Retirement Industry People Moves

Transamerica adds regional VPs to large-and-mid-market retirement plans; Broadridge acquires content management and automation firm; Principal Global Investors selects managing director; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

Transamerica Adds Regional VPs to Large-and-Mid-Market Retirement Plans 

Transamerica announced that Gary Giffen and Thomas M. Stephenitch have joined the company as regional vice presidents for large-market retirement plans, and Matt Beaulieu has joined as regional vice president for the mid-market retirement plan sales team.

Both Giffen and Stephenitch will support financial advisers working with retirement plans with $50 million or more in assets. Beaulieu will work with financial advisers on acquiring retirement plans, primarily under $50 million in assets.

Giffen holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut, and he will support financial advisers in New England. Stephenitch holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University, and his territory covers Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. Both Giffen and Stephenitch will report to Rob Goldman, national sales director, large-market retirement plans.

Beaulieu will be based in Sacramento and will report to Tom Briggs, divisional sales manager. He has almost 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. He graduated from the Dominican University of California with a bachelor’s degree.

Broadridge Acquires Content Management and Automation Firm

Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., has acquired Appatura Inc., a regulatory and marketing content management and automation company. Appatura’s technology and operational capabilities enable asset management and other financial services firms to streamline the composition of regulatory and marketing communications, enabling content through a more automated process, while meeting regulatory requirements.

With the addition of Appatura’s SaaS-based platform, firms will be able to streamline content curation and assembly and more effectively manage the publishing and dissemination of material, such as prospectuses, fact sheets, pitch books and other regulatory and marketing materials.

“Our clients will now have access to enhanced content composition and management capabilities in a single source platform—enabling firms to better manage these communications from composition to distribution,” says Michael Liberatore, head of Broadridge’s Mutual Fund and Retirement Solutions business. “This is another example of how Broadridge is helping asset management and other financial services firms streamline regulatory and marketing communications in a complex environment.”

Appatura was acquired from Havas Creative, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vivendi Universal, S.A., and other selling shareholders. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Principal Global Investors Selects Global Managing Director

Principal Global Investors appointed Matthew Minnetian as managing director, global head of Investment Grade Credit for Principal Global Fixed Income. Minnetian assumes responsibility for investment grade credit portfolio management, research and trading and will also lead efforts to further integrate data science and quantitative tools into the fixed income investment management process.

“Matthew brings extensive expertise in investment grade credit, as well as experience in combining fundamental investment management with quantitative approaches to achieve strong results for clients,” says David Blake, senior executive director and head of Principal Global Fixed Income. “We look forward to bringing his leadership on-board as we continue to integrate the latest technologies with our core investment management processes.”

Minnetian will lead an investment grade credit team managing more than $46.3 billion in assets.

Previously, Minnetian worked at AllianceBernstein for more than 20 years holding multiple leadership roles across fixed income.

Foresters Financial Acquires Holding Company and Subsidiary

Foresters Financial has entered into a definitive agreement with Nassau Financial Group, L.P., subsidiary Nassau Life Insurance Company (NNY), to acquire Foresters Financial Holding Company, Inc. and its subsidiary Foresters Life Insurance and Annuity Company (FLIAC). NNY and FLIAC are New York-domiciled life insurance companies. 

The sale marks the final stage of Foresters strategy of exiting its North American Asset Management business, which commenced earlier this year with the sale of its asset management and broker-dealer businesses.

“Following the sale of our U.S. and Canadian asset management businesses earlier this year, this transaction is in step with our strategy of focusing on fixed life insurance in North America and continuing to grow as a purpose-driven international fraternal benefit society. We will continue to evolve our business by focusing on innovation, new product development and independent distribution to best serve our members,” says Jim Boyle, president and chief executive officer, Foresters Financial.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter 2020 and is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Mercer Announces Multiple Appointments

Mercer has appointed Ethan Bronsnick and Charlie Wright to its Wealth business, as well as promoted Forest Banks.

Bronsnick joins as partner, U.S. Financial Strategy Group, and Wright joins as sales director for Endowments and Foundations, while Bank’s new role will be sales director for Large Market Employer Plans.    

“We’re thrilled to have Ethan and Charlie join our growing team at Mercer, and to announce Forest’s promotion. We aim to cultivate talent within while adding industry leaders and expanding our footprint for the benefit of our clients,” says Marc Cordover, East Market Wealth Business Leader. “These individuals will further strengthen our expertise and capabilities in annuity transactions and pension risk management, endowment and foundation services and large-market employer plan advisory services respectively.”

Bronsnick joins Mercer’s Financial Strategy Group, a team specifically focused on managing risk in defined benefit (DB) pension plans. He brings expertise in facilitating large-case annuity transactions between pension plan sponsors and insurers.

Prior to joining Mercer, Bronsnick spent 10 years at Morgan Stanley, where he led its pension solutions team and prior to that spent 10 years at Credit Suisse working closely with life insurance companies. Bronsnick will be based in New York, reporting to Matt McDaniel, partner and U.S. Financial Strategy group leader.

Wright is an institutional asset management sales and client service executive with over 10 years of industry experience in advising OCIO, multi-asset class, single asset sleeve, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies to endowments, foundations, family offices and pension plans. 

Prior to joining Mercer, he worked for Russell Investments and Northern Trust in Institutional Asset Management Sales positions. He held previous roles at Citibank and Wells Fargo. He is based in New York, reporting to Cordover.

Banks will become the sales director for Large Market Employer Plans, effective January 1, and will be responsible for business development and client solutions for the Southeast U.S. region. With Mercer for four years, he is currently working as a senior investment consultant, providing investment advice to defined contribution (DC) clients. He is a member of Mercer’s U.S. Defined Contribution Investment Committee and Mercer’s Manager of Manager strategic research team, and chairs Mercer’s Stable Value strategic research team.

Prior to joining Mercer, Banks spent 10 years at Northern Trust as a senior investment consultant. Having worked with large market foundations, endowments, DB and DC plans, he has aided clients with asset allocation decisions, performance measurement, plan design, and manager selection and monitoring. Banks is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, reporting Cordover.

Pentegra Announces New Executive VP Overseeing Sales and Marketing

Matthew P. Mintzer has joined Pentegra as executive vice president. Mintzer will head Pentegra Sales and Marketing, Client Services and Operations and will report directly to John Pinto, president and CEO.

In making the announcement, Pinto says, “We are fortunate to have someone of Matt’s caliber and industry experience leading our team.  Matt has a solid understanding of our products and markets. His clear vision for integrating technology throughout the customer experience is exactly what Pentegra needs as we enter the next chapter of our business, as we’ve already seen in the development of our exciting partnership with ADP. This vision and leadership will position us to take advantage of the market opportunities that lie ahead.”

Prior to joining Pentegra, Mintzer was a principal at Eyes Up Consulting, where he worked with firms nationally to develop product, sales, marketing, operations and distribution solutions designed to differentiate clients from the competition. His previous senior leadership roles include: head of Advisor Retirement Business at J.P. Morgan Asset Management; head of Advisor Retirement Business at AllianceBernstein (AB); and head of Retirement Marketing at Putnam Investments.

Mintzer earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Pennsylvania State University and currently holds FINRA Series 7 & 63 licenses.