Retirement Industry People Moves

External Wholesaler Joins BPAS; Past Trader Joins PanAgora as Head of Trading and Implementation; American College of Financial Services President Resigns; and more.

Conduent Incorporated announced it has entered into a binding agreement to sell its U.S. based human resource consulting and actuarial business. The deal also includes human resource consulting and outsourcing businesses located in Canada and the U.K. This business, formerly known as Buck Consultants, is being sold to H.I.G. Capital, a global private equity investment firm.

These businesses are part of the previously announced Conduent plan to divest up to $500 million in revenue in 2018 associated with non-core assets across the company.

In the transaction, Conduent will retain certain assets in line with its core technology platform business, including Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO), Total Benefits Outsourcing (TBO), BenefitWallet and RightOpt. 

“With this divestiture, our Human Resource Services business is now built around a diverse set of services supported by a portfolio of digital business platforms,” says Christine Landry, group chief executive, Conduent, Consumer & Industrials. “Together with our recent leadership hires and platform improvements, we are well positioned to help our clients modernize their HR processes, create seamless experiences for their employees and accelerate our growth in HR services.”

The transaction, which is subject to certain regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.  

Mercer Promotes Former Global Client Manager

Mercer announced that Julie Humphries has been appointed the firm’s U.S. Mercer digital leader. In her new role reporting to Susan Haberman, senior partner and U.S. career business leader for Mercer, Humphries will focus on driving Mercer’s business in helping clients strategize and implement digital strategies to engage their employees, streamline human resources (HR) processes and augment the human work experience to drive business success. 

“Julie is an exceptionally strong client manager and innovative business leader who helps organizations achieve business success through people,” says Haberman. “Her knowledge, insights, and background will help Mercer continue to progress our digital solutions through new technologies and provide our clients with innovative ways of advancing the future of work.”

Humphries specializes in aligning technology and process change to enable business growth, consulting on HR effectiveness issues, and leading high-performing teams. She has worked with clients in multiple industries, including retail, health care, airlines, energy, pharmaceuticals, financial services, information technology, utilities, and manufacturing.

She has held numerous positions at Mercer. In her prior role as global client manager, Humphries led the delivery of HR and strategy consulting services to a broad base of domestic and multinational clients. She also served as the U.S. central market leader, driving the delivery of Mercer’s services to clients in the central part of the United States. Prior to rejoining Mercer 10 years ago, she was a financial executive for technology and sales channels at Bank of America Corporation.

Humphries is an associate in the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree from University of Georgia and a Master of Arts degree from Georgia State University.

External Wholesaler Joins BPAS

BPAS has added Nathan Charleson as an external wholesaler located in the west coast region. 

“We are thrilled to have Nate join BPAS as we expand our presence on the west coast,” says Paul Neveu, president of Defined Contribution (DC) Services at BPAS (BPAS Plan Administration and Recordkeeping Services). “While BPAS has clients in all 50 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, we see the west coast as a future growth area. Nate is already well established in the California Advisor community. His knowledge and reputation, coupled with the unique value proposition and capabilities of BPAS, make for a winning combination.” 

Charleson brings to BPAS nearly 20 years of experience in consulting on defined contribution, cash balance, defined benefit, and non-qualified retirement plans. Prior to joining BPAS, he held sales and marketing positions on both the east and west coast for other asset management or administration firms.

He holds designations for the FINRA Series 7, FINRA Series 6, FINRA Series 65, FINRA Series 63, National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA), Accredited Pension Representative (APR), Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC), and CA/MA Variable Life Insurance. He also earned a Masters in Finance from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.


Neveu adds, “In the new paradigm, advisers want true open architecture, fee normalization, human resources [HR] outsourcing, auto enrollment/escalation and informed discussions of plan design. And while fees are always important, advisers are demanding more than ever from administration firms. BPAS is committed to this model and to expanding our partnerships on the West Coast.” 

Charleson is based in Huntington Beach, California. He will work closely with investment advisers and trust companies to build successful retirement plan partnerships, practices and consulting services in the areas of fiduciary, plan design, investment analysis, and more. 


Past Trader Joins PanAgora as Head of Trading and Implementation

PanAgora Asset Management appointed Jason Gaunt as head of trading and implementation. He will be responsible for the firm’s global trading activities across equities, multi-asset and alternative investment strategies.

Gaunt is a veteran trader with more than 15 years of experience spanning both the buy and sell side. The last five years of his career have been spent with PanAgora as a senior trader on the equity investments team. In this role, Gaunt was responsible for the implementation of client portfolios that employ the firm’s equity investment strategies and equity trading for investment strategies across PanAgora’s broader platform. Before joining the firm in 2013, Gaunt was a senior sales trader at Susquehanna Financial Group. He also held trading positions at MFS, Jefferies, Riversource/American Express and LightKeeper Investments.

“During his tenure with the firm, Jason has consistently demonstrated that he is a gifted trader and talented business leader,” says George Mussalli, chief investment officer, Equities at PanAgora. “We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber serve as our head of trading and implementation, and look forward to his continued success at the Firm.”

Gaunt is a holder of both the Chartered Market Technician and Financial Risk Management designations.

American College of Financial Services President Resigns

Dr. Robert R. Johnson, president and CEO of The American College of Financial Services, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, has announced his resignation, effective April 30.

“I appreciated the opportunity to lead The College,” he says. “Unfortunately, the Board and I had differences of opinion on how to proceed strategically. That said, I have nothing but respect for the College and its leadership. I thank the Board and my colleagues for their support over the past four years, and wish the College well.”

James Meehan, chairman of the Board, states, “We are grateful to Bob for his service to The College and all he accomplished during his time here. We wish him and Heidi the very best, and we appreciate his willingness to help during the upcoming transition period.

“I am excited to announce that Todd Schoon will step into the role of president on an interim basis, effective May 1,” Meehan continued. “Todd currently leads our business development team and is a past chair of the Board of Trustees, so he knows the College and its people well. A search for a new president will begin immediately.”

Ameritas Announces SVP of Retirement Plans Team

Bill Lester, Ameritas president and chief operating officer, announced the election of Jim Kais to lead the Ameritas retirement plans division as senior vice president, retirement plans.

Prior to joining Ameritas, Kais held several roles with increasing responsibility culminating as senior vice president, retirement practice leader at Transamerica. Since joining Transamerica in 2006, Kais led sales, product and strategy efforts on nearly every retirement plan vertical.

“Jim’s expertise in the retirement plans industry will be an asset to Ameritas as we continue growing this important part of our business,” Lester says. “His knowledge and understanding nicely complement the Ameritas commitment to excellence and customer service. We’re excited to have him join us.”

Prior to Transamerica, Kais held various roles at ADP TotalSource, Prudential and Merrill Lynch.

Kais earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and business administration from Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and he holds the FINRA Series 6, 63 and 26 securities registrations.