Retirement Industry People Moves

NFP Advisor Services to rebrand as Kestra Financial; Arnerich Massena announces new CFO; Pentegra Retirement Services names regional director for upper Midwest territory; The Retirement Advantage adds sales rep; GW&K adds taxable bond portfolio manager; Northern Trust Asset Management boosts OCIO team. 

NFP Advisor Services to Rebrand as Kestra Financial

Insurance broker and consulting firm NFP has entered into an agreement with funds managed by Stone Point Capital LLC, a private equity firm focused on investing in the global financial services industry.

In connection with the transaction, NFP Advisor Services will change its name to Kestra Financial. “As part of the agreement, Stone Point will acquire majority ownership of Kestra, and NFP’s ultimate parent will maintain a substantial minority ownership stake,” the firms explain.

The transaction will contribute to the newly branded Kestra’s “continued long-term success by enhancing the services and differentiated capabilities it offers independent financial advisers.” Within this wider goal, Stone Point will also look to “further strengthen Kestra’s wealth management solutions, integrated technology platform and business consulting offerings.” The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close within 90 days.

Douglas Hammond, chairman and chief executive officer of NFP, says the agreement “creates an optimal structure for NFP and Kestra, and enables NFP to focus on its core insurance brokerage and consulting competencies while promoting continued alignment between the two companies.”

James Poer, president and chief executive officer of Kestra, adds that the firm looks forward to rolling out “customized service and first-class technology.” 

More information is at

Arnerich Massena Announces New CFO Lori Mueller

Arnerich Massena Inc., an independent investment advisory firm specializing in wealth management services, investment strategies and retirement plan consulting, announced that Lori Mueller has been promoted to chief financial officer.

Mueller, who has served as managing director of finance for Arnerich Massena since 2014, will provide financial analysis and insight to help guide the company’s strategic and resource planning process. She oversees all finance-related functions of the firm and also serves on the firm’s executive leadership team.

Prior to joining Arnerich Massena, Mueller served as vice president, finance and administration, for the OHSU Foundation, with more than $900 million in assets, where she oversaw the accounting, investment, and office management functions. She also held the roles of controller and chief financial officer for the Physicians’ Association of Clackamas County.

Mueller holds a bachelor of science in finance from Portland State University.

Dave Nute, chief operating officer, says Mueller’s service “has been invaluable in positioning the firm strategically to best serve our clients.” He also points out that Mueller’s promotion coincides with Arnerich Massena’s 25th year in business.

More information is available at

Pentegra Retirement Services Names Regional Director for Upper Midwest

Pentegra Retirement Services announced that Matt Petersen has joined the organization as regional director for Pentegra’s qualified retirement plan sales.

Reporting to Pete Swisher, Pentegra’s senior vice president of national sales, Petersen will “spearhead the company’s business development efforts for the upper Midwest.” According to Swisher, “We are excited to have Matt on board. With extensive knowledge of qualified retirement plan solutions, strong relationships and a solid track record of success, he will be instrumental in working to expand the organization’s scope, reach and relationships throughout the upper Midwest.”

Petersen brings a decade of industry experience to Pentegra, having worked most recently as a regional VP with Transamerica Retirement Solutions.

Petersen received his bachelor of arts in economics and communications from Lake Forest College and holds his accredited retirement plan consultant (ARPC) designation. Additionally, Petersen maintains FINRA Series 6, 63 and Life Insurance licenses.

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Vest Enhances Asset Management Business with Appointment of Steve Neamtz

Vest, a provider of protective investment strategies, appointed Steve Neamtz to the position of senior managing director.

In this role, Neamtz will “spearhead Vest’s expansion of its protection-oriented offerings into asset management with a product line up which includes Unit Investment Trusts (UITs), mutual funds, closed-end funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).” 

Karan Sood, chief executive officer at Vest, explains that the firm utilizes an online platform to “make it easier than ever before for financial advisers to gain access to protective investment strategies.”

“Investors want to be invested in the financial markets, but they don’t want to sacrifice significant capital or peace of mind in the process,” Neamtz comments. “I’m thrilled to help bring Vest’s investment approach to mutual funds and ETFs. With built-in protection, I’m confident investors will find their respective value propositions to be very compelling.”

Neamtz previously served as head of distribution at NATIXIS, AIG SunAmerica, and Virtus. While CEO of distribution at AIG SunAmerica, he helped to launch multiple open-end mutual fund product lines and helped launch the first two NYSE-listed closed-end offerings in the company’s history. He holds a BS in marketing and finance from Pennsylvania State University.

The Retirement Advantage Adds Sales Rep

The Retirement Advantage (TRA), provider of retirement plan solutions, announced the hiring of Phil Kennedy as their latest regional sales consultant, covering a territory of Colorado, Utah, Nebraska, Wyoming, North and South Dakota. 

Kennedy will report to Craig Mazzini, national sales manager of TRA.

Kennedy will be responsible for partnering with plan advisers and plan providers, and designing and implementing optimal employer-sponsored retirement plans, focusing on privately-held businesses with up to 1,000 employees.

Kennedy has worked in the financial services and retirement plans industries for nearly a decade. For the past several years, he has held various sales management roles with Lincoln Trust and Great West Financial and most recently, a regional TPA. He graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a bachelor of science degree in finance and financial management services. He currently holds the FINRA Series 7 and 63 securities licenses.

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GW&K Adds Taxable Bond Portfolio Manager to Roster

GW&K Investment Management, an investment management firm offering active equity and fixed-income investment solutions, announced Christopher Langs has joined the firm as a portfolio manager on the firm’s taxable bond team.   

Langs, who brings over two decades of fixed-income investing experience to GW&K, was previously a high-yield portfolio manager at Calamos Investments, where he had responsibility for U.S. and global high yield strategies. Prior to that, Langs was a senior high-yield portfolio manager at Aviva Investors, as well as head of research with a focus on U.S. corporate high-yield and investment grade credit. He also held credit analyst roles at Standish, Ayer & Wood and American International Group.  

The firm says the hiring comes in response to taxable bond assets at GW&K growing from just over $1 billion five years ago to over $3.7 billion the end of 2015, accounting now for nearly 15% of the firm’s total assets under management. 

Langs is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and a member of the Boston Securities Analyst Society and the CFA Institute. He earned a bachelor of arts from Purdue University and a master of business administration degree in economics and finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  

More on the firm and its lineup of funds is at

Northern Trust Asset Management Boosts OCIO Team

Northern Trust Asset Management has named Jessica Hart as retirement practice lead in its outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) business, and hired two additional investment professionals to further strengthen its OCIO team and support recent growth.

The new hires will focus on supporting the firm’s global family office, retirement and endowment/foundation business segments.

Hart, a 16-year Northern Trust veteran who has led global fund construction for the multi-manager solutions group, will take leadership of a team that manages $60 billion in global multi-asset programs for defined benefit pensions and defined contribution retirement plans. In the OCIO role she succeeds John McCareins, who has been appointed to lead asset management in the Asia-Pacific region.

Joining Northern Trust are Lincoln Ellis, as a senior client investment officer for the global family office practice, and Dan Kutliroff, as a senior sales specialist in the retirement practice. These new positions “also allow for personnel changes internally to strengthen support for endowment and foundation clients as well as the other OCIO teams,” the firm says.

Hart joined Northern Trust in 2000 and served in a variety of senior roles in multi-manager solutions, most recently as global head of manager research and fund management, leading a team of 15 senior research and portfolio analysts. She is co-manager of nine multi-manager mutual funds in the Northern Funds family and was a key player in developing the funds.

A 20-year investment veteran, Ellis was most recently an independent adviser, portfolio manager and assets allocator for family office clients. Ellis spent eight years at Morgan Stanley in various roles from new client acquisition to asset allocation and investment strategy.

Kutliroff joins with more than 20 years of experience as an adviser to corporate retirement plans, most recently as director of OCIO sales in the Midwest for Mercer Investments. Prior to that, Kutliroff spent 17 years as an actuary for corporate plan sponsors.

Related to the new hires, Northern Trust Asset Management also announced that John Keshner, who has been the practice lead for both endowment/foundation and global family fofice clients, will focus solely on the E&F segment, while Mark Maly will lead the global family office advisory practice. Also in support of new business and continued momentum in the E&F space, Paul Partington will expand his role as a senior client investment officer to include both E&F and GFO clients.

More information is available here