Retirement Industry People Moves

Principal announces executive promotions; Aegon appoints chief technology officer; Mutual of Omaha Retirement Services promotes two; and more.

Principal Announces Executive Promotions

Principal Financial Group has announced senior management promotions within its corporate finance and U.S. Insurance Solutions (USIS) businesses.

Joel Pitz has been named senior vice president and controller for Principal, effective November 15. In this new role, he’ll have leadership responsibilities for corporate accounting, global sourcing and financial reporting.

Pitz previously was vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) for Principal International and has held several other leadership positions during his 26 years at Principal, including the corporate role of assistant vice president and chief accounting officer. He will report to Deanna Strable, CFO for Principal, and succeeds Angie Sanders, who will retire after 32 years with Principal.

Nate Schelhaas has been named senior vice president, in charge of protection solutions for USIS, effective October 15. In his new role, Schelhaas will be responsible for the company’s life insurance and nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) lines of business, in addition to leading product development for the business owner segment.

He previously served as vice president and actuary in the individual life division of Principal, focusing on product development and strategy. Schelhaas has been with the company for 24 years holding various roles including CFO for the life insurance business. Schelhaas will report to Amy Friedrich, president of USIS, and succeeds Greg Linde, who will retire after nearly 30 years with Principal.

“Joel and Nate have built their careers with Principal, progressing to serve in increasingly important roles within the company,” says Dan Houston, chairman, president and CEO of Principal. “I am confident in their leadership, experience and strategic thinking to help serve our customers and guide our organization into the future.”

After Pitz transitions to his new role, John Egan, vice president and head of investor relations, will assume the role of vice president and CFO for Principal International. Egan will report to Pat Halter, president of global asset management for Principal, and continue to lead investor relations until a successor has been named.

Aegon Appoints Chief Technology Officer

Aegon Asset Management has appointed Nicole Grootveld-Sandig as its new chief technology officer.

Reporting to Aegon’s global chief administration officer, Sander Maatman, Grootveld-Sandig will be responsible for defining and executing its enterprise architecture plans and strategic road maps, as well as overseeing its governance activities related to technology design, implementation and information security.

Grootveld-Sandig has more than 25 years of financial, operations and information technology (IT) experience and joins Aegon AM from MN NV, Vermogensbeheer, where she was director of investment management services for the Netherlands-based specialist pensions management company.

At MN, she was responsible for strategic steering of its shared service center, consisting of investment operations (including asset servicing, data management, reporting and performance measurement) and functional IT.

Prior to MN, Grootveld-Sandig was chief operating officer (COO) Netherlands at Cardano Risk Management, where she was responsible for its derivative servicing operations, functional and infrastructure IT, and its operational risk control framework.

Her previous roles have included several senior positions within the financial markets division of ABN Amro in The Netherlands, as executive director (markets and asset securitization operations) and global head of fixed income and treasury product control. She also worked at ABN Amro Bank Canada and started her financial career at Royal Bank of Canada.

Maatman says, “Nicole has a wealth of financial services experience with over 25 years of working in the sector, particularly in operations and IT, which will prove very valuable, as we continue to build our global asset management business.”

Mutual of Omaha Retirement Promotes Two

Mutual of Omaha Retirement Services recently announced two leadership promotions within the organization.   

Julie McConahay has joined the Retirement Services leadership team and assumed the role of director of client operations. McConahay, who has more than 30 years of insurance industry experience, has been with Mutual of Omaha since 2008, serving in key leadership positions and facilitating many critical business transformation efforts. In her new role, McConahay is responsible for 401(k) operations, which includes business operations and relationship management areas. McConahay is based in Omaha, Nebraska.

John Schuele has assumed the role of manager of client relationships. Schuele has more than 20 years of experience in financial services and retirement plans. He has been with Mutual since 2013. In his new role, Schuele will oversee a team of relationship managers who work closely with clients and plan advisers to help educate employees about their employer-sponsored retirement plan and increase participation. He is based out of Kentucky.

“We’re excited about Julie and John and the leadership they will bring to our Mutual of Omaha Retirement Services team,” says Laura Huscroft, vice president of 401(k) for Mutual of Omaha Retirement Services. “Julie has played an instrumental role in many of our critical business transformation efforts and John has successfully managed key relationships with plan sponsors, advisers and TPAs [third-party administrators]. They are both influential leaders and I’m excited about what we’ll accomplish with their expertise.”

Principal Hires Senior Actuary for Retirement Business

Principal Financial Group announced that Sumit Kundu has joined the company’s retirement business to further help defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors manage their escalating pension risks.

Kundu takes the role of senior actuary and has been added to the pension consulting practice leadership team at Principal as the company continues to lead and innovate through its Principal Total Retirement Solutions, including the patent-pending Principal Complete Pension Solution. In his new role, Kundu will manage and lead pension plan design; risk mitigation strategies, including funding strategies and pension risk management; de-risking strategies of pension plans; plan terminations; and bulk lump-sum implementation.

“This is a crucial time for many employers in managing their pension risk, and Sumit’s wealth of expertise and experience will be an asset to both existing and new clients,” says Joe McCarty, vice president, retirement and income solutions at Principal. “Principal continues to invest in the talent and technology needed to meet the evolving needs of defined benefit plan sponsors, and we’re pleased to have Sumit join in this work.”

Prior to joining Principal, Kundu was the DB and actuarial team leader at Empower (formerly MassMutual), and before that worked as a consultant and consulting actuary for 14 years at Willis Towers Watson. He brings to Principal a combined 20 years of experience as an investment analyst, pension actuary and innovator in areas including liability-driven investing (LDI), asset liability modeling (ALM) and pension risk transfer (PRT).

Kundu earned his master’s in actuarial science from Boston University and his master’s in statistics and a master’s in business administration from Calcutta University. He is a credentialed actuary with designations from the Society of Actuaries (ASA) and Joint Board of Enrollment of Actuaries (EA). He has also earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

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