Retirement Industry People Moves

Stadion Names New Retirement Strategies CIO; Nationwide Names New Marketing Leader; Experienced ERISA Experts Join Steptoe & Johnson LLP; and more.

Loomis, Sayles & Company announced that Kenneth Buntrock, portfolio manager and co-team leader of the global fixed income team, will retire in March 2019 after 21 years with the company. In preparation for his retirement, longstanding portfolio managers Lynda Schweitzer and Scott Service will assume leadership roles effective immediately, joining David Rolley as co-team leaders.

“We are grateful to Ken for more than 20 years of service and leadership at Loomis Sayles,” says Kevin Charleston, chief executive officer. “His dedication is reflected within the success and growth of the Loomis Sayles global bond capabilities over the past two decades, and we wish him the best in retirement.”

Until his retirement date, Buntrock will continue in his leadership and portfolio management roles to ensure a seamless transition and provide continuity for clients. 

This transition is part of a comprehensive succession plan that was initiated in 2007, when Schweitzer was named portfolio manager on the Loomis Sayles Global Bond Fund, following her six-year tenure as a global portfolio specialist and trader for the team. Similarly, Service joined the team in 2004, became portfolio manager on a variety of global credit strategies in 2011 and was named portfolio manager on the Loomis Sayles Global Bond Fund in 2014. 

Rolley will continue his portfolio management responsibilities with Schweitzer and Service for the global fixed income portfolios, as well as the emerging market fixed income team portfolios. There will be no changes to the team’s style or investment philosophy. All three will continue to report to Jae Park, chief investment officer.

Stadion Names New Retirement Strategies CIO

Stadion Money Management announced the promotion of Will McGough to chief investment officer of Stadion’s retirement investment strategies.

As the firm explains, this is a new position, and McGough is also being appointment to the firm’s investment committee. McGough will continue to report to Brad Thompson, Stadion Money Management’s CIO.

McGough’s new role comprises oversight of Stadion’s risk-based, target date, and managed account strategies while maintaining his mutual fund portfolio management duties.

McGough joined Stadion as an analyst immediately following his 2003 graduation from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, where he earned a bachelor of business administration degree in Finance. In 2007, he was promoted to senior research analyst, a role he held for a little over three years, before being promoted to portfolio manager and then to senior vice president. McGough serves as portfolio manager for Stadion’s non-retirement strategies, focusing on the integration of risk management into Stadion’s asset allocation processes.

McGough holds the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation.

Nationwide Names New Marketing Leader 

Heidi Sirota will lead marketing for Nationwide’s retirement plans business, bringing over 20 years of marketing experience to the role.

Recently, Sirota served as vice president of marketing and communications for ConnectiCare, Connecticut’s largest individual health plan. In that role, she was responsible for building a consumer brand and for driving market expansion and member engagement.

Before joining ConnectiCare, Sirota held senior marketing roles at Aetna in government programs and at UnitedHealth Group’s Optum division, focusing on solutions that addressed the convergence of health and wealth. Prior to those roles, she worked for 11 years in financial services for The Phoenix Companies, growing the firm’s investment and life insurance businesses.

Sirota earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola Marymount University and holds an executive education certificate in consumer marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is also passionate about community involvement and served most recently as the president of the Windsor Education Foundation in Connecticut. 

Sirota replaces Kristi Rodriguez, who was named the leader of the Nationwide Retirement Institute earlier this year.

Experienced ERISA Experts Join Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Steptoe & Johnson LLP has announced that Sara Pikofsky will join the firm’s Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation practice as partner.

Pikofsky has worked in private practice as an ERISA litigator and as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Pikofsky’s arrival continues the expansion of the firm’s Employee Benefits and ERISA Group, which recently welcomed former Treasury Department Counsel Bill Bortz as senior counsel.

Pikofsky has extensive experience with all phases of litigation, focusing on violations of ERISA’s fiduciary duty and prohibited transaction provisions, as well as defending employers in withdrawal liability disputes. She also advises clients regarding withdrawal liability risks related to transactions. Her experience covers matters at the trial and appellate levels, including numerous appellate arguments. Pikofsky’s practice also includes advising clients with respect to DOL investigations and on compliance with ERISA’s plan asset rules.

Before entering private practice, Pikofsky spent nearly five years as a trial attorney in the DOL’s Office of the Solicitor in the plan benefits security division. In that capacity, she gained litigation experience in matters involving pension and welfare plans, including breach of fiduciary duty claims relating to investments in securities and real estate.

Bortz, who practices in Steptoe’s ERISA and Tax Groups, brings more than four decades of experience in both advising clients on employee benefits matters and working at Treasury on legislative, regulatory, and advisory matters related to ERISA law. His private practice experience from 1974 to 1995 at the former Dewey Ballantine included representing public, private, and charitable entities on federal tax and labor issues, including tax qualified retirement plans, deferred compensation plans and health care issues.

Voya Expands Tax-Exempt Markets Division

Voya Retirement has hired Brodie Wood as a senior vice president and national practice leader for healthcare and education in the company’s tax-exempt markets business.

In this new role, Wood will be responsible for developing and maintaining new and existing relationships with plan sponsors, intermediaries and consultants to support the broader strategic growth of the firm’s tax-exempt markets business. He comes to Voya with more than 20 years of industry sales experience, with a broad knowledge of products, services, distribution channels and the competitive landscape, specifically within the 403(b) and 457 plan markets. Most recently, Wood served as senior vice president of healthcare, education and not-for-profit markets at Transamerica. He is based in Utah and reports to Heather Lavallee, president of tax-exempt markets.

“Brodie has a proven track record for driving results, and we are thrilled that he will be bringing his energy and passion to Voya,” says Lavallee. “His vast experience serving retirement plan clients throughout the different tax-exempt markets makes him a great fit for our team as we look to continue accelerating our growth and leadership in these important segments.”

Wood graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language and business and received his master’s of business administration from Brigham Young University.

HRA Expert Appointed SVP at BPAS

BPAS has promoted David Ritchie to senior vice president, sales, for VEBA and HRA/HSA services.

With 20 years of industry experience, Ritchie is an expert on voluntary employees’ beneficiary association plans (VEBAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), and health savings accounts (HSAs). In his new role, he will continue to grow the company’s VEBA, HRA, and HSA service lines in sales and product development and create new distribution channels across the nation.

“David has been instrumental to the growth of our VEBA, HRA, and HSA lines of business, including product development, staffing, and sales,” says Barry Kublin, BPAS CEO.  “His leadership has been a driving force in expanding the BPAS national brand across a competitive marketplace.”

Since joining BPAS in 2013, Ritchie has secured key partnerships to help expand the business. He was also integral to the BPAS Roadways HSA product development. Ritchie also specializes in GASB 45/OPEB mitigation solutions, union negotiation and bargaining, consumer-driven healthcare options, and overall healthcare consulting.

Franklin Templeton Announces New CIO for Fixed-Income Division

Franklin Templeton Investments has announced that Sonal Desai will be named chief investment officer of the Franklin Templeton fixed income group, effective December 31, 2018, following nearly a decade of service to the firm. In this role, Desai will oversee the firm’s corporate credit, emerging markets debt, bank loan, global aggregate, securitized, money market, multi-sector, municipal and local fixed income strategies and teams.

Desai will take on this new role upon Chris Molumphy’s retirement at the end of the year. Molumphy has decided to retire after serving as chief investment officer of Franklin Templeton’s fixed income group since 2000, making for 30 years with the firm.

Desai joined the firm in 2009 as director of research for Templeton Global Macro. In this role, she has worked closely with Michael Hasenstab, chief investment officer of Templeton global macro group. Her role involved leading the team’s research agenda, focusing on regional and country-specific macroeconomic analysis, as well as valuation modeling of interest rates, exchange rates and credit risks across local- and hard-currency debt markets.

When Desai moves into her new role, Calvin Ho will take her place as director of research for Templeton global macro, and he will assume portfolio management responsibilities for a number of Templeton strategies, reporting directly to Hasenstab. Ho has been serving as Desai’s deputy director of research, specializing in global macroeconomic analysis and consulting with Hasenstab and Desai directly on all major portfolio decisions.

Desai will also replace Molumphy on Franklin Templeton’s executive committee, a small group of the company’s top leaders responsible for shaping the firm’s overall strategy, which includes investment leaders Hasenstab; Ed Perks, chief investment officer of Franklin Templeton multi-asset solutions; and Stephen Dover, head of equities.

Ascensus Appoints North Region VP for Sales

Ascensus announced the appointment of Todd Engman as regional vice president for the firm’s retirement plan sales team in the North region, covering Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

In this role, Engman works with financial advisers, third-party administrators, and financial institutions—including institutional partners and defined contribution investment only sales representatives—to build and maintain Ascensus’ retirement plan distribution networks.

He will report directly to Anthony Bologna, vice president of retirement sales at Ascensus.

Engman has more than 10 years of retirement industry experience in relationship management, business development and sales. He most recently served as 401(k) regional sales director for Lincoln Financial Distributors and has also held positions at Ameriprise Financial and Baker Tilly Investment Advisors.

Engman earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wipfli Financial Expands Investment Committee

Wipfli Financial Advisors announced the addition of Sunil Wahal and Janice Deringer to the firm’s investment committee. The pair boasts over five decades of combined experience in investment management and financial markets, and both will support the firm in its efforts to heighten clients’ investment experience.

The committee provides insights on the firm’s investment philosophy, strategies and research. 

Bringing an academic perspective to Wipfli Financial’s investment strategy, Wahal currently serves as the Jack D. Furst Professor of Finance at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. His research focuses on short- and long-horizon trading strategies, trading issues and delegated portfolio management for mutual funds and institutional investors. He is also a long-term consultant to Dimensional Fund Advisors, whose philosophy and mutual funds are central to Wipfli Financial’s investment approach.

Deringer’s decades of experience in investment management and financial planning, coupled with previously working at Wipfli Financial from 2009 to 2013 as a consultant and member of the committee, allows her a unique view into the firm’s history and approach. Her background includes managing tactical and strategic asset allocation, international indexed equities, transition services and quantitative equities.