OneAmerica has announced leadership changes and major investment plans that will better position the company to serve their distribution partners and customers.
Jeff Holley, executive vice president, Finance, Operations and Institutional Markets, will take the helm as acting leader of the company’s Retirement Services recordkeeping business. Dennis Martin, senior vice president, was appointed to be acting leader of the firm’s Individual Life and Financial Services lines of business.
In addition, OneAmerica announced other key leadership changes, including the creation of a new leadership role, head of Enterprise Operations. This role is designed to deliver more value to OneAmerica’s distribution partners and customers and will report to Jeff Holley. The company also shared that it is continuing its significant investment in technology and transformation programs that will strengthen relationships with its field force and the millions of customers OneAmerica serves.
Scott Davison, OneAmerica’s chairman, president and CEO, says, “We are making the largest investment in people and technology in our 140-year history. We continue to stay focused on serving others and the mission of helping individuals, families and business protect those they love and prepare to live confidently in retirement.”
TRA Acquires ACS to Expand Northeast Region
The Retirement Advantage, Inc. (TRA) has announced the acquisition of Actuarial Consulting Services (ACS), an independently owned actuarial, consulting, and administrative services firm headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
“This acquisition will allow TRA to serve plan advisers and sponsors in New Jersey and the surrounding northeast region, continuing our national expansion and our commitment to integrity and value in the retirement plan market,” says Matt Schoneman, president, TRA. “This transaction also enables us to bring our technology and efficiency to ACS clients and welcome a talented and skilled staff who will further our capabilities and client-first approach.”
The strategic acquisition of ACS was completed on January 1, and is said to strengthen TRA offerings through advanced processes and technologies, in addition to providing access to new customer and product markets. With the acquisition, TRA is poised to continue supporting its financial adviser and recordkeeping partners with the design, implementation and administration of customized retirement plan solutions.
“Both ACS and TRA share complementary business models and similar core values, which creates a substantial foundation to support continued growth into the future,” says Michael Haya, president of ACS. “We are excited about the opportunity this transaction will provide ACS’ existing clients and our staff. Our clients can have confidence that TRA will always act in their best interests and maintain loyal relationships that are based on trust and integrity.”
USI Hires SVP and Regional Sales Director
USI Consulting Group has announced that Michael Sullivan has joined the company as senior vice president and regional sales director, based in Chicago.
Sullivan will be responsible for managing the central region of the sales force. According to USI, he has over 28 years of experience in the retirement and investment services industry, helping plan sponsors make informed choices through educated and well-developed retirement programs. He has extensive experience with the design, implementation and servicing of defined contribution (DC) and defined benefit (DB) retirement plans, with corporations and non-for-profits. His focus is helping plan sponsor clients meet their fiduciary responsibilities while helping their participants achieve retirement security.
Mercer Adopts Investment Metrics Platform
Investment Metrics has announced that its platform will be deployed across Mercer’s Wealth business in the U.S. Mercer will leverage the Investment Metrics solution to power its institutional client reporting, investment analytics and research capabilities to serve the needs of its institutional defined benefit, defined contribution, endowment, foundation, wealth management, and delegated investment advisory clients.
“We are excited about how quickly we have been able to successfully deploy this solution and we are impressed with Investment Metrics’ technology and the team’s vast domain expertise, technology and ability to solve complex problems with short lead times,” says James Guilfoyle, Mercer’s U.S. head of Performance Reporting Operations. “Our selection of Investment Metrics is based upon a shared commitment to satisfy the needs of our clients and business partners by fostering greater innovation in our industry.”
Industry Veteran Joins American Century Multi-Asset Strategies Team
Vidya Rajappa joined American Century Investments’ Multi-Asset Strategies team on January 22 as vice president and portfolio manager. She will co-manage the firm’s target-risk and target-date strategies, including the One Choice Portfolios, as well as the strategic allocation and multi-asset income strategies, with other members of the Multi-Asset Strategies team, including CIO Multi-Asset Strategies Richard Weiss, Vice President and Portfolio Manager Scott Wilson, and Vice President and Portfolio Manager Radu Gabudean.
“Vidya’s extensive experience structuring and managing investment solutions for clients is complemented by her excellent technical skills and deep quantitative background,” says Weiss. “Adding her expertise is a win for our clients and our firm. I’m pleased to welcome her to the team.”
Rajappa, a 23-year industry veteran, joins American Century from Alliance Bernstein, where she was senior vice president, multi-asset solutions, and a senior member of its defined contribution research and investment design team, responsible for designing proprietary and customized target-date solutions for clients. In her previous role as director of quantitative research in global analytics at Alliance Bernstein, she was responsible for the design and support of analytics across product groups and asset classes. Prior to joining Alliance Bernstein, Rajappa served as vice president and manager of JP Morgan Investment Management’s quantitative analytics group.
Rajappa holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from PSG College of Technology in India and a master’s degree in Statistics and Operations Research from New York University. She is a CFA charterholder and member of the CFA Institute.
Edelman Financial Services Partners with Envestnet
Edelman Financial Services has announced a relationship with Envestnet, a provider of intelligent systems for wealth management and financial wellness. According to Edelman Financial Services, the agreement will help the firm deliver “state-of-the-art” client experience.
The firm will equip its financial planners with Envestnet’s robust suite of capabilities to support the Edelman Managed Asset Program (EMAP). Envestnet’s capabilities will also enable Edelman Financial planners to operate more efficiently so they can better serve their clients.
“Envestnet will help us grow sustainably while ensuring we continue delivering outstanding service and advice to our current clients,” says Ryan Parker, chief executive officer of Edelman Financial Services. “The platform will allow us to create a more integrated, seamless client experience, building upon our 30-year commitment to putting our clients first.”
He added that Edelman Financial Services has long been focused on using technology to improve the client experience, noting that founder and executive chairman Ric Edelman‘s latest book, “The Truth About Your Future,” focuses on the impact that exponential technology will have on personal finance.
“Research has shown that firms who leverage advanced technology integration serve more clients and are able to focus more on building stronger client relationships,” says John Phoenix, managing director of advisory services at Envestnet. “Our integrated technology will enable Edelman’s financial planners to provide truly client-focused wealth management.”
American Retirement Association Adds Government Affairs Counsel
Joseph A. Caruso, III, recently accepted a position as government affairs counsel at the American Retirement Association (ARA) in Arlington, Virginia, where will be responsible for federal and state lobbying through meetings with public officials, draft legislation, comments on proposed rules, hearing testimony, campaign contributions and more.
Prior to accepting his new role, Caruso served as an industry affairs associate with the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) in Washington, D.C., where he supported ILPA’s advocacy efforts to advance best practices and policies in the private equity industry.
Caruso earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Allegheny College in 2013, garnering induction into Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society. He earned a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from The H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. At Heinz, Joe served as Heinz Finance Club President and Editor of the Heinz Journal.
Conrad Siegal Switches Brand Name, Logo and Website
Conrad Siegel Actuaries and Conrad Siegel Investment Advisors have announced a company-wide rebranding, unveiling a new name, logo and website.
Previously known as Conrad Siegel Actuaries and Conrad Siegel Investment Advisors, which distinguished the firm’s two primary divisions, the firm will now be referred to uniformly as Conrad Siegel. The united brand is said to provide a more cohesive experience for the firm’s valued clients. The name was founded in 1963, by Conrad (Connie) Siegel.
“When Connie first started the firm, he had one goal, to serve as a trusted partner and advocate for clients, committed to cultivating meaningful relationships rooted in transparency and high-value counsel. As a result of his clear vision, the firm has seen remarkable growth and success over the last 50-plus years,” says Mark Bonsall, president and partner at Conrad Siegel. “The rebrand honors his legacy and elevates Conrad Siegel as a full-service, premier firm while continuing its commitment to provide high quality service to clients.”
The updated name is accompanied by a new logo that pays homage to the Conrad Siegel brand and represents the firm’s core values of accuracy, proactivity, responsiveness, guidance, trust, relationships, and simplifying complexities.
Conrad Siegel’s new website highlights the firm’s depth of services and its commitment to partnership and relationships over profit. Through engaging content, employers and individuals can learn more about Conrad Siegel, its values, credentialed specialists and results-driven approach.
For more information on Conrad Siegel and the firm’s services, visit https://www.conradsiegel.com/
CIO of Emerging Markets Equity Joins Franklin Templeton
Franklin Templeton Investments has announced the hire of Manraj S. Sekhon as chief investment officer (CIO) of Emerging Markets Equity, overseeing the emerging markets equity teams across the organization. Sekhon will join on February 19, and will be based in the firm’s Singapore office. He will report to Stephen Dover, head of Equities for Franklin Templeton Investments.
“Manraj Sekhon brings more than two decades of industry experience in emerging markets and is a proven global investment leader,” says Dover. “As part of the next phase in the evolution of our emerging markets teams, we are pleased to bring on a leader who I am confident will best leverage the breadth of our investment talent across emerging markets equities to deliver the high-quality investment strategies and performance that our clients expect.”
In the course of his more than 20-year career in global investment, Sekhon has managed portfolios on behalf of pension plans, sovereign wealth, endowments, insurance, family offices and private wealth clients. Prior to joining Franklin Templeton, Sekhon served as the chief executive, CIO and director of Fullerton Fund Management, a Singapore-based asset manager. Prior to that, Sekhon served as director and head of International Equities at Henderson Global Investors, where he led a team managing Global and EAFE (Europe, Australasia & Far East) portfolios for clients around the world.
Sekhon will oversee Franklin Templeton’s more than 80 experienced emerging markets equity investment professionals based in 20 offices around the world and representing over $45 billion in assets under management. The investment philosophies and disciplined approaches of each distinct strategy within the emerging markets equity groups will remain intact.
The Wagner Law Group Names Compensation Attorney as Partner
Compensation attorney Mark Poerio has joined The Wagner Law Group as a partner, effective as of February 1.
Poerio, who will be based in the Washington, D.C., office, has 30 years of experience focused on equity compensation plans, performance-based incentives, employment agreements, golden parachute, mergers and acquisitions, change in control, and severance matters (both individualized and broad-based). According to Wagner Law Group, his clients cover a broad spectrum, including major public companies, companies owned by private equity, closely-held corporations and tax exempt organizations.
Poerio serves as president of the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel and is an executive board member of the American Benefits Council. He has taught graduate level courses at Georgetown University Law Center on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), on the business and securities aspects of executive compensation, and on complex strategies for tying restrictive covenants and trade secret protections to different forms of executive pay.
He has graduated with honors from both the University of Virginia and Cornell Law School, and for 20 years served as pro bono counsel to the Maryland Association of Social Service Boards, creating a grass roots foundation that has raised over $1 million to support programs protecting children and vulnerable adults.
Marketing Expert Joins RetireOne as Leader of PR Functions
RetireOne has announced the addition of long-time industry marketing veteran, Mark Forman. Forman will lead the marketing, digital experience and public relations functions for RetireOne.
Forman has more than 18 years of experience in financial services—the last 12 years focused primarily on RIAs and fee-based advisers. Most recently, he led the customer experience discipline at Jefferson National, where his team earned a 98% customer satisfaction rating. Prior to that, Forman ran digital marketing at Jefferson National, leading their marketing automation technologies and the user-interface design of their variable annuity trading platform.
“Mark spent a dozen years listening to, and creating rich experiences for, RIAs and fee-based advisers,” says David Stone, founder and chief executive for RetireOne. “We’re extremely pleased that Mark has joined the team as we grow the RetireOne Platform and drive even more value in the adviser marketplace. Macro-trends in the investment advice landscape are putting pressure on manufacturers to create new solutions for the growing market of fee-based advisers. As the leading provider of unbiased retirement savings, and income investments, we want to bolster our partnership with industry innovators.”
T. Rowe Price Adds Senior Manager to Thought Leadership Team
Sudipto Banerjee has joined T. Rowe Price as a senior manager of thought leadership on the Retirement and Financial Education team. Banerjee joined T. Rowe Price from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), where he was a research associate and leading policy scholar examining income, spending, and asset decumulation patterns in retirement; annuitization behavior; and labor force behavior trends.
Based in Maryland, Banerjee will contribute to the development of T. Rowe Price’s retirement and financial education platform, focusing on statistical research about 401(k) participant behavioral insights, retirement plan design and governance, and their combination with investments to drive beneficial outcomes for retirement savers and plan sponsors. He joins a team of retirement and financial planning experts who provide research, insights, and educational content, adding an institutional perspective.
In 2015, Next Avenue named Banerjee one of the 50 Influencers in Aging for his analysis of the economic aspects of retirement. His work has been published in “The Journal of Human Resources” and “The Journal of Retirement”, and he has presented at several academic and industry events. Banerjee holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Presidency College in India and a master’s degree in Quantitative Economics from Indian Statistical Institute, as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Economics from The Ohio State University.
Voya Promotes Client Relations Worker to RVP of Sales
Voya Retirement has recently promoted Charles Stier to the position of regional vice president of Sales for the company’s Small-Mid Corporate Market business.
In this role, Stier will be responsible for generating new business and building key distribution relationships in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. He will be working through all channels, including wirehouses, banks and independents serving employers with plans up to $75 million in assets.
Most recently, Stier held the position of vice president of Client Relations at Voya. In this role, he was responsible for managing a team of Client Relations managers in the Northeast.
Stier graduated from University of Rochester with a degree in Political Science. He holds FINRA Series 6, 7, 26 and 63 registrations as well as his Certified Financial Planner and American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) Qualified Plans Financial Consultant designations.