Retirement Industry People Moves

Northwestern Mutual names new CFO; Lockton has a new U.S. chief counsel; HUB keeps expanding with insurance and benefit buys; and more.

Northwestern Mutual Announces New CFO, Other Leadership Moves

Northwestern Mutual announced that Todd Jones, currently vice president and controller, will assume the role of executive vice president and chief financial officer, reporting to CEO John Schlifske.

Jones will lead the finance and risk function and will assume responsibilities for the company’s financial management and planning, budgeting, actuarial, investment risk and operations, enterprise risk management and resiliency and the corporate audit and anti-fraud teams. Jones joined Northwestern Mutual in 2003 and served in leadership roles within the finance and risk teams prior to his current role. Before joining the company, he worked in public accounting for the first 13 years of his career in the financial services sector for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Jones will replace Mike Carter, who concludes a 14-year tenure leading the financial operations of the company to move into a senior leadership team role as the chief of staff for the office of the CEO. Carter will serve as the chair of the company’s senior leadership team, oversee the company’s quarterly business reviews and transformation spend while continuing to serve as a key strategic advisor to Schlifske and other members of the senior leadership team.

The company also announced that Ron Joelson, executive vice president and president of Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company, will retire at the end of the year. Joelson joined the company in 2012 as the company’s chief investment officer, a role he held through December 2020. Meanwhile, Lisa Cadotte, currently vice president for investment risk and operations, will become vice president for financial planning and analysis, reporting to Jones.

Ryan Heinemann, currently vice president for corporate counsel, will succeed Chris Gawart as general counsel, effective March 1, 2023. Gawart will retire after 12 years of service at the company. Heinemann will report to Ray Manista, chief legal and compliance cfficer. Abim Kolawole, currently vice president for financial planning excellence and strategy, will become chief audit executive, reporting to Schultz. He will also continue executive oversight of the company’s Sustained Action for Racial Equity initiative, inclusive of budget and program outcomes.

Stephanie Lyons, currently chief audit executive, will become vice president for investment risk and operations, leading the team responsible for managing the company’s investment risk, liquidity and cash movement, along with investment reporting and operations, reporting to Schultz. Deb Schultz, currently vice president for new business, will become the new chief risk officer, reporting to Jones. Schultz is rejoining the company’s finance leadership team, as she previously led the financial management department and was responsible for treasury, budget and expense management, sourcing and procurement and insurable risk. Matt Sullivan, currently vice president for planning experience readiness and adoption, will assume the role of vice president and  controller, responsible for financial accounting, reporting, planning and analysis, budget and expense management, reporting to Jones.

“These additional changes realign roles and responsibilities, grow and stretch our executives in new ways and help us cultivate our ongoing focus on diverse leadership,” Schlifske said in a press release.

Sara Romine Joins Lockton as U.S. General Counsel

Lockton named Sara Romine as its U.S. General Counsel, based in Kansas City. Romine succeeds Ann Abercrombie, who retired in May after 18 years with Lockton.

Romine joins Lockton from AT&T, where she was an assistant vice president within the company’s legal department. She previously was a partner in the law firm Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal in Dallas and served as a clerk for federal judges with the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Areas of specialty for Romine include complex commercial litigation and data privacy and security.

In addition to her work as an attorney, Romine is active in several bar association groups, including those dedicated to supporting, retaining and elevating women in the legal profession. She serves as a mentor through the Dallas Bar Association’s WE LEAD (Women Empowered to Lead in the Legal Profession) program and is an active member of the Dallas Association of Women Lawyers.

“Lockton’s independence and client-focused and caring culture have made it an insurance industry leader and an exciting place to work,” Romine said in a press release. “I’m thrilled to join Lockton and help it continue to leverage its world-class legal department as the company continues to grow and serve clients, Lockton associates and communities.”

B. Riley Wealth Hires Financial Adviser and Sr. Managing Director in Chicago

B. Riley Wealth is pleased to announce that David B. Whitacre has joined the firm as a financial advisor and senior managing director for investments, based in Chicago. He was previously a financial advisor and senior vice president with Morgan Stanley.

Whitacre manages $150 million in client assets for high-net-worth individuals and families. He focuses on providing clients with wealth management advice to meet their financial needs, specializing in retirement planning, estate planning strategies, portfolio management, investment advisory, long-term care insurance and wealth preservation.

“B. Riley Wealth offers a dynamic platform that is designed to support my business so I can focus on my clients,” Whitacre said in a press release. “As a national boutique backed by a world-class organization, B. Riley offers a diverse range of differentiated products and solutions that can be tailored to meet the needs and individual financial goals of my clients.”


Hub Expands Insurance and Employee Benefit Capabilities with Multiple Acquisitions

Hub International announced today that it has acquired the assets of Invensure Insurance Brokers, Inc  to strengthen its commercial and personal insurance and employee benefit capabilities.

Invensure is an Irvine, California-based insurance and risk management firm offering commercial and personal insurance services and employee benefits and HR consulting. Robert Parent, CEO, and Charlene Richards, executive vice president, and the Invensure team will join Hub Los Angeles/Orange County.

Hub also announced that it acquired the assets of AM Insurance Services, based in Miami, to expand its employee benefit services. AM Insurance Services is an independent insurance brokerage firm that offers employee benefit products for small to medium-size employers.

President Claudine Nelson and the AM Insurance Services team will join Hub, the company said.

Mercer Advisors Buys $325M RPG to Expand Georgia Presence

Mercer Global Advisors said it has acquired Resource Planning Group, a wealth management firm located in Atlanta with more than 330 clients and over $325 million in assets under management.

The entire RPG team will be joining Mercer Advisors. That includes: John E. Howard, founder and principal; Georgia ‘Tee Gee’ Howard, co-founder; John Evans III, principal and lead advisor; and Alan Thomson, principal and lead advisor.

“As my wife and I reached the point of doing our own financial planning and considered our need to create a succession and business continuity plan for our staff and clients, we knew it was time for us to partner with a like-minded firm of substantial size and scale that ensured continued and uninterrupted client care for generations to come,” founder John E. Howard said in a press release.

Dave Welling, chief executive officer of Mercer Advisors, said, “The business combination between Mercer Advisors and RPG is a perfect fit, with both firms anchoring on financial planning. We are thrilled they are joining the Mercer Advisors team and expanding our already significant presence.”

Arthur J. Gallagher Acquires Trinidad and Tobago-based Insurance and Benefit Firms

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has acquired Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago-based Global Financial Brokers Limited and its affiliate, Total Benefits Specialists Limited, the firm said in a press release. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Global Financial Brokers is a retail insurance broker offering group health, life, pension and wellness solutions for clients in Trinidad and Tobago. Affiliate company Total Benefits Specialists Limited, founded in 2010, is an employee benefits consultancy firm. The companies’ teams will remain in their current location under the direction of Michael Thornhill, Ggroup CEO of Gallagher Caribbean.

“Global Financial Brokers’ strong client focus will help expand our presence and growth opportunities in the Caribbean,” said J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr., chairman, president and CEO.

Two Broker/Dealers Found Periscope Wealth Advisors in California

Alex Goldberg and Kevin Campbell recently broke away from a large broker/dealer in the financial industry to found Periscope Wealth Advisors, an independent firm that aims to “revolutionize retirement,” the founders said in a press release.

Goldberg and Campbell are using a decade of financial planning to run a firm designed to serve people who are nearing retirement or already in retirement. Periscope Wealth Advisors will be headquartered in Orange County, California, where it will serve the retirement community and its families with personalized planning.

PlanMember Opens New Financial Center in Fresno, CA

PlanMember Financial Corporation is opening a new financial center in Fresno, California by partnering with Agape Planning Partners. The center will be owned and managed by Nathan Moore, a financial planner who has been a securities-licensed financial services professional for 23 years. Agape will offer retirement planning, tax planning and estate planning to educators, employer groups and individual investors throughout the United States,  a PlanMember press release said.

Agape Planning Partners was founded by  Moore in 2008 with a focus on providing effective stewardship strategies for clients.

“We are dedicated to making available financial literacy to all our clients, with a particular emphasis on women professionals,” Moore said in the release.

PlanMember, with more than $15 billion in assets, specializes in 403(b), 457(b) and 401(k) plans, the company said. To date, PlanMember has established 44 financial centers in 24 states, with a goal of expanding to 80 financial centers nationwide.