Retirement Industry People Moves

This week brings the retirement of FINRA’s chief executive, a merger of compliance consulting firms and more.

Richard Ketchum, chairman and chief executive of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), has announced his plan to retire in the second half of 2016. The Board of Governors of the self-regulatory organization will conduct a search for a successor that considers internal as well as external candidates.

Ketchum has been one of the foremost industry regulators for more than three decades. He came to FINRA in 2009 from the New York Stock Exchange, where he was CEO of NYSE regulation. He also spent 12 years at NASD and The Nasdaq Stock Market, where he was president of both organizations. Before that, he was the director of the market regulation unit of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“I’m proud of FINRA’s achievements over the past six years,” Ketchum said in a statement. “We have been at the forefront of investor protection in our aggressive efforts to help enforce the rules that are so crucial to fair financial markets.”

“FINRA has thrived under Rick’s leadership, and we look forward to his continued guidance over the next many months,” said Lead Governor Jack Brennan, former CEO of Vanguard Group. “His stewardship began in the aftermath of the financial crisis when public trust in the financial system was at an historic low. As a champion of initiatives such as the High Risk Broker program, improvements in BrokerCheck, the expansion of TRACE reporting of asset-backed securities, and the expansion of FINRA’s responsibilities across stock and options trading, Rick has put FINRA on the front line of the movement for stronger investor protections and greater market integrity.”

Dale Brown, president and chief executive of the Financial Services Institute (FSI), says Ketchum was always willing to listen, understand and consider the perspectives of all stakeholders.

NEXT: GRP Advisor Alliance hires EVP of Worksite Financial.

Amy Glynn has joined GRP Advisor Alliance (GRPAA) as executive vice president of Worksite Financial.

Glynn is tasked with developing and deploying worksite solutions and programs for GRPAA members ranging from a financial wellness program with Financial Finesse to rollover support, advice, collective trusts, tools and training.  

Glynn has been in the retirement plan industry for more than 20 years serving in corporate and entrepreneurial capacities. Most recently, she was president of retirement services at Calton & Associates, an independent hybrid firm leveraging technology, intelligence and teamwork to support the retirement plan marketplace. She previously worked with National Retirement Partners in 2002 while running institutional sales in the Northeast for New York Life, after which she served as director of retirements at Commonwealth Financial Network, where she built a retirement plan consulting platform. From there, she founded the Pension Resource Institute, a nationwide organization supporting more than 40 broker/dealers and registered investment advisers (RIAs) with their ERISA strategy and compliance. 

Bill Chetney, chief executive of GRPAA, calls Glynn a game changer with depth, intelligence, experience and the energy the firm needs to continue its commitment to serving its clients.

Glynn is founding chair of NAPA’s Women’s Advisor Council and president elect of the Women in Pensions Network, where she developed a national mentoring program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and women’s studies from Colgate University.

NEXT: Towers Watson hires three global portfolio managers.

Aongus O’Gorman has joined Towers Watson in Sydney and will cover a range of hedge fund and other diversifying strategies. He was previously managing director of Round Tower Solutions, a boutique consultancy focused on investment governance, process improvement and product management.

Abbas Alighanbari has joined the London office, where he will be involved in a range of hedge fund strategies, initially focusing on long/short equity. Previously, he was at International Asset Management, where he researched and conducted quantitative and qualitative analysis on a broad range of hedge fund strategies and assisted in managing client portfolios totaling $4.1 billion.

Victoria Vodolazschi will focus on long/short equity, macro and systematic strategies in the New York City office. She was previously a consulting strategy specialist at PivotalPath, where she evaluated hedge fund managers and helped build the firm’s investment and operational due diligence process.

Brad Morrow, Towers Watson’s Americas region head of manager research, cites the three managers for their substantial experience.

NEXT: Commonfund names new chief investment officer. 

Commonfund, an investment manager for endowments, foundations and the public sector, has appointed Mark Anson its new chief investment officer. He will start in January.

Anson is currently CIO of the Robert Bass Family Office. Previously, he has served as CIO of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the British Telecom Pension Scheme and as president of Nuveen Investments. 

Anson will serve on Commonfund’s operating committee and will chair the investment policy and asset-allocation committees. He will report to Catherine Keating, president and chief executive of Commonfund, who cites Anson’s track record and experience as an institutional investor. “He has been both a leader and innovator across asset classes, particularly in alternative investing,” she says.

Anson holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and economics from St. Olaf College, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees in finance from Columbia University, and a Juris Doctor from Northwestern. He holds designations as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He has published numerous journal articles and financial textbooks and is the author of the “Handbook of Alternative Assets,” the textbook used for the CAIA certification program. He serves on the Board of the CAIA Association and has also served on the CFA Institute Board and the New York Stock Exchange’s Investor Advisory Board to the Chairman.

NEXT: National Compliance Services Teams with Regulatory Compliance.

National Compliance Services Inc. (NCS) and Regulatory Compliance LLC, two national compliance consulting firms in financial services, have agreed to merge.

The strategic combination creates a single source of compliance consulting services and solutions for registered investment advisers (RIAs) and broker/dealers, among other financial services clients. Both are privately held companies.

The firms say NCS’s RIA and broker/dealer compliance consulting, registration services, federal filings services and technology platform will complement Regulatory Compliance’s consulting and registration services for RIAs and broker/dealers, FinTrax software, financial operations (FinOp) support and outsourced chief compliance officer (CCO) services. 

Many firms struggle to manage the escalating costs and complexity of compliance, notes Stephen Sussman, founder and chief executive of Regulatory Compliance. The merger positions both firms to “offer the broadest set of compliance solutions and the deepest bench strength of expertise of any single provider.”

Sussman and Rita Dew, founder and CEO of NCS, will be joint chief executives of the new company, which will have five offices throughout the country.

As the firms integrate over the next few months, clients and prospects can continue to interact with each firm. Until the combined entity decides on a location for its headquarters, NCS will continue operating from Delray Beach, Florida, and Regulatory Compliance will maintain offices in New York, Boston and southern New Hampshire.

NEXT: Integrated Retirement names senior ERISA counsel.

Charles Humphrey has joined Integrated Retirement as senior counsel specializing in Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) matters.

Humphrey, who has more than 30 years’ experience, is tasked with helping the firm’s clients develop training solutions, and build content and resources to help expand and support retirement plans in the adviser-sold market.

Previously, Humphrey held positions as an attorney with both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor. He also served as counsel at M&T Bank and its related broker/dealer, where he helped develop and oversee individual retirement account (IRA) and health savings account (HSA) products and services. Humphrey has practiced in large law firms and run his own boutique employee benefits firm. He also served as counsel to Fiduciary Governance, an ERISA fiduciary responsibility consulting firm, and is a member of several industry committees and benefit organizations committed to helping shape policy and foster better benefit plans. Humphrey is the author of “The Fiduciary Responsibility eSource,” a resource for advisers and plan sponsors seeking plain language explanations of ERISA fiduciary responsibilities.

Pam O’Rourke, senior vice president and principal in charge of training and content services, cites Humphrey as a recognized industry leader and an expert on a broad range of employee benefit issues, including ERISA fiduciary responsibilities.

Integrated Retirement provides retirement plan training and content solutions to financial organizations.

NEXT: TRA integrates with Vertical Management Systems’ platform.

The Retirement Advantage Inc. (TRA) is the most recent third-party administrator (TPA) to integrate with the recordkeeping and investment management platform of Vertical Management Systems Inc. (VMS).

With an automated cloud-based recordkeeping platform that integrates brokerage, trust and custody accounting systems, VMS provides solutions to address the needs of retirement advisers, plan sponsors and plan participants. TPAs can offer their services in an integrated fashion to the VMS community of advisers, plan sponsors and participants.

According to TRA President Matt Schoneman, the firm’s advisers have spoken favorably of Retirement Revolution’s ability to facilitate the provision of individually tailored investment guidance to participants while providing investment flexibility and full fee transparency to stay compliant with pending regulatory changes. Integrating with the VMS platform boosts TRA’s support of advisers and plan sponsors, Schoneman says.

Robert Ward, chief revenue officer of VMS, describes TRA as a forward-thinking TPA whose experience, insights and national influence will help to innovate the Retirement Revolution's next generation retirement solutions.

TRA services more than 4,500 plan sponsors, 300,000 plan participants, and has $4.5 billion of plan assets under administration.

VMS provides data, financial networking and account aggregation technology.

Next: John Hancock names sales VP.

Grant Argall has been named regional vice president of John Hancock Retirement Plan Services (JHRPS).

Argall will be in charge of sales and relationship development with financial representatives and plan consultants in John Hancock's Midwest unit, with a focus on southern Wisconsin, eastern Iowa and northwest Illinois. He reports to Kent Lepard, divisional vice president of the Midwest division.

Argall, who has nearly 15 years of experience in retirement plans, most recently served as senior sales representative in the retirement plans division of Principal Financial Group. Bob Carroll, national sales manager, John Hancock RPS, cites Argall’s retirement experience and extensive knowledge of the region.

Argall holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, as well as his FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses, and state insurance licenses in Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois.

NEXT: Berkeley Capital moves to the Triad Advisors platform.

Berkeley Capital Partners, an independent hybrid financial advisory firm, has transitioned to the Triad Advisors Inc. broker/dealer and hybrid registered investment adviser (RIA) multi-custodial platform. Berkeley brings client assets of more than $350 million as of September 30 and has six financial advisers, three with 30 years or more of adviser experience, as well as a professional operations manager.

Berkeley, based in Norcross, Georgia, offers financial planning and investment management to individuals, businesses and institutions.

Triad Advisors, based in Atlanta, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc.