Structural Shakeup at Ascensus

Retirement plan services provider Ascensus created a new organizational structure to support the firm’s growth expectations in the retirement and college savings space.

The new structure segments the business into two divisions—retirement services and college savings—and implements a realignment of the company’s leadership team. Bob Guillocheau, president and CEO of Ascensus Inc., says the move comes after the company’s successful push into new markets, including online 401(k)s, defined benefit plans, cash balance plans and 529 college savings.

Within the new framework, Shannon Kelly has been appointed president of Ascensus retirement services and Jeff Howkins will serve as president of Ascensus college savings. Both will oversee day-to-day operations of their respective business segments and will report to Guillocheau.

Prior to her role as president, Kelly worked as executive vice president of client operations and was selected to oversee ExpertPlan in early 2013, after Ascensus acquired the company. Kelly also has extensive experience with business analysis and information technology, the firm says, in addition to overall service and operations expertise.

Howkins remains president of Upromise Investments Inc., a 529 college savings plan provider previously acquired by Ascensus. He joined Upromise Investments in 2004.

As part of the leadership team’s restructuring, Neil Smith, executive vice president of strategic business support services, will continue overseeing strategy, mergers and acquisitions, product development, marketing and training functions. Smith also takes on additional sales responsibilities under the new arrangement. In this role, he will focus on the growth of Ascensus and continue to report to Guillocheau.

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