Retirement Industry People Moves

Aegon Asset Management names consultant relations leader; Pentegra announces new additions to sales force; ISS ESG selects global research leader; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

Art by Subin Yang

Aegon Asset Management Names Consultant Relations Leader

Aegon Asset Management has appointed Anne Coupe as its global head of Consultant Relations & Global Financial Institutions

Coupe has more than 20 years of experience in investment consulting and consultant relations, most recently at BMO Global Asset Management, where she was managing director, head of global consultant relations. She has also performed similar roles at UBS Asset Management and Deutsche Asset Management. Previously, she served as an investment consultant at Mercer and Callan Associates.

Coupe’s appointment follows that of Russ Morrison, who joined the business last week as global chief investment officer

Managing a team of four, Coupe will be based in Chicago and report to Aegon Asset Management’s Global Head of Client Group Chris Thompson.

“Anne brings a strong and proven track record in managing consultant relations and will have a vital role to play in developing and deepening our existing relationships with these important segments of the asset management industry,” Thompson says.

Pentegra Announces New Additions to Sales Force 

Rob Fiorentino and Brian Lynch have joined Pentegra Retirement Services as head of the Internal Sales Team and as regional director Mid-Atlantic, respectively. Both will report to Vice President/National Sales Director John Schafer.

Fiorentino spent more than 20 years with AllianceBernstein Investments in various roles. Most recently, he was vice president/director and sales development manager for U.S. retail. He earned his associate of applied science degree in business administration from County College of Morris. His professional licenses include FINRA Series 7 and 63, and he holds the CRPC (chartered retirement planning counselor) designation.

“Beyond his highly respected tenure at AllianceBernstein, Rob brings us the critical skill of consultative selling,” Schafer says. “He will help direct our efforts to further imbed these skills to all of our client-facing teams.”

Lynch spent the past few years with Franklin Templeton Investments as a strategic account manager. Prior to that, he was a client adviser with JPMorgan, and regional sales manager at AllianceBernstein. Lynch earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland. His professional licenses include FINRA Series 7, 63 and 24.

ISS ESG Selects Global Research Leader

ISS ESG, the responsible investment arm of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), has appointed Bonnie Saynay to lead Global ESG research. She will be based in New York and report to ESG business head, Marija Kramer.

Saynay will assume responsibility for ISS’ ESG data strategy and research across the globe. In this new role, Saynay will lead teams tasked with evaluating ESG market standards and evolving ESG frameworks. She will also oversee and provide strategic guidance on the procurement and delivery of global ESG data underlying a variety of both existing as well as new ISS ESG research offerings.

“We are collectively delighted to have someone of Bonnie’s caliber joining the business as momentum towards ESG integration accelerates and institutions look to ISS ESG as the gold-standard in sustainability research, ratings and data,” Kramer says. “She and the entire global research and data team are deeply committed to delivering unrivaled solutions and services to our clients and I look forward to working with her in furtherance of this core objective.”

Saynay is the founder of Global ESG Advisors and former global head of Responsible Investment at Invesco Ltd.

“It’s an honor to join ISS ESG, a globally recognized leader in ESG offerings whose clients enjoy access to an unrivaled and highly talented ESG analyst team of nearly 200 spread across global financial centers,” Saynay says. “Our core mission will be to deliver differentiated bespoke data and research and superior investment information tools leveraging frontier technologies to meet the institutional investor community’s growing focus on sustainability and impact solutions.”

Newport Group Acquires PAi and Affiliate Company

Newport Group Inc. (Newport) will acquire Plan Administrators Inc. (PAi) and its affiliate PAi Trust Company Inc. (PAi Trust).

This transaction is anticipated to close within 90 to 120 days, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. At that time, PAi and PAi Trust will operate as wholly owned subsidiaries of Newport. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The team at PAi has produced some industry leading innovations such as CoPilot, an affordable and accessible retirement plan solution for small employers. We believe that joining forces with a provider like Newport will create an opportunity for a larger pool of customers and partners while adding other services Newport provides,” says Michael Kiley, PAi president and chief executive officer. “In addition, Newport shares our commitment to providing exceptional service, and we are excited for the opportunities this transaction will offer our clients and employees alike.”

“PAi has carved out a unique niche in our industry by providing small businesses with best-in-class retirement plans,” said Newport Chief Executive Officer Greg Tschider. “We look forward to providing these clients with additional offerings and welcoming the PAi team to Newport.”

BNY Mellon Announces New CEO of Investment Management

Mitchell Harris, CEO of BNY Mellon Investment Management has announced his retirement effective as of October 1.

BNY Mellon has appointed Hanneke Smits as CEO of BNY Mellon Investment Management, and Catherine Keating will continue in her role as CEO of BNY Mellon Wealth Management. Both Smits and Keating will report to Todd Gibbons, CEO of BNY Mellon, and Smits will join BNY Mellon’s Executive Committee.

Smits has been CEO of Newton Investment Management, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corp., since August 2016. Her career spans close to three decades in financial services, including serving as a member of the executive committee at private equity firm Adams Street Partners from 2001 to 2014, and chief investment officer from 2008 to 2014. Smits is a non-executive director to the Court of the Bank of England and serves on the board of the Investment Association. She is chair of Impetus, a venture philanthropy organization that supports charities that aim to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people, and, as part of this appointment, she is Trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation, founded in 2011 by The Sutton Trust in partnership with Impetus. She is co-founder and former chair of Level 20, a not-for-profit organization set up in 2015 to inspire women to join and succeed in the private equity industry.

Smits will continue as CEO of Newton until October 1. A search is currently underway for her replacement.

Originally from the Netherlands, Smits has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nijenrode University and a master’s degree from the London Business School.

R&M Adds Actuarial Professionals to Denver Region

River and Mercantile (R&M) has added three actuarial professionals to the firm’s Denver office: Craig PedersenAndrew Lape and Caytee Sellers.

“Bringing these three professionals on board is an instrumental step in allowing River and Mercantile to continue making strides in market expansion here in Denver and the intermountain West,” says Michael Clark, managing director at River and Mercantile, who is also based in Denver and leads the firm’s business in the West.

Pedersen joins River and Mercantile as independent consulting actuary. In his role, he is focused in areas involving retiree medical plans, defined benefit (DB) plans and other post-employment benefit plans. He has worked with many clients to help them understand and manage their post-employment benefits, financial requirements and the needs of their current, future and former employees. His previous experience includes actuarial consulting work at Philadelphia American Life Insurance Company, Towers Perrin, Mercer, Chicago Consulting Actuaries, Watson Wyatt, Towers Watson and Willis Towers Watson. Additionally, Pedersen serves as an adjunct instructor with the Colorado Community College System. He is an associate of the Society of Actuaries and an enrolled actuary.

Lape will be an associate director and consulting actuary, responsible for consulting with clients on their day-to-day retirement benefit needs including DB pension plans, supplemental executive retirement plans (SERPs) and retiree medical plans. He also consults on clients’ plan design, administration, risk transfer opportunities, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and overall risk management. Lape joined River and Mercantile earlier this year from Willis Towers Watson, where he provided consulting services to retirement plans across multiple industries, including international organizations, and of various sizes. He is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and an enrolled actuary as well.

Sellers joins R&M as a senior actuarial analyst. Sellers provides support in funding and accounting valuations for pension, SERP and retiree medical plans, along with preparation of benefit statements, government form filings and other plan administration. She also assists with pension risk transfers (PRTs) and other special projects. Sellers joined River and Mercantile from Willis Towers Watson, where she assisted in multiple actuarial projects for mid- to large U.S. and international corporations. She has experience in data clean-up, pension risk transfers and overall plan administration. Sellers is an associate of the Society of Actuaries.

Alight Appoints Chief Customer Experience Officer

Alight Solutions, provider of human capital and business solutions, announced Cesar Jelvez has been named chief customer experience officer (CXO). In this newly created role, Jelvez will lead Alight’s customer experience and delivery organization and will be responsible for creating a world-class, end-to-end experience for the more than 30 million people around the world whom Alight serves.

“This global pandemic has accelerated the future of the workforce at a breakneck speed and our ability to create a meaningful experience that addresses the needs of our clients’ employees is a differentiator. Cesar and his team will be instrumental in shaping that complete, omnichannel experience, backed by data, insights and the latest tools and technologies, to help our clients stand out as employers of choice,” says Stephan Scholl, CEO of Alight.

Jelvez brings decades of experience in helping large, complex organizations transform through digital capabilities. His leadership background spans transformation consulting services for both SaaS ERP [enterprise resource planning] and non-ERP solutions, in addition to business process outsourcing, infrastructure, data and analytics and cybersecurity. Over the last 22 years, he has served in a variety of executive and strategic consulting positions at top global services and software firms, including as global leader of strategic programs and global delivery services at Infor and vice president of digital enterprise application services at DXC Technology.

Jelvez will report to Scholl.