Retirement Industry People Moves

Securities American Adds Super OSJ and Financial Firms to Platform; Debel to Lead Retirement Solutions at MetLife; Transamerica Names Promotions and Hires in U.S. Offices; and more.

Securities America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, announced that two large independent financial services firms and a Super OSJ (office of supervisory jurisdiction) have joined its platform.


The three groups–the Gandet Group, Vizionary Wealth Management and One-Point-Of-Care (–represent a variety of independent business models.


“Each business is distinct, with its own unique area of focus and business model,” says Gregg Johnson, Securities America executive vice president of branch office development and acquisitions. “But they share a passionate dedication to delivering exceptional service to their clients.”


  • The Gandet Group, a Super OSJ with total client assets of more than $220 million and 10 affiliated independent advisers located in the northeastern U.S. The group is led by Michael Gandet, Manahawkin, New Jersey, and focuses on retirement and retirement income distribution.


  • Vizionary Wealth Management specializes in serving professionals in the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and life sciences fields. Wayne Wagner, Jr. serves as its president. The Wilmington, Delaware-based firm has client assets of $177 million and a team of three that includes two support professionals and will be part of WealthPLAN Partners, a Super OSJ based out of Omaha, Nebraska.


  • serves corporate- and association-sponsored retirement plans and retirement plan-focused advisers. The firm has approximately $319 million in client assets. Based in Worthington, Ohio, the group is led by Aron Sommer and includes nine employee advisers.


Gandet said the advisers of his group were impressed with Securities America’s expertise in supporting the Super OSJ model.


“We were impressed with the Securities America team from the very first meetings we had together. We appreciated their dedication to providing the right investment solutions for our clients and their cutting-edge technology,” Gandet says.


The group’s growth strategy for the next 12 to 18 months focuses heavily on helping existing advisers grow and recruiting new advisers, he says.


Debel to Lead Retirement Solutions at MetLife   


MetLife, Inc. has named executive vice president Marlene Debel as head of the Retirement and Income Solutions (RIS) business, effective immediately. In this role, Debel is responsible for driving smart growth and sound management of MetLife’s broad range of structured risk and funding solutions for institutional retirement plans, including pension risk transfer, institutional income annuities and stable value funds.


Debel currently serves as U.S. CFO for MetLife, a role she will continue on an interim basis until a successor is named. Previously she spent five years as MetLife’s Treasurer, where she was responsible for capital management, liquidity risk, cash management and MetLife’s relationships with banks and ratings agencies. Debel joined MetLife from Bank of America where she was head of Global Liquidity Risk Management. Prior to that, Debel was assistant treasurer of Merrill Lynch and Co. She spent 20 years in a number of leadership positions across global treasury at Merrill Lynch.


“Marlene brings extensive leadership experience, a focus on sound financial management and a strong customer orientation to this role,” says Michel Khalaf, president, U.S. Business and EMEA, to whom Debel will report. “Her appointment signals our commitment to this business and desire to build on our leadership position.”


“RIS is an important business for MetLife,” saus Debel. “I look forward to working with the team to drive value for our stakeholders and deliver financial security to our customers.” Debel joined MetLife in 2011. She received an MBA in finance from Fordham University and a bachelor of science in finance from the State University of New York at Albany.


She is on the board of the Women’s Forum of New York and is a strategic adviser to the Financial Women’s Association.


Transamerica Names Promotions and Hires in U.S. Offices


Transamerica announced a number of promotions and hirings across their U.S. offices. Tom Briggs, former regional vice president, has been promoted to divisional sales manager for the Western U.S. Mid-Market Division. Additionally, Michael Staples will be taking over as regional vice president for the Colorado and Wyoming territories in Briggs’s place. Staples had formerly worked at Oppenheimer Funds.


Sebastian Aza was promoted from internal wholesaler to regional vice president in Los Angeles. He will be taking over for Chris Miller, who has decided to pursue a career as an adviser. Aza will be covering the Northern Los Angeles area. Chris Giovinazzo will be taking over the Sierra Nevada territory, in addition to his current coverage of San Diego.

FinMason Creates Analytics Consulting Team


FinMason announced the launch of the FinMason Investment Analytics Consulting (FinIAC) group, a full-time team of subject-matter experts working with current and prospective clients to explain, optimize and deploy effective analytics. The group will also act as a conduit to the FinMason team of data scientists, communicating industry trends and contributing to the development of new analytics, thus ensuring the continued alignment between business needs and product development. 


“We don’t want to be anyone’s vendor. We want to be their trusted partner,” says Kendrick Wakeman, founder and CEO of FinMason. “We are doubling-down on our commitment to a consultative process and that means we will be delivering much more than just analytics. Implementation that is meaningful to the companies that we work with is just as important as the quality of the data and analytics that we provide.”


In 2017, FinMason announced their intentions to grow their investment analytics offering from roughly 700 different analytics to more than 1,400 and include sophisticated analysis on private securities and global, multi-asset portfolios.


FinMason has hired industry veteran Maral Boyadjian to lead the group. Prior to joining FinMason, Boyadjian was a consultant and investment subject matter expert at Gerson Lehrman Group. Prior to GLG, she served as vice president of the U.S. Product Management division at Natixis, vice president of Global Product Management at State Street, vice president of Strategic Advisers at Fidelity, product manager for Performance Attribution and Risk at Charles River Development, and vice president quantitative portfolio manager at John Hancock’s Independence Investments. She earned her B.A. in finance at Simmons College and her M.B.A. in finance at Suffolk University.


Wakeman continued, “Maral not only has a world-class knowledge base and a rigorous thought process, she can communicate that knowledge clearly and effectively to anyone, regardless of their level of sophistication.”


Client Solutions Director Joins Aviva


Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc, has announced the appointment of Colby McVey as client solutions director, effective March 12. Based in Chicago, he will report to Tom Meyers, executive director, head of Americas Client Solutions.


In this role, McVey will support the institutional client solutions business and oversee the sales support team in the Midwest, using his extensive industry experience and relationships to help the firm meet increasing demand for outcome-oriented strategies from major consultants and large pension plans.


Prior to joining Aviva Investors, McVey was director of Consultant Relations at Northern Trust Asset Management since March 2014, working closely with institutional investment consultants to communicate Northern Trust’s strategies and client solutions. His career also includes positions at Breakwater Capital LLC and Bear Stearns & Co. McVey is a chartered financial analyst and holds a bachelor’s degree from Hobart College.

OneAmerica Announces Additions to Institutional Retirement Plan Team


OneAmerica has promoted industry veteran Randy Reed and hired Crandall Hall as client relationship executives.


Reed will join relationship executive Neil Garrett, working with OneAmerica institutional clients on the West Coast, while Crandall will be working with institutional clients in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Institutional means clients with $25 million in assets.


Reed is based in San Diego, California, while Hall is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They both report to Alan Blaskowski, senior vice president, field services.


intellicents Announces Addition to Financial Planning Department


The Kansas City office of intellicents continues to expand its fee-based wealth management and financial planning services with the addition of Nick Madl.


Grant Arends, president of Retirement Services at intellicents, says, “intellicents has now been working in the Kansas City area for 20 years, providing 401(k) fiduciary investment advisory services to some of the communities leading employers and their participants. Our mission is to help the American worker make their financial dreams real. Our primary focus has always been getting participants to retirement.  Nick will help lead our team in delivering a more holistic financial planning approach to helping them both get to and through retirement.”


Prior to joining intellicents, Madl spent two years with Charles Schwab helping individual investors and high net worth families reach their financial planning goals, followed by five years at American Century Investments where he earned his certified financial planner (CFP) designation.