Retirement Industry People Moves

Multnomah Group expands consulting team; Ascensus selects regional VP for South Texas division; RVPs join CUNA Mutual sales division; and more. 

Art by Subin Yang

Art by Subin Yang

Multnomah Group Expands Consulting Team

Multnomah Group hired Breion Rollins as a consultant and promoted Hailey McLaughlin to consultant.

Rollins’ background includes 13 years of experience working within human resources, with 10 years focused on benefits in higher education, including direct project management on two significant public-sector vendor consolidations. Most recently, he worked at the University of Houston and was responsible for managing and leading the operations team for employee benefits, wellness, and customer service.  

“The addition of Breion increases our geographic reach and capabilities,” says Erik Daley, managing principal. “Breion brings hands-on experience managing retirement benefits. His knowledge and experience will be immediately impactful in providing additional depth and resources to our clients.”

McLaughlin has worked as a benefit analyst for Multnomah Group since 2016 and has focused her education on actuarial sciences. 

“Hailey’s transition to a consultant is a natural progression of her education and detailed, hands-on experience as a benefit analyst.” says Daley. “Hailey has been working behind the scenes for some time in meeting the needs of our clients. Over the past year, she has had the opportunity to increase her time in front of the client leading challenging vendor evaluation projects. We’re very fortunate to have someone of Hailey’s skill set within the consulting team.”


Ascensus Selects Regional VP for South Texas Division

Ascensus appointed Yen Nguyen as regional vice president on the firm’s retirement plan sales team for the South Texas region. 

In this role, Nguyen will work with financial advisers, third-party administrators (TPAs), and financial institutions—including institutional partners and DCIO (defined contribution investment only) sales representatives—to build and maintain Ascensus’ retirement plan distribution networks. She will report directly to Chad Brown, divisional vice president of the western region, retirement sales at Ascensus. 

Nguyen brings over 12 years of retirement industry experience in sales and business development and has a proven track record in partnering with advisers to design retirement plan programs best suited to clients’ objectives. Prior to joining Ascensus, she served as a regional retirement director at Lincoln Financial and a senior retirement plan representative at Paychex. Nguyen earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Houston and holds her FINRA Series 6 and 63 designations.

“Yen has established herself as a retirement plan sales leader in South Texas who is viewed as a trusted expert by both financial advisers and business owners,” states Jason Crane, head of retirement sales at Ascensus. “By adding yet another talented regional vice president to our team, we’re pleased to demonstrate Ascensus’ continued commitment to helping Americans save for all of life’s most important events.” 


RVPs Join CUNA Mutual Sales Division

CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions hired Shannon Hayes and Steve Mandel to its Intermediary Sales Division.

Hayes joined CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions on December 31, and will be the regional vice president for the Georgia and Alabama territory. She has been in the retirement business for 13 years. Hayes started her career as a regional sales consultant with Hartford Retirement Plans Group in Simsbury, Connecticut, and moved to Atlanta six years ago to develop and grow the Atlanta market for Farmer & Betts, a small third-party administrators (TPA) firm based on the west coast.  Most recently, she served as the regional sales director at Kravitz, Inc., responsible for cash balance plan sales for the Southeast. She will report to Christina Gregory, vice president, Eastern Division.

Mandel also joined the firm on the last day of 2018, and will be the regional vice president covering the upper Midwest territory, which includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and North and South Dakota. Mandel has more than 17 years of financial services experience and began his career as a retirement plan adviser and RVP at Gardiner & White in Madison, Wisconsin. Prior to joining CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions, Mandel served as the regional sales manager for Milliman, a multi-national provider of defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) recordkeeping and administration services. He will be based out of St. Paul, Minnesota and report to Joe Eleccion, vice president, Western Division. 

Kravitz Appoints Lead Sales Development Director

Kravitz, an Ascensus company, appointed a new director, John Benton, to lead sales development for the South and Southeast markets

“Over the past 10 years, Kravitz has rapidly expanded our client base across Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. We opened an Atlanta office in 2016 and now we’re seeing even higher demand for cash balance plans throughout the Southeast region, so we chose a dedicated sales leader to oversee and facilitate growth,” says Dan Kravitz head of Kravitz. 

“Having been both a financial adviser and TPA [third-party administrator] sales professional, I understand both perspectives of the sale and can address advisers’ and clients’ needs as they support and move along the complex cash balance sales path,” Benton noted. 

Benton brings more than 15 years of retirement industry experience to Kravitz, including at The Retirement Advantage (TRA), John Hancock, and Signator Investors (now Royal Alliance). 

“I enjoy supporting retirement plan intermediaries and look forward to enabling sales throughout the Kravitz network,” Benton says. That powerful network includes more than 1,900 retirement plan professionals who have completed the Kravitz Cash Balance Coach Certification program. 


OneAmerica RS Brings In Leader in Business Development

OneAmerica Retirement Services (RS) president Sandy McCarthy has named Lynne Smith to a new role leading Strategy and Business Development for the RS division.

Smith will have direct responsibility for business and plan development, product development and execution, growth and service model strategies, participant services (including education) and enrollment functions. 

“Lynne’s experience and proven track record of creating, managing, and distributing products and services and leading initiatives that enable companies to compete more effectively will be invaluable to us as we position OneAmerica for continued growth,” says McCarthy. “Adding expert leadership to our talent base further demonstrates our commitment to the long-term success of OneAmerica in the marketplace.” 

Smith’s leadership includes roles at Smith Barney/Citigroup, CitiStreet, ING Group/Voya Financial and most recently, BMO Harris Financial Advisors as chief operating officer. 

A graduate of Cornell with a bachelor’s in agricultural economics, she also earned a master’s in business administration in international marketing from Hofstra University. 

Smith will report directly to McCarthy. Her team will include Tammy Ouverson, Business Development Leader; Terry Burns, Product & Investments Leader; Kevin Kidwell, Tax Exempt Leader; Brian Giles, Growth and Service Model Owner; and a to-be-named Participant Services Leader


Northern Trust Names Team Heads  

Northern Trust has announced two new leadership roles: Kimberly Evans as head of Private Capital Fund Administration in North America, and Paul Fyda as head of Local Markets for the Global Foreign Exchange team.

Evans, with 25 years of financial services experience, will focus Northern Trust’s global capabilities on a segment of the alternatives market experiencing rapid asset growth and increased demands for transparency.

“Kim’s experience with sophisticated investors, dedication to client service and proven ability to leverage the strength of Northern Trust’s global platform and expertise will be a powerful combination for our business,” says Peter Sanchez, head of North America Alternative Fund Services at Northern Trust. “Her appointment signals our commitment to delivering innovative solutions to investment managers across the spectrum of alternative asset classes and strategies.”

Evans joined Northern Trust in 2010 and has held senior management roles, including global head of Client Valuation Reporting and head of the Public Funds/Taft-Hartley pensions business. Prior to Northern Trust she was a senior operations executive at major financial institutions including the former First Chicago and LaSalle banks, and served as a consultant to community bank executives. She has been a leader in the Chicago community and charitable organizations and is president of the Women in Leadership Business Resource Council at Northern Trust.

“I am excited to take on this newly-created role, working with a talented team to support some of the world’s most innovative asset managers,” Evans says. “We see a strategic growth opportunity in providing effective middle- and back-office solutions that allow private capital managers to focus on core investment competencies and grow their businesses.”

Fyda joins with 20 years of experience in the foreign exchange (FX) markets. Based in New York, he works with Northern Trust’s FX desks in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions and is available to Northern Trust’s institutional investor clients to provide support and guidance in operationally complex and highly regulated emerging markets.

“We are pleased to add a leader with Paul’s breadth of experience to our global FX business. Paul will work extensively with our institutional clients providing them with insights and expertise in understanding how their investment decisions may be impacted by currency trading restrictions and regulations,” says John Turney, head of Global Foreign Exchange at Northern Trust. “This further endorses our commitment to building out our innovative FX capabilities and delivering market-leading services to our clients.”

Fyda comes to Northern Trust from Brown Brothers Harriman & Co, where he focused on emerging and restricted market currencies and products. He previously held FX product and client service roles at Sungard (now FIS), BBH and the former Mellon Bank. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Pittsburgh. 

“I am excited to join such a globally respected FX franchise and look forward to expanding our capabilities in these markets while working closely with Northern Trust’s growing and diverse base of clients,” Fyda says.


Aegon Moves Experienced Member to Distribution Team

Aegon Asset Management announced that veteran distribution professional Adria Hall has joined its U.S. institutional distribution team. Hall started at Aegon Asset Management in January 2017.

“We are pleased to welcome Adria Hall to our distribution team. As the firm grows, adding skilled and experienced professionals like Adria is essential to our continued success,” says Gary Black, US CEO for Aegon Asset Management.

Head of Institutional Sales T.F. Meagher adds, “Adria has earned the trust and respect of institutional investors and consultants, we’re thrilled to add her to our team.”

Hall will serve as senior director, institutional markets, working with public and corporate pension funds, endowments & foundations and consultants. Most recently, she was a director at HGK Asset Management and, before that, a managing director at Mesirow Financial. 

“Aegon’s reputation and expertise in fixed income solution-based strategies and history of responsible investing made this a particularly attractive opportunity for me. But more importantly, I believe Aegon is a perfect partner for pension plans facing an uncertain economy,” says Hall. 


Voya Names Government Practice Leader

Voya Retirement hired Amy Heyel as senior vice president, National Practice Leader, Government for the company’s Tax-Exempt Markets business.

In this new role, Heyel will be responsible for helping to further expand Voya’s brand presence in the Government segment of the Tax-Exempt defined contribution market through thought leadership opportunities along with successfully maintaining new and existing relationships with plan sponsors, intermediaries and consultants. Heyel comes to Voya with more than 25 years of experience in the retirement plan industry, serving plan sponsors for both public and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) qualified retirement plans. Most recently, Heyel served as a retirement plan consultant at AndCo Consulting. She is based in Georgia and reports to Heather Lavallee, president of Tax-Exempt Markets.

“We are pleased to welcome Amy to the Voya team,” said Lavallee. “With over two decades of experience in the industry, and a specific focus working with government retirement plans, she will be a perfect a fit for this new role. We look forward to Amy’s support as Voya expands its leadership presence in this important market.”

“I am thrilled to join the Voya Retirement team and to assist in the growth of the firm’s government market presence,” said Heyel. “Voya’s commitment to servicing a large and growing business among governmental plan sponsors is very attractive to me. I am confident that my background in consulting with this segment and knowledge of the recordkeeping industry will add value to the needs of plan sponsors and participants that save with Voya.”

Heyel graduated from College of Charleston with a bachelor’s degree in Business with an emphasis on finance.


Interim CIO at Russell Investments Will Take Permanent Role  

Peter Gunning of Russell Investments will remain as global chief investment officer, a role he assumed on an interim-basis with the departure of Jeff Hussey in October 2018. Gunning has 23 years of investing experience at Russell Investments.

Gunning, who joined Russell Investments’ Sydney office in 1996, served as global chief investment officer in the firm’s U.S. headquarters from 2008 to 2013 and as CEO for Asia-Pacific since 2013. He is now based in Seattle, where he oversees all aspects of the investment division worldwide, including asset management, implementation and research. He also continues to oversee the firm’s Asia-Pacific business. He is a member of Russell Investments’ executive committee and global leadership forum and reports directly to Chairman and CEO Michelle Seitz.  

In addition to his role as global chief investment officer, Gunning continues to be responsible for strategic oversight of Russell Investments’ business in the Asia-Pacific region. Russell Investments’ local teams in the region include people who lead the charge to deliver asset consulting advice, capital markets research, implementation services, corporate master trusts, funds management, and alternative investments.

Before joining Russell Investments, Gunning held positions in risk and equity portfolio management, as a financial markets economist and as a fixed-income options trader. He holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Sydney.  


WFAM Adds Global Portfolio Management Head

Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM) announced that Matthias Scheiber has joined the firm as global head of Portfolio Management, Multi-Asset Solutions.

In this role, Matthias will be responsible for developing and managing outcome-oriented multi-asset investment solutions as part of WFAM’s Multi-Asset Solutions team. Reporting to Dan Morris, who was recently appointed to head of Multi-Asset Solutions, Matthias brings 20 years of investment industry experience and joins a team of 25 multi-asset investment professionals globally. He is based in London. 

“With Matthias’s deep industry knowledge and long track record of delivering innovative solutions, we are even better positioned to meet our clients’ needs,” says Nico Marais, Co-CEO of Wells Fargo Asset Management. “We are excited to welcome him to Wells Fargo Asset Management.”

Matthias joins WFAM from Schroders, where he led the Multi-Asset team’s institutional mandates, involving risk-based investment solutions, alternative risk premia strategies, and global tactical asset allocation. Prior to Schroders, Matthias was a partner and fund manager at Aethra Asset Management, where he was responsible for the qualitative and quantitative investment research process, and managing absolute return products. He has also held senior roles at ABN AMRO Asset Management, and Raiffeisen Bank in Vienna.


Mercer Reveals Key Leadership Appointments

Mercer has recently announced the appointment of several new leaders in the company’s Wealth business.

Graham Pearce has been appointed global segment leader for Mercer’s defined benefit (DB) client segment. In his new role, Pearce will set and drive Mercer’s strategy for actuarial and investment advice and services within the DB segment, and ensure focus on innovative solutions for clients. In addition, he will work to accelerate Mercer’s sale and delivery of global actuarial and pension risk management advice and solutions. This post was previously held by Benoit Hudon, who recently took on the role of UK Wealth Leader for Mercer. 

Bruce Cadenhead assumes the role of global chief actuary, while continuing to serve as U.S. chief actuary. As part of this role, Cadenhead will partner with Mercer’s regional chief actuaries to facilitate the sharing of best practices worldwide. 

Cara Williams will take on the role of global segment leader for financial intermediaries and family offices, where she will be responsible for identifying new client solutions and opportunities.

Troy Saharic has been named Mercer’s global segment leader for defined Contribution (DC) and master trusts. In this position, Saharic will oversee the development of solutions to help clients navigate towards DC and master trust solutions.

Previously, Williams and Saharic’s duties were performed by Renee McGowan, who served as global leader for DC and individual wealth. McGowan now works as Mercer’s CEO, in the Asia Region.

Following a long and distinguished career in the investment consulting industry, Andrew Kirton, chief investment officer for Mercer’s Wealth Business, will be leaving at the end of March to pursue other interests. Andrew’s duties will be reallocated between Hooman Kaveh, global chief investment officer for Delegated Investment Solutions; Bill Muysken, global chief investment officer for Alternatives; Deb Clarke, global head of investment research; and Donn Cox, alternatives business leader. Clarke, Muysken and Kaveh have already held their respective roles for several years. Cox joined Mercer through the Pavilion acquisition, and was previously the global business leader for Pavilion’s alternatives business.


JHRPS Discloses Succession of TPA Head

John Hancock Retirement Services (JHRPS) announced that Heather Windjue will succeed Head of TPA [third-party administrator] Strategy and Support Ann Slotwinski, who will be retiring after 37 years with the firm.

Windjue, a 22-year veteran of the retirement plan industry, had been serving JHRPS as assistant vice president of Operations Strategic Planning and Projects. She will report to Scott Francolini, senior vice president of Strategic Relationship Management and Consulting (SRM&C).

“Heather comes to her new role with strong existing relationships across the TPA community and a deep understanding of the TPA and John Hancock service model, operational efficiency, relationship management and strategic leadership,” says Francolini. “I look forward to her vision and leadership as she works to take the TPA team to the next level to support sales, retention and profitability, as well as to her joining the broader leadership team of SRM&C.”

Slotwinski will remain with the business until June and assist with the transition. She has been in TPA services for 23 years, seven of which she was head. In that role, she refined JHRPS’ TPA segmentation strategy, updated the TPA RMD role and oversaw the creation of the JHRPS TPAessentials program, providing TPAs with education, tools and programs to succeed in growing their businesses.