Retirement Industry People Moves

This week: a $2.9 billion team leaves Merrill Lynch for Raymond James; MassMutual’s newest acquisition; and a new COO for Global Retirement Partners (GRP), and more.

The Mahoney Group, led by managing director Chris Mahoney, has left Merrill Lynch for Raymond James. The group has four financial advisers and three senior registered sales associates. The team, with four financial advisers and three senior registered sales associates, was named twice to the PLANADVISER’s Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers: in 2010 and 2012.

At Merrill Lynch, the Mahoney team reports it advised and managed more than $2.9 billion in client assets and had annual revenues of $7.7 million. They are one of the largest teams to move to Raymond James in its history. Their office is based in West Nyack, New York. The Nyack office team includes a branch operations specialist, Mary Beth Clinton; investment portfolio specialists Thomas Small and Christian Marotta; and registered sales associate Steven Zacharczyk.

Chris Mahoney joined Merrill Lynch in 1982 and spent his entire career with the firm until the move to Raymond James. His areas of focus include retirement planning, estate planning, wealth transfer, portfolio construction and investment management. He has been named one of Barron’s top 1,200 or 1,000 advisers every year since 2010. Mahoney holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Iona College as well as the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation.

The group’s senior institutional consultant, Kevin Mahoney, Chris Mahoney’s brother, began his financial services career in 1991 at Merrill Lynch. His areas of focus include, cash management, retirement planning, pension plans, 401(k) and fiduciary investing issues and helping clients stay cognizant of their ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) responsibilities. Mahoney holds a bachelor’s degree in history and economics from Fordham University as well as the CIMA designation.

Mark C. Marotta, senior vice president of investments, began his career in 1980 with Gabriel Hueglin & Cashman, and after stints at two other firms moved to Merrill Lynch in 1994. He serves clients with retirement planning, wealth transfer, portfolio design, income strategies and wealth management. Marotta holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and business from the State University of New York, as well as the CIMA designation.

Kristen Koluch, senior institutional consultant, began her career as an investment banker with Barclays Capital in 2001. She joined the Mahoney Group in 2003 to support its retirement and institutional business. Koluch holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Georgetown University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Phil Murphy, senior vice president, investments, began his financial services career in 1996 at Morgan Stanley as a foreign exchange controller. He joined the Mahoney Group in 2003 and is responsible for portfolio execution, rebalancing and portfolio tax efficiency. Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Siena College and is a CFA.

Chris Mahoney says leaving Merrill Lynch, where he built and led a successful team, was bittersweet. “But we have a long-established value proposition that our clients have come to expect and that we believe can be delivered partnering with Raymond James,” Mahoney says. “With the firm’s genuine focus on putting clients’ interests first, supporting its advisers through enhanced technology and providing us the flexibility and control we need to serve our clients, it really was the best choice for us.”

NEXT: Mass Mutual acquires analytics program to quantify benefits use.

MassMutual has acquired the assets of Viability Advisory Group as part of a strategy to help advisers quantify for employers’ bottom lines the value of employee retirement readiness and use of benefit plans. The terms of the acquisition not disclosed.

Viability’s analysis program helps companies evaluate the financial costs that ensue from employees who are unprepared to retire as well as the loss of productivity attributable to workers’ financial insecurity. Calculations include the hard-dollar cost of inappropriate or under-utilization of retirement savings and other employee benefits programs. Viability was founded by Hugh O’Toole, who left MassMutual Retirement Services in 2014 and is rejoining MassMutual to run the Viability business as part of the acquisition.

The Viability suite of tools will be offered to MassMutual retirement plans and worksite insurance clients through financial advisers, according to Eric Wietsma, head of sales and distribution for MassMutual Retirement Services. The offering is designed to enhance retirement advisers' practices and add to their value proposition. Employers need a financial adviser when making high-stakes benefits decisions, Wietsma points out, adding, “Viability helps advisers demonstrate the economic value of their insights and guidance to their customers." 

Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president of MassMutual Retirement Services and Worksite Insurance, says the addition of Viability and its analytics program are a complement to MassMutual’s workplace benefits and retirement readiness guidance tools.

O’Toole explains that he started Viability with a focus on optimizing benefits solutions that drive retirement readiness and financial security for employees. “By demonstrating the financial impact of retirement plans and employee wellness to the bottom line for the employer, advisers will be able to help employers make more informed benefits decisions with much better outcomes,” he says.

NEXT: Global Retirement Partners snags LPL executive as new chief operating officer.

Sal Zambito Joins Global Retirement Partners (GRP) as chief operating officer, replacing interim COO Christopher Giles, who will continue on as president of GRP Advisor Alliance.

Zambito, who has more than 30 years of financial services experience, will capitalize on his broad knowledge of the independent adviser model and the retirement market place to strategize and execute sensible solutions for maximizing organizational potential. He spent the first half of his career working in retirement services during the pioneering days of defined contribution retirement plans. 

Before joining GRP, Zambito held several roles at LPL Financial over 14 years, leading several functional areas in operations, service, and national sales. Most recently, as senior vice president of business consulting, he designed and managed the widely received enterprise consulting and service team working with LPL’s most significant office of supervisory jurisdiction (OSJ) relationships, He and his team assisted LPLs largest  adviser groups with strategy,  execution and management of organizational goals.  In addition, he held leadership roles at Fidelity Investments in their large-plan market, at Scudder Kemper as vice president of relationship management and at the professional services firm KPMG as senior manager, developing and managing their national retirement services center.

Bill Chetney and his leadership team are known for shaking up the status quo, and have really blazed a trail for innovation and achievement within the retirement industry,” Zambito says.

Zambito holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Northeastern University.

NEXT: Lockton Chicago expands its retirement practice.

Fred Rutler has joined the Chicago retirement practice of Lockton as a vice president. He will be responsible for business development and delivering solutions for clients’ retirement plan challenges.

Rutler, who has 17 years’ experience in retirement ranging from plan design to market research, was previously a regional vice president with Transamerica. Prior roles include sales consultant at Great-West Retirement Services. Casey Warnecke, chief operating officer for Lockton’s Chicago operations, says Lockton has worked with Rutler for years and recruited him for his retirement expertise and understanding of the connections between different types of plans.

Rutler holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Kansas as well as the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designation. He holds life and health insurance licenses.

Lockton is a privately held independent insurance broker.

NEXT: Vertical Management Systems partners with Envestnet.

Vertical Management Systems and Envestnet Retirement Services have teamed to offer end-to-end recordkeeping services to advisers on Envestnet’s Integrated Retirement Model. The partnership connects VMS’s recordkeeping solution, Retirement Revolution, with that of Envestnet’s.

The Model includes all of ERS’s technology and fiduciary offerings, including: Advisor Practice and Model Management, Managed Plan Portfolios, 3(21) Advice and 3(38) Management, and Managed Accounts.

“We are very excited about our new partnership with VMS,” says Babu Sivadasan, group president of Envestnet. “Retirement Revolution’s streamlined, database-driven recordkeeping technology serves as the framework for flexible integration of all of our services. The platform’s comprehensive approach for fee accounting will help advisers with the Department of Labor’s regulatory and reporting initiative.”

Kevin Rafferty, president and chief executive of Vertical Management Systems, noted that Envestnet’s offerings “give advisers and their clients more choice and flexibility with how they manage their retirement accounts.”

Earlier this year, Envestnet unveiled a fund strategist network, giving advisers access to the intellectual capital of more than 60 institutional managers.

In October, Fidelity began offering the Envestnet Workstation to advisers.