Retirement Industry People Moves

Treasury Attorney joins Alston & Bird as Employee Benefits Partner; PSCA collaborating with Groom Law Group for D.C. lobbying; Ameritas completes acquisition of Guardian 401(k) business, and more.

Former U.S. Treasury Department Attorney Dominic DeMatties has joined Alston & Bird as a partner in its Washington, D.C., office. During his time at the Treasury, DeMatties served as an attorney adviser in the Office of the Benefits Tax Counsel, which saw him aid in the development of tax policies and guidance related to qualified and nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plans.

His work focused on guidance and policy related to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), hybrid pension plans, governmental plans, 409A, 457(f), nondiscrimination, multiemployer plans and a variety of issues relating to single-employer defined benefit plans. He played a leading role in developing regulations and other guidance implementing the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 and provided legal advice to the team charged with analyzing applications received under the law.

“Dominic has been at the center of federal rulemaking that in recent years has brought significant change to retirement plans and executive compensation arrangements,” says David Godofsky, partner at Alston & Bird and leader of Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation. “His deep knowledge of policy, legislation and regulation will significantly benefit our clients who rely on us for strategic, board-level advice on crucial benefits and compensation issues, as well as day-to-day support on complex benefits matters.”

Before joining the Treasury, DeMatties served as a partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University in 2003; M.S. from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1997; and B.A. from State University of New York at Geneseo in 1994.

NEXT: Perspective Partners Hires Sales Leader for NestUp Managed Deferrals

Perspective Partners Hires Sales Leader for NestUp Managed Deferrals 

Bart Ballinger has joined Perspective Partners as its vice president of sales responsible for building strategic partnerships and growing its recently-launched NestUp Managed Deferrals.

Ballinger brings 20 years of experience in the retirement industry. Prior to joining Perspective Partners, he served as Director of Intermediary Relations at Empower Retirement. In that role, he was responsible for managing key adviser and consultant firm relationships in the Western U.S.

He also worked as a client adviser of Large Market Sales at JP Morgan, and he served as vice president of National Accounts at Wells Fargo Retirement & Trust Services.

Perspective Partners describes its NestUp initiative as the first and only program to coordinate both 401(k)s and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). NestUp offers participants personalized 401(k) and HSA deferral recommendations, and implements their choices with just two clicks, the firm says. When appropriate, NestUp also recommends directing HSA deferrals to retirement-oriented investments and lets employees opt for an HSA investment based on their 401(k) Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA).

“NestUp is a game-changer, not only for employees and employers, but for retirement plan advisers,” says Ballinger. “It offers them a powerful way to help differentiate their program and play a bigger role with sponsors by freeing their servicing model from dependencies on 401(k) or recordkeeping providers.”

Perspective Partners works with retirement plan administrators, employers, and recordkeepers to deploy NestUp, which can be used with any 401(k) or HSA provider, the company says. NestUp handles the movement of funds from an employee’s paycheck to the right account, whether it's the 401(k), the HSA transactional account, or the HSA retirement account. Moreover, NestUp can become the system of record for HSA deferrals.

“For strategically minded advisers and brokers, NestUp isn’t just a path to more revenue, it’s a way to deliver serious benefits to the C-suite,” says Ballinger. “It’s a better solution that can generate far more value add and differentiation.”

NEXT: PSCA Collaborating with Groom Law Group for D.C. Lobbying

PSCA Collaborating with Groom Law Group for D.C. Lobbying

The Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) has engaged the Groom Law Group to provide lobbying services for the organization.

Based in Washington, D.C., The Groom Law Group is the largest employee benefits specialty law firm in the country and employs an array of policy experts including former senior officials from the Department of Labor (DOL), the Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and Congress.

“Groom Law Group brings deep experience and is the leading firm in the retirement plan space in Washington,” says Stephen McCaffrey, PSCA’s Chairman of the Board of Directors and Legal & Legislative Committee. “Groom understands the plight and priorities of America’s plan sponsors and will help PSCA advance the interest of its members and the entire US retirement community in Washington and across the country. PSCA has significant legislative and regulatory goals, and we believe Groom Law Group will be instrumental in helping us move that agenda forward.”

The PSCA has more than 1,000 members representing employers of all sizes and works on behalf of more than six million employees to expand the success of the employer-sponsored retirement system. 

NEXT: Marsh Acquires Atlanta Advisory Group

Marsh Acquires Atlanta Advisory Group

Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA), a subsidiary of the global insurance broking and risk management firm Marsh, announced it has acquired Benefits Advisory Group, an Atlanta-based employee benefits consulting firm.

Created in 2003, Benefits Advisory Group offers employee benefit services to midsize employers throughout Georgia. All of the firm’s employees, including its owner Al NeSmith, will join MMA and operate as part of the firm’s existing operations in Atlanta.

“We are pleased to have Al and his team join the Mid-Atlantic region of MMA,” saysThomas R. Brown, vice chairman of MMA’s Mid-Atlantic region. “Benefits Advisory Group brings a complementary set of talent that will enhance our employee benefits offering in the Atlanta market.”

NeSmith added: “We are excited to join MMA and the regional partners in the Mid-Atlantic. This relationship will enable us to continue to offer best-in-class employee benefits solutions to our clients with a broader range of best-in-class products and services.”

Marsh & McLennan Agency is a subsidiary of Marsh established in 2008 to serve as a platform for the middle market. MMA offers commercial property, casualty, personal lines, and employee benefits to midsize businesses and individuals across North America.

NEXT: Ameritas Completes Acquisition of Guardian 401(k) Business

Ameritas Completes Acquisition of Guardian 401(k) Business 

Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. completed its acquisition of the 401(k) plan business of The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

This transaction increases the assets under administration of the retirement plans division to more than $10 billion, representing business owners and their employees across the entire country. The deal offers clients a combined national sales force, a technical platform built for growth and a customer service team dedicated to helping employees plan and prepare for a rewarding retirement.

“From the beginning of these discussions we viewed this as more of a strategic relationship than an acquisition,” says Bret Benham, Ameritas senior vice president – retirement plans. “We’re planning a business-as-usual approach and I believe the financial professionals who do business with us, as well as our shared clients, will see little, if any, impact in the servicing of their plans. Both companies bring exceptional talent, skill and value to the retirement plans arena, and ultimately, that benefits our plan sponsors and plan participants.”

The retirement plans division of Ameritas now provides retirement plan investment and administration services to more than 6,000 businesses and public entities nationwide. Retirement plan clients range from the single life sole proprietor to the large corporate, non-profit and governmental employers.