.”

NEXT: Mercer Hires Two Relationship Managers in Milwaukee Office

Mercer has appointed Nicole Martin and Thomas Coffey as relationship managers. Their responsibilities include creating long-term solution strategies for mid-market growth sales in the Wisconsin area, specifically Milwaukee. Martin and Coffey will report to Mike Bux, Midwest market sales lead.

“We’re excited to welcome Nicole and Thomas to Mercer,” says Casey Tate-Mahoney, Milwaukee leader. “Their years of sales experience and demonstrated success will help further grow and strengthen our business in the greater Wisconsin area.”

Martin has seven years of experience as a senior-level sales executive, having joined Mercer from Eastcastle Place in Milwaukee. Martin earned her Master of Business Administration from Cardinal Stricth University and received her Bachelor of Science in biology and physical therapy from Loyola Marymount University.

Coffey is a seasoned sales and marketing leader. Prior to joining Mercer, he served as a sales and retention executive with Anthem where he was responsible for employee benefit sales for Southeast Wisconsin. Coffey received his Bachelor of Arts in marketing from Texas A&M University. He also obtained a Wisconsin Life and Health license.

NEXT: Ascensus to Acquire Provident Trust Group

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, Ascensuspresident of retirement. “In the end, this acquisition is about offering our clients even more ways to save for the future; we’re delighted to add additional market and product extensions to our technology-enabled solutions and services.”

“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, ProvidentCEO. “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,” adds Raghav Nandagopal, Ascensusexecutive 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.”

NEXT: IHT Announces Affiliation Agreement With nVision Wealth Group 

IHT Wealth Management has announced a formal affiliation agreement with nVision Wealth Group, a midsize regional super OSJ (office of supervisory jurisdiction) and hybrid registered investment adviser (RIA) group. Under the terms of this agreement, nVision will transition its RIA assets to IHT’s platform and join the firm’s super OSJ, gaining access to a greater set of resources, more scale and comprehensive holistic financial planning capabilities.

“We’re thrilled to team with all five of nVision’s independent financial adviser businesses,” says Steven Dudash, IHTfounder and president. The ongoing flight to quality among independent advisers from smaller broker/dealers [B/Ds] to larger firms has been mirrored by a similar trend occurring across the Super-OSJ space, and as more and more advisers realize that clients win when firms come together to share costs, secure preferred pricing arrangements and become more adept at tackling compliance duties, we expect this burgeoning industry trend to continue. We’re honored to partner with nVision, and we look forward to working together to empower one another’s growth and to help every adviser under the IHT banner better service their clients for many years to come.”

NEXT: PFG Joins RIA Platform at Securities America 

Securities America has announced that Priority Financial Group (PFG) has joined its hybrid registered investment adviser (RIA) platform. PFG advisers serve $1.35 billion of client brokerage and advisory assets.

The super OSJ [office of supervisory jurisdiction] serves 25 advisers working with 13 credit unions in Texas, Arizona and California. PFG is dedicated to helping financial institutions and financial advisers by leveraging personalized strategic services and state-of-the-art technology.

The Arizona-based firm wanted a partner that was forward-looking and committed to innovation, says Mike Prior,CEO of PFG. It needed a broker/dealer [B/D] that allowed it flexibility, the best technologies available in the industry and a wide range of the highest-quality investment solutions at competitive pricing.

“We also needed a partner to help us grow and expand into new markets,” Prior says. “Securities America has what we need to succeed. This is a great strategic partnership.”

“PFG is a great fit for us,” says Gregg Johnson, Securities Americaexecutive vice president of branch office development and acquisitions. “They are a progressive group with a great reputation in the financial institutions industry and want to grow with Securities America into the future. We look forward to expanding our financial institutions presence and helping them get where they want to go.”

Securities America’s financial institutions division works with over 125 credit unions and banks nationwide, servicing over $4.2 billion in total assets under management (AUM).

“We have more than 30 years in the financial services industry,” says Johnson. “We’re positioned to help PFG do what it does best—take care of its clients, its credit unions, support its advisers and grow its business.”

NEXT: Flushing Bank Merges With Cetera Financial Institutions  

Cetera Financial Group and Cetera Financial Institutions have announced that Flushing Bank will move its retail wealth management program to the Cetera Financial Institutions platform

Encompassing nearly 20 financial professionals, Flushing Bank’s wealth management program focuses on providing financial planning, retirement, insurance and investment management services to a diverse retail client base, with a particular focus on Millennial retail investors. The program, which was established 20 years ago, today supports approximately $225 million in client brokerage assets.

“We are delighted to welcome Flushing Bank to our platform, and we look forward to working with its talented team to support the growth of its retail wealth management business, with a particular emphasis on growing the wealth management program’s share of wallet across [the bank’s] existing client base,” says LeAnn Rummel, president of Cetera Financial Institutions. “We’re particularly excited about Flushing Bank’s enthusiasm for Cetera’s advice-centric experience model, as we believe the bank’s embrace of this vision for the future of wealth management, combined with our ability to fully support its technology-focused approach to growth, make this an ideal strategic relationship.”

“We're excited to begin working with Cetera Financial Institutions later this fall to grow our retail wealth management program,” says John R. Buran, Flushing Bank president and CEO. “We were attracted to Cetera because of its deep understanding of financial institutions’ role in the wealth management space, and its technology-driven tools. Cetera Financial Institutions offers many advantages that will be increasingly critical to our business in the new fiduciary era our industry has entered, and the new growth opportunities it presents.”