Retirement Industry People Moves

Northern Trust makes key fund hires; Edelman Financial Engine buys California-based retirement advisory; Prime Capital Partners with PFS to enter Sioux Falls and South Dakota markets; and more.

Northern Trust Makes Key Fund Hires in North America

Northern Trust has named Steven Reydel as Head of North America Fund Accounting and Michael McMaster as Head of North America Fund Administration.

Reydel and McMaster were hired for their expertise in fund accounting and fund administration, the firm said. They will have key roles in pushing for ongoing growth in Chicago-based Northern Trust’s Global Fund Services.

Reydel joins the firm with 20 years of fund accounting experience at State Street and Brown Brothers Harriman. He will be central in establishing and growing the Northern Trust GFS business in the Boston area, ensuring ongoing expertise related to the needs of asset managers, the firm said.

McMaster has 25 years of experience in financial reporting and taxation and is returning to Northern Trust GFS where he started his career. He most recently served as chief tax Officer, head of global fund services tax at Invesco, overseeing teams across North America, EMEA and APAC.  

Northern Trust’s Global Fund Services business provides services including fund administration, global custody, investment operations outsourcing and capital market revenue enhancement solutions to asset managers. Northern Trust has assets under administration of $12.8 trillion and assets under management of $1.2 trillion. 

Risk Advisory StoneTurn Names Four Women to Senior Leadership Team

StoneTurn, an advisory firm focused on regulation, risk and compliance, has named four women to its senior leadership board, with one taking a partner position, and the other three being promoted to managing director.

As of the start of 2023, Tiffany Lewis will be a partner with the firm. Dana Ball, Ksenia Ioffe and Melissa Haley will become managing directors.

  • Lewis brings expertise in financial and economic issues in intellectual property matters and commercial disputes in court.
  • Ball has experience in the quantification of damages for $200+ million claims in the Defense and Energy sectors and the investigation of a $15+ million-dollar fraud.
  • Ioffe is a corporate compliance expert with a focus on preventing and detecting fraud.
  • Haley is a client adviser with a focus in patent infringement, trademark infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets and fraud across industries including oil and gas, retail and consumer goods and healthcare, among others.

Boston-based StoneTurn said the move is part of its continued global expansion, having announced an office opening in Singapore in June. The firm works from more than 15 offices globally with companies, their counsel and government agencies on regulatory, risk and compliance issues, investigations and business disputes.

Cornerstone Hires New Head of Business Development

Cornerstone Investment Partners has hired Paul Slakter to take on a newly-created role as head of business development with a focus on global institutional outreach.

Slakter will identify and develop new client relationships across Cornerstone’s suite of large cap and small cap equity strategies, the Atlanta-based asset manager said. Slakter is joining the firm from from Resolute Investment Managers, the parent company of American Beacon Advisors, where he was vice president of institutional sales and head of consultant relations. He will be a partner at Cornerstone and work with head of consultant relations Tom Builder, the firm said.

Cornerstone has about $2.1 billion in assets under advisement as of September 30, and manages value-oriented equity strategies across large-cap and small-cap asset classes for institutions and individual investors around the world.

FIS Announces Permanent CEO, Reshapes Board Leadership and Structure

FIS, a financial services technology provider, said it is moving to an independent board chair structure and putting in place a new permanent CEO.

Jeffrey Goldstein, lead independent director of the FIS Board, has been appointed independent chairman, effective December 16, 2022. Stephanie Ferris, previously announced as incoming chief executive officer, will now officially take the role, succeeding Gary Norcross, effective Friday, and Norcross will depart from the board of FIS on the same date.

Lead independent director of the board Goldstein said of the moves: “Stephanie is an accomplished industry veteran with expertise in payments, technology platform businesses and driving transformation and has already demonstrated at FIS how she will leverage her deep understanding of FIS’ colleagues, clients and strategy to lead the organization with her reputation for driving operational excellence, disciplined innovation and client inspiration. The Board is confident she is the ideal leader to take the Company forward and enhance shareholder value.”

Goldstein added: “We are grateful to Gary for his over 34 years of dedicated service and many important contributions to FIS … On behalf of the entire Board, I thank Gary for his unwavering commitment. He and Stephanie have worked to ensure a seamless transition for our clients, colleagues, shareholders and partners.”

In her role as FIS President, Ferris has been responsible for steering and executing the Company’s global business strategy, including M&A, and its global business operations serving financial institutions, merchants and corporates of all sizes and geographies, the Jacksonville, Florida-based company said. Ferris has been integral to FIS’ growth globally, where it supports more than 20,000 businesses and over a million merchant locations, the firm said.

In addition, as separately announced, FIS is initiating a comprehensive assessment of the company’s strategy, businesses, operations and structure with the goal of positioning the company to drive stronger results, increase shareholder value and enhance client services, the firm said.


Edelman Financial Engines Buys West Coast Retirement Advisory

Independent wealth planning and advisory firm Edelman Financial Engines has acquired Seal Beach, California-based Erman Retirement Advisory to expand its reach on the West Coast for retirement and wealth planning.

Erman Retirement was founded in 2000 by Howard Erman and manages $210 million in assets for more than 200 clients.

“Erman Retirement Advisory’s planning-first philosophy, proven record of successfully helping clients to achieve their retirement goals, and strong attention to client service closely aligns with our own wealth planning approach,” Suzanne van Staveren, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Edelman Financial Engines said in a press release. “Our innovative technology and marketing capabilities allow us to seamlessly integrate RIAs of any size and geographic footprint. This acquisition is another example of how we’re attracting exceptional firms that fit our strategy to offer a modern wealth planning experience for clients.”

Edelman’s acquisition of Erman Retirement Advisory follows that of Herrmann & Cooke in October, continuing the Boston-based Edelman’s expansion into the California market. Edelman also acquired Smart Investor in August, which added to its small business retirement plan capabilities. In 2021, Edelman acquired Washington-based Viridian Advisors, growing its network in the Pacific Northwest and adding capabilities in tax planning, the company said.

Edelman manages $227 billion in assets for 1.3 million clients.  

STP Buys Fintech Advisory WealthSite, Bringing AUA to $400B

STP Investment Services has acquired fintech firm WealthSite in a deal that will bring the investment operations service provider’s total assets under administration from about $340 billion to $400 billion, according to a press release and STP spokesperson.

WealthSite will provide STP with a customized accounting, portfolio management, reporting and analytics platform for single and multi-family offices, traditional wealth advisory firms and money managers serving ultra-high-net-worth clients. The acquisition also boosts the West Chester, Pennsylvania-based STP’s AUA to $400 billion as serviced by its cloud-based BluePrint, which provides client and end investors with analytics, reporting, and digital resources for investing.

The addition of WealthSite’s accounting and performance engine, reporting and portfolio management capabilities will help STP solve the challenges of single and multi-family offices, traditional wealth advisory firms and ultra-high net worth clients, the firm said.

STP is a services company that provides front, middle, and back-office solutions to investment managers, funds, family offices, wealth managers, and plan sponsors providing the service, software, expertise, and confidence needed to focus on their core business.

Choreo to Expand Footprint with Agreement to Buy Southeast-based Advisory

Wealth adviser Choreo, LLC has entered into an agreement to acquire GreerWalker Wealth LLC, which has about $275 million in assets under management and is affiliated with GreerWalker LLP.

Chicago-based Choreo is acquiring GreerWalker Wealth in part to expand its footprint into the Southeast, the company said. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023 and will bring Choreo’s assets under advisement and management to about $14.8 billion, the firm said. It did not disclose the terms of the deal.

In addition to the acquisition, Choreo and GreerWalker LLP will enter into a strategic partnership to further accelerate the growth of their respective businesses, the firms said, adding that GreerWalker Wealth’s management team will continue working their current clients.

John Norman
, managing partner at Charlotte-based GreerWalker LLP, said in a press release: “GreerWalker Wealth is thrilled to join Choreo and to expand access to technology and operations expertise that will help grow our business. We look forward to our ongoing strategic partnership with Choreo and to creating new opportunities for our wealth professionals and their clients.”

The announcement is the third acquisition by Choreo since Parthenon Capital, together with Choreo management and advisers, purchased the company in February of 2022.

Lincoln Teams with Three Advisers with $200M in Client Assets

A trio of advisers with close to $200 million in client assets recently joined Lincoln Financial Network, according to the retail wealth management division of Lincoln Financial Group.

Corey Bierl, Jason Cole and Matt Schoenfeld, formerly of VALIC Financial Advisors, join Lincoln with investment, financial and insurance planning experience. The advisers will gain access to Lincoln’s specialized advisory support and wealth management services as they operate independently as partners in their practice, called Fountain City Financial.

FCF is based in Overland Park, Kansas, and specializes in helping healthcare workers, educators and business owners develop and execute easy-to-understand financial planning strategies.

Philadelphia-based Lincoln Financial Network consists of about 14,000 representatives, agents, and full-service financial planners throughout the United States. Its representatives offer financial planning and advisory services, retirement services, life products, annuities, investments, and trust services to affluent individuals, business owners and families. Lincoln Financial Group as a whole had $270 billion in end-of-period account values as of September 30, 2022, according to the firm.

CAIS to Onboard Warburg Pincus Funds for Advisory Firm Access

Alternative investment platform CAIS announced that Warburg Pincus has selected CAIS to expand its reach to independent financial advisers by adding the private equity firm’s funds to its platform.

New York-based CAIS said the private equity firm’s funds will be available to its network of independent advisory firms and teams as advisers seek to include more alternative investments into their clients’ portfolios, the firm said. Third-party due diligence of the funds will be done by Mercer, CAIS said.

Warburg Pincus will look in turn to benefit from CAIS’ dashboard, which helps measure product interest and engagement from wealth management professionals using the platform, according to a press release. The New-York based firm, which has $85 billion in assets under management, will also receive access to CAIS IQ, CAIS’ tech-enabled education offering, which helps independent financial advisors seeking to master alternative investments and better understand the role they play in client portfolios.

This announcement follows a recently-published CAIS-Mercer survey, which found that nearly nine in 10 financial advisors intend to increase their allocations to alternative asset classes over the next two years.

CAIS has more than 7,400 advisers with access to its platform and oversees more than $3 trillion in network access, according to the firm.

Waverly Buys Sandifer Wealth, its Fourth Acquisition of 2022

Corporate retirement planning and wealth management firm Waverly Advisors, which has been buying up wealth management firms, has acquired Sandifer Wealth Management a Mobile, Alabama-based registered investment adviser.

The acquisition highlights Waverly’s strategy of growth through acquisition in 2022, expanding the Birmingham, Alabama-based firm’s footprint in the Southeast, according to Waverly.

Sandifer was founded by James E. “Jamey” Sandifer in 1997 and offers financial planning and asset management services.

“Our decision to join Waverly was the result of much diligence and a desire for our clients’ needs to be met for years to come,” Sandifer said in a press release.

This acquisition marks Waverly’s fourth partnership since accepting an equity investment in December 2021 from Wealth Partners Capital Group and HGGC’s Aspire Holdings platform.  Waverly continue its growth through M&A in 2023, offering partnership solutions to both CPA-affiliated wealth management firms and stand-alone RIAs, the firm said.

The deal will increase Waverly’s assets under management by about $200 million, adding to its $5.6 billion in assets under management, according to the firm. Financial and legal terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Prime Capital Partners with PFS to Enter Sioux Falls and South Dakota Markets

Prime Capital Investment Advisors is partnering with Professional Financial Services of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to expand its presence in the region and add $185 million in assets under management, the Overland Park, Kansas-based PCIA said in a press release.

PFS is led by husband-and-wife adviser team Kameron and Nancy Carlson, with more than 30 years of providing financial advisory services to over 340 families and businesses in the region, PCIA said. In addition to the Carlsons, two support staff will join through the acquisition.

PCIA offers financial planning as well as retirement plan advisory services, and has 51 locations in the U.S.

“We intend to invest further in South Dakota, and specifically the Sioux Falls market, with the expansion of our business through additional hires and acquisitions,” Scott Colangelo, chairman of PCIA, said in the release.

Wealth Enhancement Group Grows Tri-State Presence with $523M Asset Manager

Wealth Enhancement Group said it has acquired BFS Wealth Management, a hybrid RIA located in Iselin, New Jersey overseeing more than $523 million in client assets with a team of three advisers and six support staff.

BFS Wealth Management is led by John Burke
, and will expand Wealth Enhancement Group’s presence in the tri-state area to 12 offices in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, the Minneapolis-based firm said in a press release.

Wealth Enhancement Group said it has been growing through both organic and inorganic growth, and now oversees more than $57.9 billion in client assets.

MetLife Completes Purchase of ESG Fixed Income Investment Manager

MetLife Investment Management, the institutional asset management arm of MetLife, Inc., announced that it has completed the acquisition of Affirmative Investment Management, a specialist environmental, social and corporate governance impact fixed income investment manager.

Announced in August 2022, the transaction adds roughly $1.0 billion to MIM’s total assets under management, the Whippany, New Jersey-based firm said in a press release.

MIM oversees $571.2 billion in assets under management, according to the firm.