Retirement Industry People Moves

Oppenheimer Names Head of Beta Solutions; Eng Rejoins AB in Custom DC Solutions; Mariner Retirement Advisors Joins GRP Advisor Alliance, and more.

Ralph Ferraro has been named senior vice president, head of Product, for the Retirement Plan Services (RPS) business of Lincoln Financial Group.

Ferraro is based in Radnor, Pennsylvania, and reports to Jamie Ohl, President, RPS.

Prior to joining RPS, Ferraro held the position of senior vice president, head of Product, with Voya Financial, Inc., where he was responsible for the profitability and product management of small/mid corporate and institutional markets. Earlier in his career, Ferraro held executive positions with CitiStreet, LLC. Ferraro earned a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Seton Hall University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Princeton University. He holds series 6, 7, 24 and 26 FINRA registrations.

Another addition to the Product and Solutions Management Team is Aziz Syed, who has been named vice president, Stable Value Leader, and will report directly to Ferraro. Syed joins Lincoln with more than 20 years of experience in financial leadership roles. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Bentley University and a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering and economics from the University of Wisconsin.

“As we continue to grow the RPS business at Lincoln, having industry veterans like Ralph and Aziz will help us build and offer products designed to ensure that all of the participants we serve will be able to have the retirement they envision” says Ohl.

NEXT: Oppenheimer Names Head of Beta Solutions

Sharon French joined Oppenheimer Funds as head of Beta Solutions.

In this role, French will be responsible for growing the firm's smart beta business by building on the success of Oppenheimer Factor Weighted ETFs as well as developing new multi-factor products to help meet client demand. French will be based in New York and will join the firm's Senior Leadership Team, reporting directly to Art Steinmetz, chairman and CEO of OppenheimerFunds

French joins OppenheimerFunds from BNY Mellon, where she was senior strategic advisor to the CEO and president of Investment Management, focusing on ETF and multi asset business growth. Previously, she served as president of F-Squared Capital. Before that, she was head of Private Client & Institutions at BlackRock for its iShares business. French spent nearly a decade at AllianceBernstein, and held prior roles at mPower, Smith Barney, and Chase Manhattan Bank.

Vince Lowry, lead portfolio manager for the Oppenheimer Revenue Factor Team, and his team will report to French.

NEXT: TIAA Global Asset Management Unifies DCIO Team

TIAA Global Asset Management announced that Erin Donnelly has been appointed managing director and head of Defined Contribution Investment Only (DCIO).

In this role, Donnelly leads a unified DCIO business that combines the teams of both Nuveen Investments and TIAA Investments. The combined DCIO team will deliver a wide range of investment capabilities from TIAA Global Asset Management, including the full array of strategies and products from TIAA Investments and Nuveen.

"TIAA Investments and Nuveen have a long history of serving the retirement needs of investors with high-quality investment solutions and innovative products," says Rob Leary, CEO of TIAA Global Asset Management. "Bringing our teams together under Erin's leadership will provide a single point of access for advisers, consultants and plan sponsors who seek our high-performing mutual funds to help meet the investment goals of their clients."

Prior to this newly created role, Donnelly served as managing director of Business Development in Nuveen Wealth Management. Previously she spent nearly 15 years at Merrill Lynch, where she was managing director and head of Global Funds and Insured Solutions.

She will lead a recently expanded team of more than 20 dedicated DCIO professionals focused on meeting the growing adviser, consultant, and plan sponsor demand for TIAA Global Asset Management investment solutions in the 401(k), 403(b) and 457 marketplaces. The organization intends to add additional resources to support the retirement adviser and consultant needs in the middle and larger segments of the market.

“Through a unified business and dedicated DCIO resources, we can now offer—as never before—a complete suite of high-quality, high-performing investment strategies that meets the unique needs of the DCIO clients,” says Donnelly. 

NEXT: Segal Adds Associate Actuary

David A. Berger has joined The Segal Group as a vice president and associate actuary.

Berger has more than 25 years of experience helping clients with their retiree health and retirement plans. Most recently, he was at Aon Hewitt where he served as the primary retirement consultant to several large organizations. His projects included asset/liability modeling and total retirement studies.

Berger is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA), an enrolled actuary (EA) and a Fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries (FCA). He received a Bachelor of Science, Economics and Management and Applied Mathematics from Centre College of Kentucky and a Master of Arts, Economics from the University of South Florida.

He reports to Deborah Brigham, vice president and actuary, and is based in Segal’s Atlanta office.

NEXT: Wilshire Names Head of OCIO Solutions

Wilshire Consulting, the institutional investment advisory business unit of Wilshire Associates Incorporated, has named veteran consultant Mark Brubaker, CFA, as head of Wilshire OCIO Solutions practice.

Brubaker is a managing director of Wilshire Associates. He joined Wilshire in 1997 and has served as investment consultant to large corporate, endowment and public fund clients out of Wilshire’s Pittsburgh office. He is head of Wilshire’s OCIO Solutions practice and is a member of the Wilshire Consulting Investment Committee and Manager Research Oversight Committee.

Prior to joining Wilshire, Brubaker worked at Westinghouse Electric Corporation, where he was responsible for more than $9 billion in defined benefit, defined contribution and foundation assets. He also worked in the Investment Management and Trust Division of PNC Financial.

Brubaker earned a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is active in the CFA Society of Pittsburgh.

NEXT: TRA Adds Regional Sales Consultant

The Retirement Advantage, Inc. (TRA) announced the addition of Josh Henry as regional sales consultant.

Henry's main focus is educating advisers and clients, large and small, on the best plan design for their retirement plan.  He will be covering the Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky territory.  Henry will report to Craig Mazzini, National Sales Manager of TRA.

Henry began his career as a plan administrator. According to TRA, over the past 16 years of being active in both a sales and support role, he has become exceptionally skilled at designing and implementing retirement plans. Additionally, Henry will work to effect immediate and sustained growth and market TRA's services.

Henry received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. He has his FINRA Series 6 License, FINRA Series 63 License and is currently working toward his Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) designation through ASPPA. 

NEXT: Eng Rejoins AB in Custom DC Solutions

Jeff Eng has rejoined Alliance Bernstein (AB) as managing director of custom defined contribution solutions.

He will be responsible for driving the growth of AB's existing custom target-date offerings and Lifetime Income Strategy solution, while supporting the firm's broader initiative in digital delivery of retirement planning advice.

Jeff originally joined AB in 2001 as a product director in defined contribution (DC), where he was involved in the development and launch of Lifetime Income Strategy, a multi-insurer target-date fund with a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit. The age-based, asset allocation program is designed to help employees convert their savings over time into a stream of guaranteed income that lasts throughout retirement. Prior to rejoining the firm, Jeff was director of Retirement Income Solutions at Russell Investments.

"Our defined contribution business continues to grow and we are excited to have Jeff back on our team. He has an outstanding track record of developing and implementing innovative customized retirement solutions and was intimately involved in launching our Lifetime Income Strategy," says Richard Davies, Global Head of Defined Contribution at AB

NEXT: Wagner Law Group Adds Two ERISA Attorneys

Livia Quan Aber and Ellen Stone, both distinguished Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and employee benefits attorneys, will join The Wagner Law Group, effective May 2, 2016. 

Aber, who joins The Wagner Law Group as of counsel, has previously held positions specializing in ERISA and employee benefits at law firms, a financial institution and a consulting company, as well as in the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). She has vast experience advising employers on a wide variety of employee benefit matters, including the design, drafting and implementation of qualified retirement plans and employee health and welfare benefit plans. She also has significant experience representing employers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), DOL and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) in the resolution of complex compliance and audit issues.

Aber has experience structuring plan terminations and obtaining rulings from government agencies. She has also advised employers on benefit plan matters arising in acquisitions and divestitures.

Stone joins The Wagner Law Group as a senior associate with broad ERISA experience. She has advised clients on a wide variety of issues, including statutory, regulatory, fiduciary, administrative and operational issues with respect to qualified retirement plans, tax-sheltered annuities, nonqualified deferred compensation, and welfare plans. Stone has experience representing clients during IRS audits of employee benefit plans, drafting plan documents and amendments for qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, preparing private letter ruling requests, participating as a court-appointed independent fiduciary and advising on ERISA issues arising from mergers and acquisitions. She also has a robust Estate Planning practice.

NEXT: Voya Hires Two for Large Corporate Market

Voya Financial’s Retirement business has recently made two strategic hires to support its Large Corporate Market sales team.

Bob Hord joins Voya as the director of consultant relations, and Sally Bradley-Golding will serve as an account executive in the Large Corporate Market business. Combined they bring more than 40 years of experience serving clients in the institutional retirement industry and will focus on growing Voya’s presence in the large and mega market arena.

Hord and Bradley-Golding joined Voya in early April. Hord is based in North Carolina and Bradley-Golding in Massachusetts. Each of them reports to Steve Keating, head of sales for the Large Corporate Market.

Hord previously worked at Wells Fargo for more than 12 years, most recently as the vice president, senior consultant relations director. In that role he served as the single point of contact for national consulting firms, broker dealers and niche advisers firms who specialize in institutional retirement consulting. In his new position at Voya, Hord will leverage his expertise and strong relationships to expand the company’s presence in the mega and large market space, specifically working to gain market awareness and secure opportunities with the consultant community focused on this segment.

Bradley-Golding previously spent more than a decade with Financial Engines, where she held leadership positions that included overseeing a relationship management team as well as developing successful partnerships with the top 401(k) providers who offer Financial Engines’ investment advisory service to their plan sponsors. Prior to Financial Engines, Bradley-Golding was with Fidelity Investments and Bankers Trust Company. In her new role at Voya, Bradley-Golding is responsible for bringing retirement solutions to plan sponsors—especially those whose plan assets exceed $1 billion.

NEXT: Efficient Advisors Names President

Efficient Advisors, LLC hired Nicole Newlin as president of the firm as of March 14, 2016.

Efficient Advisors, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a Turnkey Asset Management Program provider (TAMP) and exchange-traded fund (ETF) strategist that helps advisers build and manage portfolios from a fiduciary perspective.

Newlin's will be an important voice on Efficient Advisor's executive team in setting and implementing corporate strategy, and she will have broad responsibility across various functional areas of the firm.

Newlin held high-profile roles on the executive teams at two large, well-known TAMP firms, where she was instrumental in setting and executing corporate strategy as well as developing leading-edge service and support infrastructure to help advisers maximize their time and, ultimately, their success. Most recently, Newlin was a partner at Pathfinder Strategic Solutions, where she helped advisers nationwide to re-engineer and optimize their firms' overall client experience, as well as develop and execute client acquisition strategies.

NEXT: Mariner Retirement Advisors Joins GRP Advisor Alliance

GRP Advisor Alliance, a group of retirement plan firms focused on empowering advisers, announced the addition of its newest member firm, Mariner Retirement Advisors.

The Mariner organization represents 180 plans and more than $3 billion in assets under advisement.

The addition of Mariner Retirement Advisors to GRP Advisor Alliance extends their reach in the mid-south region of the U.S. GRP Advisor Alliance’s and Mariner Retirement Advisors share a common goal of providing extraordinary services to advisers, plan sponsors, and participants.

According to David Stofer, ChFC, CLU, AIF, founder and president of Mariner Retirement Advisors, "We are pleased to partner with GRPAA to provide enhanced services to our retirement plan clients. Since our firm's inception, we have focused on ensuring financial wellness and retirement readiness for our clients' employees. I look forward to further enhancing these services through the Financial Finesse program and our relationship with GRPAA."

NEXT: Principal Portland Expands Sales Team

Principal announced the promotion of Kent Smothers to vice president of Sales.

The Portland Retirement and Income Solutions office has also added Dan Litwora as a senior sales representative to the team that services Oregon, Western Idaho, and Southwest Washington.

Smothers has been with Principal for almost 10 years. In his new role, he will direct the Portland team in assisting and serving retirement plan consultants and advisers. “I am proud to represent Principal every day. We spend our resources on improving retirement outcomes for participants, creating efficiencies for plan sponsors, and helping retirement plan professionals build strong practices that make a difference,” says Kent.

Litwora comes to Principal from The Retirement Advantage. In his role, he will work with financial advisers, business owners, and HR managers on defined contribution and defined benefits products serviced by Principal.

Litwora joins Smothers and the other members of the Portland team, which includes Jeff Harvey, Ann Konrad, Ted Bender, and Beth Granum, in working together to deliver heartfelt service and expertise to retirement professionals.