Retirement Industry People Moves

TRA hires Texas and Louisiana regional sales consultant; DWS selects head of wealth practice; Bar Harbor Trust Services announces new retirement plan coordinator; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

TRA Hires Texas and Louisiana Regional Sales Consultant

The Retirement Advantage Inc. (TRA) has hired Sam Spearman as its most recent regional sales consultant, covering a territory that includes both Texas and Louisiana. Spearman will report to Darin Erdmann, TRA’s national sales manager.

Spearman will be responsible for partnering with financial advisers and retirement wholesalers in designing and implementing optimal retirement plans for businesses of all sizes. 

“Throughout his professional career, Sam has been a dynamic results-driven leader. He has consistently demonstrated his expertise while serving in a variety of roles. He will be a well-rounded addition to the team,” Erdmann says. “Sam has a solid understanding and depth of experience in this marketplace and we are proud to welcome him aboard. We look forward to his valuable insights and contributions.”

Spearman will be taking over for Jay Scholz, who retired last month. While at TRA, Scholz focused on providing consulting to financial advisers and plan sponsors throughout Texas. Prior to joining TRA, Scholz founded Scholz and Friends in San Antonio, Texas.

“I am excited to build on the relationships Jay had with advisers and their clients across Texas and I have been blown away by the resources that TRA has dedicated to support that effort,” Spearman says. “There’s no question that these factors have helped the company achieve the position that it enjoys today. I am looking forward to devoting my efforts to TRA’s continued success.”

Spearman joins TRA from My Benefits & First Party Administrator, a third-party administrator (TPA), where he was a retirement plan sales and consulting specialist. Previously, Spearman served as a senior logistics manager in the United States Air Force, last stationed in southern Oklahoma. Spearman acquired his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Texas in Austin, Texas and holds a qualified 401(k) administrator (QKA) designation from the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) as well as his Texas Life and Health License.

DWS Selects Head of Wealth Practice

DWS has announced that Matt Hilding has joined the firm as U.S. head of wealth.

In his role, Hilding is responsible for setting and executing the wholesale distribution strategy across the U.S. He reports to JJ Wilczewski, head of client coverage Americas. Hilding has rejoined DWS from BlackRock, where he most recently served as a divisional director.

“We are thrilled to welcome Matt back to DWS and believe he will provide the leadership and strategy necessary as we look to evolve our business and continue to deliver outstanding services and solutions to our clients,” Wilczewski says. “Matt’s Chicago-based role is new and focused on enhancing our coverage model to meet the growing needs of our U.S. wealth clients, an important channel in our overall growth strategy.”

Hilding will lead a regional team of sales executives to deliver the DWS platform to the wealth market in the Americas. He will use a disciplined business management approach, including implementation of enhanced data and technology practices, to service the firm’s client base. He will also sit on the U.S. coverage leadership team.

“I’m excited to return to DWS and join a dynamic team of investment professionals during a transformational time in the firm’s history and the asset management industry with the rise of alternative, passive and ESG [environmental, social and governance] strategies,” Hilding says. “Amid the current environment, DWS has maintained its global position as a leading source for integrated investment solutions, stability and innovation, and I am excited to be a part of the firm’s long-term growth strategy.”

Hilding has over 20 years of experience and holds a bachelor’s degree in risk management from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Bar Harbor Trust Services Announces New Retirement Plan Coordinator

Kimberly DeSchuiteneer has joined Bar Harbor Trust Services as senior vice president, retirement plan coordinator.

In this role, she will be responsible for helping new and existing customers in Maine and New Hampshire with employer-sponsored retirement plans including 401(k), 403(b), profit sharing and defined benefit (DB) plans.

DeSchuiteneer has more than 34 years of experience in the financial services industry, nearly all of them focused on retirement planning. She worked at Citizens Bank for more than 20 years, serving in a variety of roles until ending her career there as vice president and retirement plans manager. Most recently, she was vice president and wealth management officer at People’s United Bank in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“Kim’s experience and skill set make her a valuable asset to Bar Harbor Trust Services and, more importantly, to the businesses in Maine and New Hampshire that are looking for a thoughtful retirement plan program that satisfies their needs and the needs of their employees,” says Jason Edgar, president of Bar Harbor Trust Services. “We are excited to welcome Kimberly to our team and look forward to our successes together.”

DeSchuiteneer is a graduate of the American Bankers Association’s Graduate and Undergraduate Employee Benefits School, hosted at Northwestern University. She is a designated certified retirement services professional and accredited investment fiduciary. Kimberly is FINRA [Financial Industry Regulatory Authority] Series 65 licensed.

AIG Pursues Separation from Life and Retirement Business

American International Group Inc. (AIG) is intending to separate its Life & Retirement business from AIG.

The company’s executive management team, with assistance from independent financial and legal advisers and oversight from the AIG Board of Directors, conducted a comprehensive review of the company’s current composite structure, including strategic, operational, capital and tax implications. As a result of this review, executive management recommended, and the board has decided to pursue, a separation of the Life & Retirement business from AIG.

AIG’s executive management and board say they believe a simplified corporate structure will unlock significant value for shareholders and other stakeholders. Although no decisions have been made as to how to achieve a full separation, the board says its intent is to accomplish it in a way that maximizes shareholder value and establishes two independent, market leading companies.

Brian Duperreault, AIG’s chief executive officer, states, “Over the last three years, we have taken significant action to de-risk AIG and position the company for profitable growth, including fortifying general insurance, diversifying Life & Retirement, significantly strengthening AIG’s capital and liquidity position, and building a world-class team. This foundational work has positioned AIG to pursue a separation of Life & Retirement, enabling both companies to prosper as standalone entities.”

Any separation transaction will be subject to the satisfaction of various conditions and approvals, including approval by the AIG Board of Directors, receipt of insurance and other required regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of any applicable requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). No assurance can be given regarding the form that a separation transaction may take or the specific terms or timing thereof, or that a separation will in fact occur.