Retirement Industry People Moves

Mercer Global Advisors acquires California Wealth Management firm; Schroders adds changes to senior leadership team; RVPs join Ameritas retirement plan division; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

Mercer Global Advisors Acquires California Wealth Management Firm

Mercer Global Advisors Inc. has acquired AL Hewitt Inc., a wealth management firm in Camarillo, California.

The addition of Hewitt increases Mercer Advisors’ presence in California to nine offices.

Alan and Josette Hewitt, both CFP and Enrolled Agents (EAs) founded A.V. Tax and Business Services, Inc. (Tax Practice) in 1990. Alan Hewitt founded AL Hewitt, Inc., a fee-only Registered Investment Advisory firm, in 2006. Hewitt focuses on delivering financial planning and integrated tax advice to high-net worth-clientele. 

Dave Welling, chief executive officer of Mercer Advisors says, “Alan, Josette and the entire Hewitt team are a great fit for Mercer on multiple levels. They share our conviction in delivering a truly comprehensive solution to our clients including financial planning, investments, tax and estate planning. The Hewitt team deepens our significant presence in California as well as our tax expertise. We look forward to serving all of Hewitt’s clients for years to come.” 

Schroders Adds Changes to Senior Leadership Team

Global asset manager Schroders has announced changes in its senior leadership team.

Phil Middleton, Tiffani Potesta, and Joel Schiffman will assume new roles furthering the expansion of the firm in the region and strengthening its senior leadership team. All will report directly to Marc Brookman, Deputy CEO, North America who will assume the CEO position in 2020. 

Middleton has been named head of Institutional Distribution, North America, having previously served most recently as Head of UK Intermediary and other roles over his 27-year tenure at Schroders. In this role, beginning in March 2020, he will be responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with institutional clients across North America.  Middleton will manage the team of institutional salespeople, including Direct Institutional, Consultant Relations, Canada, Endowments & Foundations and Relationship Management & Client Service executives as well as the Alternative Sales Unit (ASU) team. 

Schiffman has been named head of Intermediary Distribution, North America having previously joined the firm in February of 2019 as head of U.S. Defined Contribution and Insurance Sales. In this role, he will manage and lead the teams within intermediary distribution, including Sub-Advisory Sales, Defined Contribution, Insurance and Wealth Management.

Potesta has been named chief administrative officer, a newly created role, that will include responsibility for business management and strategy for the overall North American business. Potesta will work directly with Brookman to drive growth in North America while continuing to oversee product and marketing for the Americas.

RVPs Join Ameritas Retirement Plan Division

Ameritas has announced that Jay Killgore and Katelyn Whalen have joined the retirement plans division of Ameritas.   

Jay Killgore joined Ameritas as regional vice president and will oversee retirement plans sales in Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.

Killgore earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has 25 years of experience in the financial services industry including years in retirement plans sales. He holds the professional designation of CEBS (Certified Employee Benefit Specialist) and CMS (Compensation Management Specialist). Killgore also holds several industry-related awards.

Whalen joined Ameritas as regional vice president and will oversee retirement plans sales in North Carolina, South Carolina and Southern Virginia.

Whalen earned a bachelor’s degree in international business from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Whalen has nearly 10 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industry. She holds the FINRA Series 7, 63 and 65 securities licenses. She also holds the professional designation of CEPS (Certified Elder Care Planning Specialist).

“The retirement plans division is incredibly excited to have Jay and Katelyn join Ameritas,” says Jim Kais, senior vice president – Retirement Plans at Ameritas. “Jay and Katelyn bring years of sales experience that will benefit our organization. We cannot wait to see how they fulfill the lives of our customers.”

ASC Selects Former John Hopkins Investment Manager as CIO

Asset Strategy Consultants (ASC) has appointed Andy Conner as the company’s chief investment officer.

Conner has 20 years of investment experience, is a CFA Charterholder and was named to Chief Investment Officer magazine’s 2016 Forty Under Forty list. He spent 12 years as a senior member of the Johns Hopkins University Office of Investment Management, where he held leadership positions including deputy chief investment officer and interim vice president of Investments and chief investment officer.

“Andy’s arrival is a watershed moment for ASC,” says Bobby Merrick, Principal at Asset Strategy Consultants’ Hunt Valley headquarters. “Through his experience at Johns Hopkins, Andy brings a wealth of knowledge in managing multiple billions of dollars of assets for the University and Hospital. His expertise will drive our growing outsourced CIO services and fill a pressing client need for fully discretionary consulting models.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the team at Asset Strategy Consultants,” says Conner. “ASC has a long history and a great reputation in investment consulting, and I look forward to leading the outsourced CIO services effort in delivering careful oversight and deep industry knowledge to our clients.”

Vanguard Announces Multiple Leadership Changes in Company Divisions

Vanguard has announced appointments across its investment management division.     

Sara Devereux recently joined Vanguard as principal and global head of rates. Her team manages all active rates, money market portfolios, and rates-related strategies across our active taxable fixed income franchise. Devereux brings more than 20 years of experience in mortgage-backed securities and structured products. Prior to joining Vanguard, she served as a partner at Goldman Sachs. She succeeds Ron Reardon, who has retired after 18 years with Vanguard.

Jeffrey Johnson, CFA, will relocate to Malvern, Pennsylvania as co-head of Bond Indexing – Americas, after leading Vanguard’s Asia-Pacific Fixed Income Group in Melbourne, Australia. His previous roles include head of Investment Strategy Group for Vanguard Asia-Pacific and senior investment analyst on Vanguard’s Manager Search and Oversight team.

Nathan Will, JD, has assumed the role of head of municipal credit research. Will leads a team of more than 20 credit researchers and analysts. His previous roles include senior credit analyst and associate counsel at Vanguard.

Additional leadership adjustments include portfolio manager changes to its active taxable fixed income fund lineup. Arvind Narayanan, CFA, joined Vanguard in early 2019 as a senior portfolio manager and co-head of investment-grade credit. He has been added as a portfolio manager to Vanguard’s investment-grade credit portfolios and will be overseeing the credit sleeves of Vanguard Core Bond Fund and Vanguard Global Credit Fund.

Mauro Favini has been added as a portfolio manager on Vanguard Emerging Market Bond Fund. Favini has been a portfolio manager and a member of Vanguard’s Emerging Markets and Sovereign Debt team since 2017.

Gemma Wright-Casparius will focus on the short-, intermediate-, and long-term Treasury funds and the Inflation Protected Securities Fund, while relinquishing her Core Bond Fund portfolio management responsibilities.

Neuberger Berman Brings In Portfolio Solutions Head

Neuberger Berman has announced that Maarten Nederlof will join as head of Portfolio Solutions (Americas) for the Quantitative and Multi-Asset Class Investments (QMAC) team, reporting to co-heads Erik Knutzen and Doug Kramer. 

In this newly created role, Nederlof will be responsible for advising clients on quantitative and multi-asset solutions. He will leverage the broader Neuberger Berman platform and client solutions capabilities to help construct, oversee and implement portfolios to meet specific client objectives with a focus on alternative risk premia. 

Nederlof joins from Risk Premium Investments, where he served as founder, CEO, and CIO for the past five years. Prior to this role, he held roles as head of Portfolio Solutions at PAAMCO designing custom alpha and overlay solutions, as global head of the Pension Strategies group at Deutsche Bank, as head of Research and Portfolio Management at TSA Capital Management, and as a portfolio manager at K2 Advisors. Nederlof began his career in quantitative research at Salomon Brothers in New York.

Doug Kramer, co-head of Quantitative and Multi-Asset Class Investments at Neuberger Berman, says, “We are excited to have Maarten Nederlof and team join Neuberger Berman. Maarten brings more than 30 years of experience in designing and implementing systematic solutions for clients.  Maarten strengthens our ability to work with clients and enhances our effectiveness in delivering tailored quantitative strategies.”

Seventy2 Capital Wealth Management Acquire Retirement Plan Strategies Provider

Seventy2 Capital Wealth Management has acquired Creative Benefit Concepts (CBC), a provider of corporate and nonprofit retirement plan and succession planning strategies.  

CBC was founded in 2001 by Kerry Hemphill, AIF, LUTCF, with the mission to develop and implement strategies that promote business success and personal financial security for corporations, business owners and their employees. Hemphill has over 38 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Paul Carlson, partner and co-founder, believes this deal will substantially increase Seventy2 Capital’s capacity in the growing market for 401(k) and 403(b) advisory services. “We are thrilled to have Creative Benefits Concept and Kerry Hemphill join Seventy2 Capital. We saw a unique opportunity to partner with a veteran and specialist in the corporate retirement planning industry. I feel this acquisition will meaningfully increase our ability to help plan sponsors meet their fiduciary responsibilities while supporting them in helping employees save for retirement.” 

Willis Tower Watson Announces Changes to Human Capital and Benefits Team

Willis Towers Watson has announced two leadership appointments for its Human Capital and Benefits business segment.

Mike Archer will lead the North American Retirement business and co-lead its global Retirement business, and Eric McMurray to lead its North American Health and Benefits (H&B) business and co-lead its global H&B business. Archer and McMurray will report to Julie Gebauer, global head of Human Capital and Benefits.

Archer, based in Philadelphia, will lead a business that holds a top position helping organizations address the full range of retirement issues. A renowned expert on retirement solutions with 40 years of retirement advisory experience, Archer is well placed to continue the business’s growth in actuarial market share, pension de-risking, administration and financial wellbeing solutions. Prior to the appointment, he headed the Growth Leadership team for Retirement in North America. He will succeed Bill Gulliver, who will be retiring.

McMurray, based in Atlanta, has been leading the company’s H&B Brokerage and Advisory business and previously held a number of other leadership positions, including leading the Southeast region and Benefits Delivery and Administration sales. He has 25 years of experience as a health care consultant and is a leader in benefit design, financing and broking, and advising clients across the range of market segments. McMurray succeeds John Bremen, recently named global head of Thought Leadership and Innovation for Human Capital and Benefits.

“Retirement and health care benefits are the building blocks of wellbeing and a point of concern and differentiation for organizations and employees,” says Gebauer. “I’m thrilled that Mike and Eric will bring their decades of success, imagination, expertise and client insight to these critical business roles.”

Ascensus Appoints Head of Product

Ascensus has appointed Dan Basile as head of product for the firm’s retirement line of business.

In this role, Basile will lead retirement product strategy and development initiatives. He will also work closely with other business lines to advance integration opportunities and innovation efforts across the organization. Basile will report to Shannon Kelly, head of Ascensus’ Retirement line of business.

Prior to joining Ascensus, Basile spent nine years at BlackRock, most recently as managing director and head of product management for the firm’s U.S. & Canada defined contribution business. He led product efforts across both institutional and adviser-sold sales channels, while overseeing the team responsible for all aspects of product delivery, including pricing, implementation, and driving the technology agenda. Basile started his career as a pension benefit administrator at MetLife and has over 20 years of retirement industry experience covering nearly all aspects of the business, including plan design and administration, implementation, investments, and systems project management. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Gettysburg College and holds his Series 7, 66, and 24 licenses.

“Dan’s vast experience and deep domain knowledge make him an excellent choice for shaping our strategic vision for retirement products and services,” states Kelly. “With his leadership, we will continue to work with leading institutional and distribution partners to help meet the savings needs of our retirement plan clients and their employees.”