Retirement Industry People Moves

Segal Group expands Communications Practice with new hire; Newport Group names leader of Institutional Sales; Voya Makes Organizational Changes, and more.

Jennifer Schuster has rejoined The Segal Group as a vice president and senior consultant in the communications practice.

Schuster has 20 years of experience in planning and managing employee communications and change initiatives. After first joining Segal in 2003, she worked with employers and other plan sponsors on various communications projects, including total rewards, organizational change, health and financial well-being programs, career frameworks, performance management and social media strategies.                    

Schuster rejoins Segal from Mercer, where she served for one year as a principal and senior consultant. She has spoken at conferences sponsored by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, WorldatWork and CUPA-HR and is a recent recipient of the International Association of Business Communicators Gold Quill Award.

Schuster earned a BA from the University of California, Davis. She is based in the firm’s San Francisco office.

NEXT: Newport Group Names Leader of Institutional Sales

Micah DiSalvo has joined Newport Group as senior vice president, institutional sales.

DiSalvo will lead the company’s qualified retirement plan sales team in the further development of business goals and strategies. He will report to CEO Greg Tschider.

DiSalvo has 17 years of experience in the retirement services industry. Prior to joining Newport Group, he was a vice president of retirement sales and service with BMO Retirement Services, which was recently acquired by OneAmerica. In that role, he was responsible for all aspects of the company’s institutional markets, including sales, relationship management, client services, and marketing.

He previously served as director of institutional sales for CUNA Mutual Group, and a regional sales support specialist for U.S. Bancorp’s investments and insurance group.

NEXT: Voya Makes Organizational Changes

Voya Financial’s retirement business announced a number of strategic changes to support its goals for accelerated growth and its commitment to the retirement business.

Voya is combining its small/mid corporate and large corporate markets segments into one corporate markets business. Previously, these two businesses were run separately. While successful on their own, the company sees even greater opportunity for accelerated growth under one leader. Voya Retriement CEO Charlie Nelson will be overseeing the combined corporate markets business until a new leader has been identified. Rick Mason, who was overseeing the small/mid corporate market segment, will be focusing on retirement research and taking on a role as a senior adviser for the company’s Retirement Research Institute.

The retirement organization will also be adding a leader to its tax-exempt markets (TEM) business through an internal promotion from its insurance solutions organization. Heather Lavallee, who has been successfully overseeing Voya’s employee benefits business, will serve in this TEM leadership role. Going forward, Carolyn Johnson, who was managing both Voya’s annuities and tax-exempt markets since 2014, will be dedicating her focus on the annuities business. Johnson, who reports into Alain Karaoglan, Voya’s COO and CEO of retirement and investment solutions, helped reposition and grow the TEM business over the past two years and leaves a strong foundation for Lavallee to build upon.

NEXT: Heffernan Hires Adviser for Orange County and Los Angeles Offices

Sean Kelly has joined Heffernan Retirement Services, a division of Heffernan Insurance Brokers, to serve as the retirement plan adviser for the Orange County and Los Angeles offices.

Kelly comes to Heffernan with well-rounded experience in the retirement plan space. He began working for Bill Chetney at NRP, followed by heading up the West Territory Retirement Partners Consulting team under Greg Koleno after the LPL acquisition, and most recently recruiting advisers to LPL as part of Geoff White's Retirement Partner's business development team. Kelly also worked extensively within the bank channel at LPL, integrating LPL's banks and credit unions in to the retirement plan space.

Since starting with NRP in 2007, Kelly had always planned on transitioning in to an adviser role at some point.

Since 2007, Sean has worked with Blake Thibault, John Prichard, Sr., and John Clark from the corporate BD/RIA side at NRP and LPL. "The Heffernan team is on the short list among the most respected retirement advisers in the industry," Kelly states. "Recruiting and consulting to hundreds of retirement plan advisers for just fewer than 10 years enables a person to develop a well-rounded perspective on advisers and our industry… joining Heffernan is the right call."

"We are excited that Sean has joined the Heffernan Retirement Services team," says Blake Thibault, managing director. "With Sean's background and experience, we feel strongly about his ability to build relationships with plan sponsors and participants, and guide them down the retirement plan pathway."

NEXT: Ellwood Associates to Acquire Watershed Investment

Investment consultancy Ellwood Associates has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire Colorado-based Watershed Investment Consultants, subject to customary closing conditions, including obtaining consents from Watershed clients. 

The closing is expected to occur on or about May 31. Ellwood and Watershed are both private, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered, employee-owned firms that provide research-based investment related counsel and services for institutions and high net worth individuals and families.

According to Russell Hill, Ellwood’s chairman and CEO, the combination is designed to benefit the clients of both firms: “Ellwood clients will gain from the addition of three highly respected investment professionals with decades of experience, who share our core values and standards of client service. Watershed clients will gain from the professional depth and operational and research resources that Ellwood has established over the past 39 years.”

Upon completion of the transaction, Watershed’s three principals—Dale Connors, Paul Schreder and Kevin Yoshida—will become senior consultants and have equity ownership positions at Ellwood, and will continue to operate from Watershed’s current location in Greenwood Village, Colorado. The transaction will not affect existing relationships with Ellwood clients, or the current operating structure of Ellwood.  Watershed clients will become clients of Ellwood upon completion of the transaction.