Retirement Industry People Moves

Giesting Financial Joins PCIA; BPAS Announces Presence in Cincinnati; EACH Enterprise and Chatham Partners Team Up for Provider Transitions; and more.

Giesting Financial Joins PCIA


Giesting Financial, based in Batesville, Indiana, will join Prime Capital Investment Advisors (PCIA), continuing PCIA’s growth in 2018. Giesting Financial’s current services will be complemented by PCIA’s  operations and support services, as well as its wealth advisory services. The partnership will also enable Giesting Financial to provide retirement plan consultation through Qualified Plan Advisers (QPA). 


“We have known of Prime Capital Investment Advisors for some time and have been impressed with their leadership team and operational structure. Recognizing the benefits we can provide our clients, agreeing to the partnership was an easy decision,” says Mark Giesting, owner and principal of Giesting Financial.


“Mark and his team have built a tremendous business based on the same principles we operate under at PCIA – serving clients to help them achieve their life’s ambitions. We could not be more excited to welcome them to our network of advisers,” says Glenn Spencer, CEO of PCIA.  


BPAS Announces Presence in Cincinnati


BPAS announced that Ken Prell, vice president and chief learning officer of BPAS Actuarial & Pension Services (APS), has relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio.


By establishing a BPAS presence in Cincinnati, Prell is well-positioned to expand the BPAS brand in the Ohio Valley area. Working closely with all BPAS lines of service and with financial partners, he will target new opportunities to deliver consulting and administrative solutions to clients in the region.


“Ken has been an integral part of BPAS for over 35 years, and his knowledge and experience with defined contribution and defined benefit plans are unmatched,” says Jason Disco, director of Defined Benefit Sales at BPAS. “Ken will be tasked with expanding the BPAS footprint into the Ohio Valley through new business partner and financial intermediary relationships. Having a physical presence in the region will greatly enhance our ability to deliver the premier service offerings of BPAS.”


Prell has experience with diversified employee benefits consulting, with BPAS APS and its predecessors, Harbridge Consulting Group and the Syracuse PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Global Human Resource Solutions practice. He specializes in the design and implementation of retirement plan solutions for companies of various sizes and corporate structures employing defined contribution (DC), defined benefit (DB), and nonqualified deferred compensation concepts, or combinations thereof, to enhance program value for business owners and key management personnel.


EACH Enterprise and Chatham Partners Team Up for Provider Transitions


EACH Enterprise and Chatham Partners have partnered in the retirement plan services arena. The partnership aims to induce a breakthrough in client experience during retirement plan service provider transitions. The partnership will explore transitions from the perspective of all stakeholders as well as establishing service quality metrics that can be tracked over time.

ProMotion is the EACH Enterprise offering. It is an in person-collaborative forum to formulate a playbook documenting best practices for successful service provider transitions.  The goal is to enhance process efficiency, establish quantifiable effectiveness measures and share best practices; which yields a better transition experience for sponsor and participant alike. The initial focus is on 401(k) plans in the small plans market (less than $50 million).

CHATHAM Partners introduces CHATHAM Conversion CX based upon its gathering of detailed, independent feedback directly from retirement plan clients to more readily retain and grow a lasting book of business. The Conversion CX program uses success measures and metrics to improve the ability of clients to prioritize resources effectively and understand the analytically-derived drivers of loyalty and identify “problem” relationships and strategies to rectify issues.


Lockton Adds Trio of Advisers to Arizona Region


Lockton has expanded its retirement consulting practice with the addition of three new advisers in Phoenix, Arizona. New senior vice president, Sally Johnson, along with assistant vice presidents Andrea Donaldson and Patricia Duarte, joined the organization from WealthPlan Advisors, an investment and retirement plan consulting firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona. 


The group collectively brings nearly a half century of retirement experience to Lockton. In addition to their work advising employers on the design, investment due diligence and communication of retirement benefits, all three women have also worked for plan recordkeepers, giving them extensive knowledge of administration practices. 


“Retirement is one of the fastest growing parts of Lockton’s business,” says Dan Nemmers, Denver-based executive vice president, producer and leader of Lockton’s Mountain West Retirement practice. “Our staff has to grow just as fast. In Arizona, we are thrilled to bring on board three advisers with the kind of deep expertise the industry has come to expect from Lockton.” 


“We’ve been actively building our Retirement Services business across the country,” says Retirement Services president Pam Popp. “Expanding into the southwest and complementing a strong Arizona-based Executive Benefits team provides our clients and prospects with access to unparalleled expertise.”


Dietrich Associates Hires Two Senior Professionals


Dietrich Associates hired two business development specialists to join their team of retirement professionals.


Dennis Dressel has joined the team as a senior pension actuary and strategic client advisor, bringing over twenty years of extensive experience consulting for pension clients and their advisers in pension risk transfer, plan financial and operational risk management, plan administration and regulatory compliance, investment oversight and retirement plan analysis for mergers & acquisitions. Dressel previously worked as an actuary and pension consultant for Prudential Financial (Pension Risk Transfer), Deloitte Consulting, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Ford Motor Company.  

“We are very excited to have Dennis join our team of professionals.  He brings a broad industry perspective that will provide significant benefits to our clients in consulting and advising corporate and public pension Boards and committees primarily in our area of expertise, Pension Risk Transfer Advisory Services. Dennis is passionate about his work and his varied experience supports our growth in an evolving industry.  He is based in the Chicago area, a convenient location for connecting with clients throughout the Midwest.” says Kurt Dietrich, president at Dietrich Associates.


Mark Doloughty also joins the team as senior client relationship manager.  Doloughty has over twenty-five years of experience in sales, marketing and account management, working with advisers, third-party administrators (TPAs), certified public accountants (CPAs), law firms and plan sponsors focusing on retirement, benefit, investment, consulting, and fiduciary responsibilities. 

“Mark’s proven track record in business development while offering quality service to existing clients is extremely valuable to our growing book of business. Mark had great success while working at ING, Highland Capital Brokerage, Standard Life Insurance Company, and The Vanguard Group. He knows all sides of our industry from the view of an insurance company and advisors. His personability will be vital when working closely with clients to develop custom PRT solutions.  Mark is a true road warrior and we can’t wait for him to hit the ground running, meeting face to face with clients” adds Geoff Dietrich, executive vice president with Dietrich Associates. 


Former Business Director Moves to Consultant at TRA


The Retirement Advantage, Inc. (TRA) added Matt Solomon as its latest regional sales consultant. Solomon’s primary focus is educating advisers and clients, large and small, on the best design for their retirement plan. He will be covering the Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio territory. Solomon will report to Jeff Schreiber, TRA’s director of Sales.


“Matt is an excellent addition to our sales team,” says Schreiber. “He reinforces TRA’s commitment to providing our customer base with the highest quality technical solutions, services, and personnel to meet the ever-increasing challenges of retirement planning.”


Solomon began his career as a senior internal wholesaler and most recently was business development director with an Indiana-based retirement consulting firm.


“Matt has a deep background in sales and consulting to compliment his proficient knowledge of the general industry. His expertise and understanding of customer needs are essential to expanding TRA’s reach within the mid-west,” said Schreiber. “We are delighted to have him join our sales team.”


Solomon received a bachelor’s degree from Bluffton University in Bluffton, Ohio. He has his Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS) and PLANSPONSOR Retirement Professional (PRP) designations.


SEI Appoints Regional Director for DC Sales Group


SEI appointed Scott Muench as regional director of defined contribution sales for its Institutional Group. In this role, Muench will lead business development for the group’s Defined Contribution program, which serves institutional investors and plan sponsors throughout the United States. He will be based in SEI’s Chicago office and report to Mike Cagnina, vice president and managing director of SEI’s Institutional Group.


“We are thrilled to welcome Scott to the SEI family, as his depth of experience in selling investment products and discretionary investing to defined contribution plan sponsors complements SEI’s existing resources that are focused on this area of our business,” says Cagnina. “He understands the industry and the driving forces behind the growing trend of plan sponsors’ shift toward a discretionary investment management model. We are confident he will be very valuable in helping grow SEI’s presence in this market.”

Muench joins SEI from Northern Trust Asset Management, where he most recently served as managing director. Muench was responsible for leading new business development in 20 states, as well as creating and implementing sales business plans and increasing penetration into target markets, which included corporations, insurance companies, foundations and endowments.

Former California Department of Finance Director Named as CalPERS CFO

CalPERS named Michael Cohen its new chief financial officer (CFO) to oversee all financial systems and risk programs of the $362 billion pension fund.

Cohen, who stepped down as the director the California Department of Finance last week, had served at the Department since 2013.

“Michael’s experience managing the multi-billion dollar state budget on behalf of Governor Jerry Brown makes him a perfect fit to manage CalPERS’ complex financial operations,” says Marcie Frost, CalPERS chief executive officer. “As a CFO, Michael will continue to move CalPERS forward, and help identify prudent and innovative finance strategies that will strengthen our financial position.”

Cohen will begin as CFO on October 1.

Cohen will report to the CEO and be responsible for managing the finance processes, including budgeting, accounting, cash management, financial planning and analysis, and risk management projects. He also will be part of the executive leadership team and will provide consultation and advice to the CalPERS Board.

The CalPERS chief financial officer is not part of the Investment Office and not involved in investment decisions.

Prior to becoming director at the Department of Finance, Cohen served as chief deputy director of the department from 2011 to 2013. In this capacity, he was the department’s lead contact with the California Legislature on the state budget. From 1997 to 2010, Cohen worked at the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, serving as a local government finance analyst, director of state administration, and deputy legislative analyst. Cohen earned a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Stanford University. He lives in Sacramento with his wife.

Marlene Timberlake D’Adamo, who has been serving as interim chief financial officer, will return to her role as chief compliance officer. She reports to the CalPERS CEO and is part of the executive leadership team.

R&M Adds Actuarial Consultant to NYC Office

River and Mercantile Solutions (R&M) hired Joseph Anzalone as a director and actuarial consultant. Anzalone will join the newly established New York City office.


“Hiring Joe demonstrates our commitment to growing our U.S. business and building out our presence in the New York metro marketplace. We are excited to bring Joe on board and look forward to his contributions to the firm,” says Charles Cahill, managing director and head of R&M’s actuarial practice in the U.S.


Anzalone comes to R&M after 11 years at Mercer, servicing plans with as few as three and as many as 90,000 participants. He has consulted on areas such as plan terminations, lump sum windows, mergers and spinoffs, liability-driven investing, and non-discrimination testing. In addition to qualified pension plans, Anzalone works with retiree medical plans and non-qualified pension plans.


Joe is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries and an Enrolled Actuary and has a bachelor’s in Mathematics and Economics from Columbia University. He is also pursuing his Fellowship with the Society of Actuaries.


“I look forward to continuing my professional career growth here at R&M,” adds Anzalone. “I was drawn to R&M for their approach to client service and consulting along with the innovative solutions that they provide in the marketplace.”