Retirement Industry People Moves

Retirement industry moves at AB, American Century Investments, Pensionmark and more.

Karen Scheffler has joined AB (formerly AllianceBernstein) as senior ERISA legal counsel.

She will oversee compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and lead the firm’s monitoring and client education activities about the increasingly complex fiduciary and regulatory requirements.

Previously, Scheffler was a partner at Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP, where she advised clients regarding all aspects of ERISA affecting investment management. Previously, she held positions as of counsel at Troutman Sanders LLP and counsel at Lowenstein Sandler PC. Scheffler began her career at the Department of Labor as an investigator focused on ERISA enforcement before consulting with plan sponsors on employee benefit matters with Deloitte Tax LLP.

Richard Davies, head of defined contribution at AB, cites Scheffler for her decades of expertise with ERISA.

“The retirement space is experiencing a seismic shift driven by unprecedented changes in the legislative and regulatory areas as well as litigation and industry reforms,” says Larry Cranch, general counsel at AB. “Karen’s more than 20 years of experience in both the public and private sector navigating complex ERISA issues will play an invaluable role in keeping our clients ahead of the curve in understanding their fiduciary responsibilities and the investment solutions that can best meet those needs.”

Scheffler holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and a juris doctor degree from Hofstra University School of Law. She is a member of the bar of New York, New Jersey and Florida.

NEXT: American Century Investments names fixed-income specialist.

Abdelak Adjriou has joined American Century Investments  as vice president and portfolio manager for the teams managing global fixed income (Global Bond Fund) and non-U.S. fixed income (International Bond Fund) strategies.

Formerly with HSBC Global Asset Management, Adjriou joins American Century’s fixed-income rates and currency markets team, where he provides local rates expertise in both developed and emerging markets.

Previously, Adjriou served in various investment management capacities at HSBC, the past three as fixed-income portfolio manager responsible for local rates emerging market funds and mandates. From 2006 through 2013, he managed global and European fixed-income mandates and an absolute return government bond fund. Prior to that, he was a quantitative analyst, where he developed risk management tools and priced and managed rates, credit and volatility risks for multiple fixed income and derivative securities.  

John Lovito, co-head of American Century’s rates and currency markets team, calls Adjriou's skills a strong complement to those across the broader global fixed-income team.  

Earlier in his career, Adjriou was a fixed-income trader with Cridit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (formerly Calyon).  He holds Master of Arts degrees in stochastic calculus from Jussieu Paris VII and in computer science from ESSI (ENSI Group).

NEXT:Pensionmark adds senior compliance officer to East Coast office.  

Barry Toole has joined Pensionmark as a senior compliance officer. 

He is tasked with helping to build out the compliance infrastructure for both broker/dealer and registered investment adviser (RIA) operations, as well as support adviser onboarding and transitions. His immediate involvement will be in the areas of branch supervision, new accounts and advertising review, as well providing an additional compliance resource to the Advisor Support Program.

With 18 total years of experience—15 years in compliance-related roles—Toole’s previous positions have touched nearly every department in a broker/dealer and RIA firm. He spent the first part of his career as a listed options trader and market maker before moving into more compliance-centric roles, including senior registered options principal and compliance registered options principal at regional firms. He then went on to serve in a senior compliance capacity at both LPL Financial and Independent Financial Partners, where he first met many Pensionmark advisers. 

Toole most recently worked as the deputy chief compliance officer at J.W. Cole, a midsize Florida firm, as an internal escalation point and had responsibilities touching all facets of the compliance program, including registrations, anti-money laundering, advertising review, new accounts, cashiering, regulatory issues, complaints, audits and other supervision matters. He also holds a number of licenses, including FINRA Series 4, 7, 24, 53, 57, 63, and 66.

Jennifer Tanck, executive vice president of Pensionmark, says Toole’s knowledge and diverse experience will enhance the existing compliance program.

NEXT: Cohen & Steers names defined contribution SVP.

Charlie Wenzel has joined Cohen & Steers as senior vice president and head of wealth management, defined contribution. His appointment is part of the firm’s focus on the $4.7 trillion defined contribution investment only (DCIO) marketplace.

Wenzel, who has 28 years of experience in financial services, was previously senior vice president of institutional sales at Ascensus, an independent retirement and college savings services provider. His career has centered on defined contribution, retirement plan and 401(k) trust administration, investments and sales.

David Edlin, executive vice president and director of wealth management consulting, says Wenzel will lead intermediary DC efforts by educating 401(k) advisers, fiduciaries, model managers and retirement platforms about how real assets can potentially improve participants' retirement plan outcomes.

Cohen & Steers provides investment management services in qualified retirement plans, including 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans.

NEXT: Willis Towers Watson names executive compensation practice leader for North America.

Andrew Goldstein has been named leader for the executive compensation consulting practice in North America of Willis Towers Watson. He succeeds Todd Lippincott, who left the company in late 2015 for a senior corporate position.

“Andy’s extensive experience consulting to boards and management coupled with his proven track record as leader of the practice in the Midwest region make him ideally suited to head our Executive Compensation business in North America,” said Mark Reid, global lead for Willis Towers Watson’s Executive Compensation business. 

Based in Chicago, Goldstein has been with Willis Towers Watson and its predecessor companies since 1996. He serves as the named compensation consultant to the board and management of Fortune 1000 companies spanning a wide range of industries, helping clients develop executive compensation programs that align the interests of management and owners. His specialties include the design of performance-based short- and long-term incentives, employment contracts, change-in-control agreements, executive benefits and outside director pay. A certified public accountant and certified executive compensation professional, Goldstein holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Miami University (Ohio).

NEXT: Sequoia Consulting adds staff to 401(k) division.

Sequoia Consulting has added three team members to its 401(k) team.

Molly Knapp has joined the team as a senior consultant, retirement plan services. She is responsible for growing the firm’s retirement plan client base in the mid to large market. Knapp, who has more than 18 years’ experience, has held various sales positions with some of the larger retirement plan providers. Most recently she was managing director, institutional markets with MassMutual Retirement Services. Knapp holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and economics from Allegheny College.

David McEvoy has been hired as a 401(k) client service manager. He started his career at First Investors, where he helped clients with their investments and financial planning. He then transitioned to Fisher Investments where he continued to progress his career. McEvoy holds a bachelor’s degree in from Sonoma State University in business administration and finance.

Jason Thurman has joined the firm as a 401(K) consultant for the emerging and small market. He started his career as an associate financial adviser at Merrill Lynch, and most recently, spent the last three years as an associate at New York Life building a client base to help with insurance and financial planning. Thurman holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Hampton University.

Luciano Costantini, who oversees the entire 401(k) team at Sequoia, says the appointments of Knapp, McEvoy and Thurman add to the team’s wide range of expertise and experience to enhance client retirement plan offerings.