Retirement Industry People Moves

Advicent Expands Leadership Team with New CTO and VP; BPAS Adds External Wholesaler in South-Central Location; DCIAA Adds Senior-Level Positions for Retirement Research Center; and more. 

Advicent Expands Leadership Team


Advicent has welcomed two enterprise software veterans: John Heinen as chief technology officer and Brian Kutmas as vice president of product development. Along with these product leadership changes, Advicent continues to invest heavily in product platform expansion and partner experience throughout the organization by adding 20 roles within partner experience, quality assurance, software development, and partner support. 


“Disruption in the financial advice industry has fundamentally altered the landscape firms face. Many are feeling a growing pressure to differentiate themselves in the market,” says Angela Pecoraro, CEO of Advicent. “The addition of John’s and Brian’s unique skill sets and technology leadership background, as well as an expanded product development team, demonstrates our commitment to a long-term platform modernization strategy and partner experience that will meet and exceed our customers’ needs in this competitive environment.” 


Prior to Advicent, Heinen held various leadership positions, including chief technology officer at GE Healthcare; chief technology officer and EVP at Informed Clinical Sciences Corporation; and most recently, SVP of preparedness solutions and SVP of product management at Intermedix. 


In his role at Advicent, Heinen will leverage his leadership background to execute business and product strategies while also working with clients throughout the market to deliver technology solutions that yield results and meet regulatory requirements. 


“With the financial services industry rapidly increasing investments in technology, we must stay ahead of every new challenge and opportunity our partners face every day,” says Heinen. “We have the most trusted, robust, and comprehensive financial planning platform in the world, and I look forward to building upon that to serve the needs of our customers for years to come.” 


BPAS Adds External Wholesaler in South-Central Location


BPAS has announced that Joe Long has joined the firm as an external wholesaler located in the South-Central region.


“After an extensive search process, we are pleased to introduce Joe Long as our new external wholesaler in the South Central region,” says Paul Neveu, president of BPAS Plan Administration & Recordkeeping Services. “His background, expertise, and knowledge of the industry will make him a great asset to our financial partners, helping them build their businesses across all plan types and plan sizes. Continuity and stability of relationships are things we pride ourselves on at BPAS.”


Continuing the work of Kay McManus, who will be retiring from the firm, Long will market BPAS retirement plan services in partnership with advisers, corporate trustees, and other financial intermediaries across the South-Central U.S. He brings to BPAS more than 25 years of industry experience in sales relationship management. He is a certified pension consultant (CPC), certified employee benefit specialist (CEBS), qualified pension administrator (QPA), qualified pension financial consultant (QPFC), and an accredited investment fiduciary (AFP).


With continuous growth in the South-Central U.S.—and Texas in particular—BPAS recognized a real opportunity to bring new solutions to advisers and corporate trustees in this region who focus on qualified plans. 


According to Brian Douglas who manages BPAS external wholesalers, “In the one to $50 million plan space, many employers are still using legacy platforms or solutions that can be improved upon. With our story of true open architecture, HR [human resources] outsourcing, fee normalization and a vertically integrated model, we think there is a big opportunity to bring better solutions to plan sponsors in this space. We’re looking forward to Joe’s talents in building partnerships and sharing the BPAS story.” 

DCIAA Adds Senior-Level Positions for Retirement Research Center

The Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) has added two senior-level positions to its full-time staff:

  • Peg Knox, chief operating officer (COO), DCIIA, who joined as of February 20
  • Warren Cormier, executive director, DCIIA Retirement Research Center (RRC), who joined as of January 2

“We are pleased and excited to have Warren and Peg join the DCIIA team in these important roles,” says Lew Minsky, DCIIA president and CEO. “The newly launched RRC represents the next phase in DCIIA’s evolution as we continue to work to enhance retirement security. Warren’s deep research expertise and industry experience are an ideal match. Having Peg’s perspective as a plan sponsor veteran as well as her numerous managerial and operational skills will also play a crucial role in our continued growth.” 

Prior to joining DCIIA, Knox was the global retirement plans manager at Bechtel Global Corporation, where she worked to generate and implement new ideas for Bechtel retirement plans to enhance retirement security for its employees. Previously she had served as Bechtel’s treasurer, where she ensured efficient global treasury operations including cash management and investments, debt and credit lines, foreign exchange services and other treasury functions to support the company’s business lines. Knox has an MBA from Saint Mary’s College and is based in San Francisco.

Cormier has previously served as CEO and co-founder of Boston Research Technologies and as president and founder of Boston Research Group. Cormier is a veteran in the financial services industry with more than 25 years of experience in research for investment companies, banks and insurance companies. He is also recognized as a market research leader in the defined contribution industry. He is the cofounder of the Behavioral Finance Forum with Shlomo Benartzi and is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Derrin Watson Fielding Questions for ERISApedia Ask the Author Service announced that S. Derrin Watson, JD, APM, attorney, author and speaker, is currently answering questions submitted through the “ASK the Author” service. The service allows subscribers to submit questions and receive responses from Watson within four business hours.


The “ASK the Author” (ASK) is a service available to subscribers of ERISA [Employee Retirement Income Security Act] compliance products via an online library including several titles such as “The Qualified Plan eSource,” by Ilene H. Ferenczy; “Who’s the Employer,” by S. Derrin Watson; “The Form 5500 eSource,” by Timothy M. McCutcheon, “The Fiduciary Responsibility eSource,” by Charles G. Humphrey, among others. 


“I really enjoy fielding questions from ASK subscribers.” says Watson. “So much of my career has involved assisting pension professionals. This allows me to provide that help on a quick, personal level. The ASK service is a great idea. Subscribers pay a very affordable fee to have rapid responses from a recognized professional. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to use my experience to assist the pension community in this way.” 


Prime Capital Investment Advisors Launches Fiduciary Investment Trust


Prime Capital Investment Advisors announces the launch of Fiduciary Investment Trust, LLC (FIT) as a separate enterprise. FIT provides comprehensive solutions that address a number of critical challenges facing employer-sponsored retirement plans.   


At the highest level, FIT is focused on retirement plan health, which starts with “participant outcomes” – getting plan participants financially on track for retirement. “Increased savings is key for the vast majority of Americans and the only way we know to motivate people to save more is through robust education,” says Glenn Spencer, CEO of Prime Capital. In addition to participant education, FIT provides unbiased investment products with a strong track record of performance, plan health analytics and fiduciary risk management.


The launch of FIT comes with the appointment of Robert J. Cruz, executive vice president. Cruz joins FIT from AllianzGI and previously BlackRock. Cruz brings over two decades of leadership in defined contribution (DC) and institutional investments to FIT. 


“We are incredibly fortunate to have attracted Robert to lead FIT,” says Scott Colangelo, executive chairman of Prime Capital. “His track record of leadership and success is unparalleled.”