Retirement Industry People Moves

Cerity Partners Connects with Karsten Advisors; Former NFL Player-Turned-Investment Adviser Joins PlanMember Financial Corp; Mutual of Omaha Retirement Services Expands Sales Team; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

Cerity Partners Connects with Karsten Advisors

Cerity Partners has merged with Fort Worth-based wealth management firm Karsten Advisors. This is the second merger for Cerity Partners of 2019, bringing the firm to nearly $22 billion in assets under advisement and eight offices nationwide.

Led by President and CIO Tom Karsten, Karsten Advisors provides comprehensive wealth management advice, including tax planning and preparation. 

“Cerity Partners has proven to be the perfect partner for our firm – we share a core culture and philosophy that true financial advice extends to all aspects of a client’s financial life,” says Karsten. “Much like Karsten Advisors, Cerity Partners offers clients access to financial planners, CPAs and other professionals to ensure that they receive a comprehensive plan that addresses their complete financial situation. This is a concept that is central to how we developed our practice and was an absolute necessity when finding a partner.”

Cerity Partners’ newest colleagues are well acquainted with regional markets in Texas and Colorado and serving clients in-and-around the Fort Worth and Denver areas.

“An often-overlooked benefit of scale is the new perspectives brought by additional team members,” says Cerity Partners CEO and President, Kurt Miscinski. “We look forward to working with Tom and our other new colleagues from Karsten and using their experiences to build upon our expertise.” 

Former NFL Player-Turned-Investment Adviser Joins PlanMember Financial Corp

Ronald Heller has joined PlanMember Financial Corporation as director of Partner Development.

Before joining PlanMember, Heller co-founded Peritus Asset Management, Inc. where he served as CEO and senior portfolio manager and was responsible for trading activities. For 23 years, Heller worked with executives on Wall Street in both new issue and secondary trading in the leveraged loan and high yield bond asset classes. At Peritus, he nurtured and maintained custody and investment dealer relationships and was a member of the investment committee.

Prior to his investment career, he played professional football with the San Francisco 49ers, who won Super Bowl XXIII in 1989. He then played with the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks, retiring in 1993.

Al Close, executive vice president of Sales and Distribution at PlanMember, says, “Ron has the ideal skill set required to accelerate PlanMember’s recruiting growth as we expand both our existing Financial Centers and Financial Center footprint nationwide.”

Mutual of Omaha Retirement Services Expands Sales Team

Mutual of Omaha Retirement Services has recently expanded its sales force by adding four new positions and hiring three regional sales directors.

“We’re excited for this growth opportunity and the additional support we can bring to financial advisers by adding this group of talented people to our team,” says Patrick Bello, national sales director with Mutual of Omaha. 

Adam Cord has joined Mutual of Omaha Retirement Services as an associate regional sales director covering Missouri, Iowa and Southern Illinois. Previously Cord was an adviser with Hilliard Lyons and a retirement plan wholesaler with Sentry Insurance.

Preston Hamilton is now a regional sales director covering the Texas territory. Hamilton recently spent six years as a retirement plan consultant at CFO4Life.

Patricia Longmore joined as regional sales director covering Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and Alaska. Longmore previously worked at Pacific Life. 

Paul Mammolito will now work as regional sales director covering the Florida territory. Mammolito spent several years at PNC Bank in various positions. He was also a retirement services district manager at ADP. 

Mario Martinez will be an associate regional sales director covering Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. Martinez most recently spent five years at AIG as a variable annuity internal wholesaler.   

The company promoted a former internal wholesaler and national accounts team leader, Paul Phan and Bob Woods. Phan will now work as associate regional sales director covering Delaware, South Central Pennsylvania, Maryland and Northwest Virginia, while Woods was promoted to business development manager. In this role, Woods leads the national accounts team, focusing on developing value-add services for broker/dealers and their advisers. Woods previously led the Eastern Division sales team for two years and prior to that was a sales channel manager for Mutual of Omaha.

“We created the Business Development Manager role to focus on serving our key broker dealer customers and build out new programs to support those relationships. We’ve recently rolled out new training, prospecting and marketing programs for financial advisers and this role will help direct these programs to benefit our partners,” says Michelle Gibilisco, director of Marketing and National Accounts. “We are committed to our customers, and these additions help us continue to provide them the highest level of support.”

Willis Towers Watson Adds DC Delegated Solutions Leader

Willis Towers Watson has appointed Michele Brennan as U.S. Delegated Defined Contribution (DC) Plan Solutions leader. Brennan is based in Chicago and reports to Clint Cary, U.S. head of Delegated Investment Solutions.

In this newly created position, Brennan will lead the development of delegated investment value propositions and solutions for DC plan sponsors in the U.S. 

“We are thrilled Michele has joined our Delegated Investment Solutions team,” says Cary. “Michele is an industry thought leader with a proven track record in bringing innovation to DC plan sponsors and participants. We look forward to her many contributions serving clients, as well as accelerating our DC outsourced chief investment officer market position.”

Prior to joining Willis Towers Watson, Brennan served as executive director, client relations at UBS Asset Management with DC leadership responsibilities in its consultant relations team. Brennan also held senior distribution positions at AMG Funds and Skyline Asset Management. She graduated from the University of Dayton where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

HSA Bank Appoints Relationship Management SVP

HSA Bank has added John Young as its new senior vice president of strategic relationship management. Young will be responsible for cultivating and strengthening HSA Bank’s relationships with partners by leveraging new account production and driving increased HSA (health savings account)-eligible health care participation.

“HSA Bank empowers consumers to make the most of their health care dollars,” says Ed Seaver, HSA Bank’s senior vice president and director of strategic relationship management. “John’s passion and keen understanding of consumerism will grow our partner and prospect relations and motivate consumers to own their health and health care decisions.”

Most recently, Young ran his own consulting firm, ConsumerDriven LLC, working with private exchanges, employers, and benefit advisers, to help them improve consumerism strategies such as transparency solutions and quality care alternatives. 

Prior to this, Young served as senior vice president of consumerism and strategy with Alegeus, where he helped consumers find solutions for their short- and long-term health care. He also served as senior vice president of consumerism for Cigna, where he worked as a primary resource for progressing Cigna’s consumer-driven health strategy through national and mid-market sales and service regions. 

Throughout his career, Young collaborated with policymakers and trade organizations through his steady involvement with the HSA Council of the American Bankers Association and the former Institute for HealthCare Consumerism. Young holds a bachelor’s degree in business and managerial economics from Bethel University.

RiskFirst Adds U.S. Client Delivery Manager

RiskFirst has hired Amanda Flemming as U.S. Client Delivery manager, focused on client success. Flemming will focus on ensuring clients gain maximum value from PFaroe – RiskFirst’s asset, liability and risk management technology platform.

Previously, Flemming worked at NEPC for 14 years, where she provided investment advice to a varied client portfolio and had responsibility for key technology implementations, including PFaroe, which NEPC adopted in 2015.

“As our business continues to grow strongly in the USA we are eager to further improve the excellent service that our clients have always experienced,” says Matthew Seymour, CEO of RiskFirst. “Amanda’s experience of the U.S. pensions industry, and of PFaroe, will bring an invaluable client perspective to the role.  She will work closely with clients to understand and help grow their businesses by integrating PFaroe’s unrivalled capabilities, adding real value to their businesses. Amanda’s appointment is part of RiskFirst’s commitment to strengthening our capabilities in the U.S., as well as delivering exceptional service.”

MIM Brings in Head for Institutional Client Group

MetLife Investment Management (MIM) has appointed Matthew Mosca as global head of the firm’s Institutional Client Group.

Mosca joins from BlackRock, where he was most recently head of strategy for BlackRock’s Official Institutions Group. In this role he oversaw strategy, business development and operations for BlackRock’s relationships with sovereign institutions. He was also a member of the Institutional Client Business leadership team.

Based in Whippany, New Jersey, Mosca is responsible for MIM’s institutional client strategy and the delivery of investment solutions to clients globally. He will also oversee client relationship management and consultant relations.

Steve Goulart, president of MIM and executive vice president and chief investment officer for MetLife, says, “Matt’s deep client relationships and significant asset management experience will be instrumental as we further strengthen our offerings across public fixed income, private fixed income and real estate, and accelerate the growth of our business globally.”

Prior to joining MIM, Mosca spent more than 25 years at BlackRock. During his tenure, he also served as chief operating officer of BlackRock’s Institutional Client Business where he was responsible for overseeing group operations and client service for BlackRock’s institutional clients. Mosca has experience working with institutional investors across the globe, including two years as co-head of Nomura BlackRock Asset Management in Japan.

Aegon AM Increases ESG Integration Team

Aegon Asset Management (Aegon AM) has added two new hires, Brunno Maradei as global head of environmental, social and governance (ESG), based in The Hague, the Netherlands and Julius Huttunen as responsible investment manager, based in Chicago. Both will report to Roelie van Wijk-Russchen, global head of Responsible Business and Public Affairs.

Maradei joins Aegon AM from the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, where he was a senior investment officer leading execution teams for project finance deals outside the European Union, focusing on climate-friendly impact investments in Africa. Prior to that, Maradei was a blended finance operations officer in the International Finance Corporation’s Climate Business Department in Washington D.C., arranging concessional financing for renewable energy projects in Africa and developing ESG investment products for emerging market investors. He has also previously worked as a senior manager at ESG research provider EIRIS (now part of Moody’s) and in the derivatives and risk management functions at J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley respectively.

In his new role as global head of ESG, Maradei will manage Aegon AM’s team responsible for all engagement activities, voting and active ownership, ESG integration and reporting support and advice as well as development and maintenance of Aegon AM’s responsible investment policies globally. His particular focus will be on delivering best in class practices and processes to ensure Aegon AM’s leadership position in the responsible investment industry.

Huttunen joined from Calvert Research & Management based in Washington D.C., where he was an ESG research analyst covering corporate issuers (from an ESG perspective) and focusing on improvement of the Calvert Fund’s ESG process. Prior to this, he was a sustainable investment analyst at Kames Capital and an investment analyst at Alliance Trust, working both in Japan and in the United Kingdom.

“Brunno and Julius bring invaluable knowledge and international experience to the team as we continue to strengthen our responsible investment credentials,” says van Wijk-Russchen. “With a team of 14 people across Aegon Asset Management’s global businesses, including Kames Capital and TKP Investments, we believe Aegon AM has the expertise to continue to lead the way on ESG issues, ensuring our clients’ responsible investing criteria are met and their sustainable goals can be supported.”

Natixis Hires Multi-Asset Portfolio Solutions Leader

Natixis Investment Managers has appointed Christopher Sharpe as chief investment officer and portfolio manager, Multi-Asset Portfolio Solutions for Natixis Advisors, based in Boston. In this newly created role, Sharpe will lead the firm’s U.S.-based multi-asset portfolio solutions offering, which includes the Natixis Sustainable Future Funds. The funds remain the industry’s first and only target-date mutual fund suite with investments driven by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, according to the firm.

Sharpe has 28 years of experience in the financial services industry, including 17 years in managing multi-asset strategies. Prior to Natixis, Sharpe worked at Fidelity Investments, managing over $225 billion in multi-asset-class mutual funds and institutional accounts. He also served previously as an investment policy officer at John Hancock. Sharpe earned a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from Brown University. He is a CFA charterholder and a fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

“Given his extensive background managing various multi-asset-class funds, including in the target-date industry, we’re thrilled to have Chris join our team,” says Marina Gross, executive vice president at Natixis Advisors. “His added leadership and investment experience will play a key role in bolstering new and existing partnerships through our investment solutions capabilities.”

“With distinct focus on managing portfolio risk and customization, Natixis Advisors embodies our mission to provide intermediaries with holistic solutions,” says David Giunta, CEO for the U.S. and Canada at Natixis Investment Managers. “We are well positioned to solve complex investment problems by collaborating across our multi-affiliate organization and developing tailored solutions that help clients navigate their challenges.”

Stadion Money Management Promotes Longstanding Employee

Stadion Money Management has promoted its longtime employee, Scott Randolph, to vice president, wealth and retirement consultant, Southeast U.S. Randolph first joined Stadion in 2005 and was previously vice president, retirement consultant, Midwest and West Coast. In his new role, Randolph will oversee adviser distribution of retirement solutions for Stadion in the Southeastern US across all recordkeeper partners.

Other key responsibilities of Randolph’s position include adviser education, plan sponsor consultation, and conducting participant enrollment meetings. Randolph has enjoyed almost twenty years with Stadion and his career in financial services stretches back three decades.

He reports to Chief Distribution Officer David Lacusky.

Of this shift in responsibilities Randolph said, “After spending more than a decade with my partners in the Midwest and West, I am excited about the opportunity to create successful relationships with financial advisers closer to home in the Southeast. It’s an exciting time at Stadion as we have a lot to offer with our cutting-edge products and new distribution partners.”

“The Wealth and Retirement Consultant Role is a commitment from Stadion to both financial advisers and plan sponsors,” says Lacusky. “Scott, with his twenty years of retirement experience, will be a valuable asset to his advisers in the Southeast.”

Benefits Consultant Joins Alliant Employee Benefits


Benefits consultant Dana Scott has joined the Employee Benefits Group of Alliant. The Austin, Texas-based Scott joins on as senior vice president, bringing with him a diverse background that melds the worlds of health care, employee benefits, and finance.


“Dana has the far-reaching expertise and innovation that employers require in today’s competitive landscape,” says Kevin Overbey, senior executive vice president and senior managing director, Alliant Employee Benefits. “He is a powerful addition to our team in Austin and will provide high-value solutions to clients with operations in Texas and throughout the U.S.”


Scott has extensive experience providing tailored employee benefits solutions that help clients reduce costs, improve outcomes, and strengthen the bottom line. He has worked with clients in a broad array of industries on the core issues of cost containment, productivity, wellness, and long-term strategic planning.


Prior to joining Alliant, Scott was Austin Health & Benefits Market leader with a multinational insurance and employee benefits consulting firm. He also has experience as a finance officer and controller both within the benefits and media sectors.


Scott earned his bachelor’s degree from Simpson College and his MBA in finance and business from the University of Denver.


AIG Appoints SVP, Relationship Management


AIG Retirement Services (formerly VALIC), a retirement plan provider for health care, K-12, higher education, government, religious, charitable and other not-for-profit organizations, has named Freda Lee to the newly created position of senior vice president, relationship management. Lee assumes responsibility for the company’s national network of relationship managers and oversees retirement plan retention efforts.


Lee has focused on relationship management since she joined AIG in 2004 and most recently served as vice president, relationship management. She has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry.


Lee earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Howard University and a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Strategy from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business. She is active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors for the Houston Independent School District (HISD) Foundation. She works closely with AIG Retirement Services’ program leadership committee for FutureFIT Academy, which in partnership with EVERFI, teaches financial wellness and literacy to school age children (K-12) in local area schools in need of service.