Retirement Industry People Moves

Sales SVP joins Allianz Life; Transamerica adds RVPs to mid-market retirement plans; Academic consultant to support American Century ETF platform; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

Sales SVP Joins Allianz Life 

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America has hired Heather Kelly as senior vice president of Advisory Sales and Strategic Accounts. Kelly will be responsible for helping build the strategy, sales results and growth of Allianz Life’s Advisory Channel along with relationship management with the company’s Broker Dealer partnerships. She will report directly to Chief Distribution Officer Eric Thomes and will be a part of the Allianz Life Distribution Leadership Team. 

“Heather brings a deep understanding of the Advisory and RIA channels as well as an understanding of the importance of insurance-based solutions in helping to provide protection against risks within retirement,” says Thomes.

Kelly joins Allianz Life from United Capital. She served as senior vice president at United Capital and executive vice president of United Capital Risk Management. She was responsible for deploying strategic initiatives to educate advisers and clients on how properly designed, executed and managed insurance-based solutions can help address financial stability. Prior to joining United Capital, Kelly was managing director of Strategic Alliances at NFP Securities, and sales vice president at Leaders Group/Capitas Distributors. 

Kelly attended the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, and holds several designations from the American College including: Charted Life Underwriter (CLU), Charted Financial Consultant (ChFC), and Registered Health Underwriter (RHU). She also holds FINRA Series 6, 26 and 63 licenses.

Transamerica Adds RVPs to Mid-Market Retirement Plans

Transamerica announced that Cortney White and Bryon Eggan joined the company as regional vice presidents for mid-market retirement plans.

In their roles, White and Eggan will support financial advisers and third-party administrators (TPAs) working with retirement plans with less than $50 million in assets.

White holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas, and he will support financial advisers in Colorado and Wyoming. He will report to Tom Briggs, divisional sales manager.

Eggan holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, and his territory covers Virginia. He will report to Danny Kling, divisional sales manager.

“One of our primary focuses in 2020 is working to provide our financial advisers with the best support in the industry. We are thrilled that Cortney White and Bryon Eggan are bringing their dedication and experience to Transamerica,” says Kent Callahan, senior managing director of Workplace Distribution and head of Client Engagement at Transamerica.

Academic Consultant to Support American Century ETF Platform

American Century Investments has hired Sunil Wahal, Ph.D., as an academic consultant supporting Avantis Investors.

Wahal will contribute to many areas of Avantis Investors’ offering, including research that can inform investment strategy design and execution. “I have always been very interested in applying state-of-the-art technology and financial science for the benefit of end investors,” says Wahal. “That is why I’m so excited to join Avantis Investors. The mission to provide sound investment solutions at attractive expense ratios should benefit long-term investors.”

Wahal is the Jack D. Furst professor of finance and director of the Center for Investment Engineering at the W.P. Carey School of Business of Arizona State University. Before joining the ASU faculty in 2005, Wahal was on the faculty at Emory University and Purdue University.  His research focuses on short- and long-horizon investment strategies (momentum, profitability, and others), trading issues (trading algorithm design, trading costs and high frequency trading), and delegated portfolio management and asset allocation for large institutional investors. His work covers public equities, fixed income and private equity.  He has published in the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics and the Review of Financial Studies, among others.

Prior to joining Avantis Investors, he served as a consultant to Dimensional Fund Advisors (2005-2019), and AJO Partners.  He sits on the investment committees for several registered investment advisers (RIAs). He regularly speaks at academic and practitioner conferences and has given numerous presentations to sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, family offices, defined benefit (DB) plans, defined contribution (DC) plans and RIAs. Wahal holds a doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s from Wake Forest University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Delhi, India.

Multnomah Group Brings In Senior Consultant

Multnomah Group has hired Greg Johnson as a senior consultant for the firm as well as its director of ERISA [Employee Retirement Income Security Act] technical services.

Johnson’s background includes more than two decades of work in the retirement plan space. Most recently, he held the position of senior director, institutional relationships at TIAA. 

“We’re excited to have Greg join our team as we support our continued growth at Multnomah Group,” says Erik Daley, Multnomah Group’s managing principal. “I’ve had the opportunity to work collaboratively with Greg over the last decade, and he has demonstrated himself as an accomplished problem solver and creative thinker.  His experience and approach will yield significant benefits to our firm and the clients we work with.”

Mercer Advisors Acquires Chicago Wealth Management Firm

Mercer Global Advisors, Inc., a national registered investment adviser (RIA), has acquired CCP, Inc., a wealth management firm located in Chicago, Illinois.

CCP serves approximately 100 households with assets under management (AUM) of approximately $140MM. CCP is owned by Steve Roberts, who will be joining the Mercer Advisors’ team along with Carin Pankros Roman and the entire CCP staff. CCP will be consolidating with Mercer Advisors’ existing office in Chicago. 

“We are excited to team up with a firm whose philosophy is in lock step with ours,” says Roberts. “We were looking for a partner that could help us to better serve our clients and provide additional resources. After meeting with Dave Barton, Mercer Advisors’ vice chairman in charge of Mergers and Acquisitions, I was convinced Mercer Advisors was the right choice for me and for my clients. We couldn’t be happier.”

Dave Welling, chief executive officer of Mercer Advisors says, “We are delighted to join forces with the CCP team and look forward to serving their clients with expanded wealth management services for years to come.”  

MassMutual Adds Several Relationship Managers

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company has appointed several new relationship managers to support retirement plans.

Lisa Burks-Wilson will now support retirement plans in Michigan. She has 30 years’ experience in financial services and previously served as a relationship manager for retirement plans at ICMA-RC and TIAA.  Burks-Wilson has a bachelor’s degree from Howard University, FINRA Series 6, 24, 26, 51, 65 licenses as well as state insurance licenses in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Kevin Catineau is a relationship manager for Massachusetts. With more than 25 years’ experience in financial services, Catineau was most recently a financial adviser for Citizens Investment Services. Earlier, he worked at MassMutual as a market director for third-party administrators.  He has a bachelor’s degree from St. Michael’s College as well as FINRA Series 6, 7, 26, 63 and 65 licenses and a Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS) designation.

Mark Goerg supports retirement plans in New Jersey. Goerg most recently was a financial services representative for MassMutual after more than 20 years’ experience as a relationship manager for Capital Market Solutions and BNY Mellon Capital Markets. He has a master’s from Fordham University and a bachelor’s from Stonehill College. In addition, Goerg has FINRA Series 7, 55, 63 and 79 licenses.

John Harris is a relationship manager in Georgia. Harris was previously a retirement consultant for 403(b) plans at Lincoln Financial Group. In addition, he also worked as a financial adviser at VALIC and Northwestern Mutual. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Kennesaw State University and has FINRA Series 6, 63 and variable securities licenses as well as life, health and sickness insurance licenses.

Kathy Jackson is a relationship manager in Tennessee after serving MassMutual retirement plan clients as an educational specialist and previously as a senior relationship manager for Fidelity Investments.  She has more than 30 years’ experience in financial services, including the retirement and employee benefits markets. She earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Notre Dame and has a FINRA Series 6 license and a CEBS designation.

Prabhjeet Kaur supports retirement plans in Maryland.  Kaur has more than 20 years’ experience in the retirement plans and employee benefits industries. Most recently, she was vice president of relationship management for government plans for IMCA-RC and was a senior account executive for institutional markets at Transamerica. Kaur has bachelor’s degrees from the University of North Carolina and a CEBS from the University of Pennsylvania.

Richard Luerra supports retirement plans in Southern California. He has more than two decades’ experience managing relationships for retirement plans and most recently served as a retirement plans specialist for ICMA-RC. He has a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University, has FINRA Series 6, 63 and 65 licenses, and a life insurance license.

Matthew Marty is a relationship manager in Ohio. With more than 25 years’ experience in financial services, Marty most recently served as a managing director at Charles Schwab Corp. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses. In addition, Marty earned Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) and a Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA) certifications from the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA).

Richard May is a relationship manager for New York State. With more than two decades’ experience in the retirement plans marketplace, May previously served as senior director for relationship management at TIAA.  He has FINRA Series 6, 7, 24, 63 and 65 licenses, is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA) and a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA).

Jose Mireles specializes in supporting government retirement plans in California. Mireles previously served as a financial consultant for TIAA. He has a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University as well as FINRA 7, 24 and 66 licenses as well as accident, health, life, variable life and variable annuities licenses.

David Stone supports retirement plans in Colorado.  He has more than 15 years’ experience in financial services, most recently as an associate for business development at Nuveen and a client services manager at TIAA.  Stone earned MBA and bachelor’s degrees at the University of Colorado, has FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses, as well as life, health and variable annuities insurance licenses.

Alston & Bird Announces Partner Promotion

Alston & Bird has elected a partner in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group

Kyle Woods (Atlanta) is partner in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group. He assists both domestic and international clients in providing competitive and attractive benefit programs to all levels of employees. Focusing on both qualified and nonqualified benefit plans, he guides employers through design, implementation, and ongoing compliance. He also advises and trains plan fiduciaries in matters of plan governance, interpretation, and administration.