Retirement Industry People Moves

Stonebridge joins the hybrid solutions platform of Triad Advisors; SEI partners with higher education governance organization; client engagement expert joins Transamerica; and more.

Pennsylvania-based Stonebridge Financial Group has joined the hybrid solutions platform of Triad Advisors LLC.

Headquartered in Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania, with an additional office in Gettysburg, Stonebridge is an independent financial advisory firm that provides comprehensive wealth management for families and companies in coordination with their tax and legal professionals. The team is led by Brian McCarver, Jonathan Freeman and Jim Kampstra, co-directors of the company.

The agreement allows Stonebridge access to Ladenburg Advantage, a mix of retail and institutional products and services, according to Michael Bryan, chief executive officer of Triad Hybrid Solutions. In addition, the agreement allows Stonebridge new access to trust services, annuities and syndicate offering.

Freeman says his firm aims to offer clients better technology and flexible fee structures within a multi-custodial approach, while improving practice efficiency.   

SEI Partners With AGB

SEI has partnered with the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), an organization centered on improving governance in higher education institutions. 

As a sustaining sponsor of AGB, SEI gains a new discussion forum with board members of colleges and universities, as well as the opportunity to share thought leadership and expertise on important higher education issues, specifically surrounding endowment investment management.

“SEI is proud to be a strategic partner with AGB, and we look forward to growing our understanding of the issues decision-makers face in achieving their missions in this market,” says Frank Wilkinson, managing director of North America institutional marketing at SEI. “We are committed to better understanding these challenges and providing investment solutions tailored to the unique needs of college and university endowments.”

Client Engagement Expert Joins Transamerica

Transamerica has hired M. Palmer Whitney as senior director of client engagement for retirement plans. He will report to Scott Ramey, head of workplace solutions for Transamerica. 

Whitney is an industry veteran with a focus on client engagement and nearly two decades of experience in retirement plans and employee benefits. He has experience working with hospitals and health care organizations, private education providers, associations and other organizations. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and FINRA series 6, 63, 7, and 24 licenses. 

Ascensus Acquires Pension Works for TPA Division

Ascensus has acquired Pension Works Inc.

The third-party administration (TPA) firm will immediately become part of Ascensus’ TPA solutions division. 

Based in Colchester, Vermont, Pension Works provides comprehensive services to qualified retirement plan sponsors. The firm, whose clients range from multinational corporations to small, family-owned businesses, tailors retirement programs to work together with existing employee benefit packages. Areas of expertise include plan design and consulting; defined contribution (DC), 403(b), and employee stock ownership plan administration (ESOP); and defined benefit (DB) plan management and actuarial support.

“At Pension Works, we provide comprehensive personal services, meticulous attention to detail, and timely dedication to the long-term needs of our client sponsors and their plan participants,” says Joseph Palchak, Pension Works president. “We’re looking forward to taking advantage of Ascensus’ scale to ensure that current and future clients receive the support that they need for their qualified retirement plans.”

Horace Mann Educators Announces Acquisition of BCG

Horace Mann Educators Corporation has agreed to buy Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based retirement plan recordkeeper Benefit Consultants Group (BCG), and its subsidiary broker/dealer and registered investment adviser, BCG Securities (BCGS). The acquisition is meant to enhance Horace Mann’s retirement plan offerings for educators and others who serve their communities. 

“This combination will allow us to further leverage our core competencies, while adding new capabilities to more completely address the unique needs of our customers in the retirement space,” says Horace Mann Executive Vice President Bret Benham. “Clients are increasingly looking for a ‘one-stop’ partner for retirement plans and more. Adding BCG’s capabilities allows us to better serve our customers.” 

After the transaction closes in the first half of 2019, BCG will continue to operate under the same name and management, but with strategic direction and leadership from Benham and Mike Weckenbrock, Horace Mann vice president for life and retirement

Russell Investments Adds CFO and Other Hires

Russell Investments hired Jennifer McPeek as chief financial officer (CFO). McPeek boasts more than 25 years of experience within corporate finance, strategic planning, risk management and global operations. McPeek’s career features key roles at Janus Henderson, ING, McKinsey & Company and Goldman Sachs. 

Based in the Russell Investments’ Seattle headquarters, McPeek now oversees the firm’s financial and control functions including accounting, tax, treasury, management reporting and planning. Reporting directly to Chairman and CEO Michelle Seitz, McPeek also is responsible for the firm’s corporate services and global sourcing and procurement teams.

McPeek’s hire follows other recent executive-level additions including Rick Smirl, chief operating officer; Bob Hostetter, head of product strategy and development; and Gene Raffone, chief human resources officer. McPeek will work closely with other senior leaders to strategically allocate financial resources to enhance the firm’s investment capabilities, scale its global product offerings and invest in technological innovations to maximize efficiency and drive better results for clients. 

McPeek’s new role at Russell Investments builds on an extensive career in the asset management industry, most recently with Janus Henderson Investors. During her nine years at that firm and its U.S. predecessor, she served as chief financial officer and chief operating and strategy officer. Prior to joining Janus, McPeek was at ING Group, where she ran strategic planning and corporate development for the Americas. Earlier in her career, McPeek worked as a consultant and investment banker for McKinsey & Company and Goldman Sachs, respectively.

McPeek is a CFA charterholder, and she holds degrees from Duke University and MIT.

Vanguard CEO Replaces Former Chairman

Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley will succeed Bill McNabb as chairman of the investment management firm, effective January 1. He will be the fourth chairman in the firm’s history.

Buckley assumed the CEO position in January 2018, after serving in a number of senior management roles, including as the firm’s chief investment officer from 2013 to 2017, as head of Vanguard’s retail investor group from 2006 to 2012, and chief information officer from 2001 to 2006. Elected as a principal in 1998, Buckley joined Vanguard in 1991 as assistant to then-CEO John Bogle. 

Buckley earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard in 1991, and a master’s from Harvard Business School in 1996. He served as chairman of the board of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from 2011 to 2017.