Retirement Industry People Moves

Willis Towers Watson expands Manager Research team; MassMutual appoints head of Strategy & Corporate Development; Mercer names Central market DC segment leader; and more.

Mason Expands Institutional Investment Consulting Practice

William M. Courson has joined Mason Investment Advisory Services as the firm’s senior managing director. He will focus on foundations, endowments, health care, higher education institutions, and retirement plans.

Prior to joining Mason, Courson served as senior managing director of Hartland & Company in Cleveland, Ohio. He also served as president and chief investment officer of Lancaster Pollard Investment Advisory Group. This firm was acquired by Hartland in 2015.  He also was the CIO of a $10 billion public fund.

“We are excited to add Bill to the Mason team,” says President and CIO Scott George. We believe that our clients will benefit greatly from his investment experience and thought leadership. As a former Chief Investment Officer of a large portfolio, Bill understands the complexities of the role and his client focus makes him a perfect cultural fit for our firm.”

NEXT: Willis Towers Watson Expands Manager Research Team

Willis Towers Watson Expands Manager Research Team

Willis Towers Watson has made several promotions to its manager research team. Chris Redmond has been named global head of Credit and Diversifying Strategies; Nimisha Srivastava has been appointed global head of Credit, and Paul Jayasingha has been appointed global head of Real Assets. Srivastava and Jayasingha will report to Redmond, alongside Sara Rejal following her appointment as global head of Liquid Diversifying Strategies in October last year.

Redmond joined Willis Towers Watson in 2004 and has held various roles and responsibilities across Credit. This includes building out direct hedge fund research in discretionary global macro and credit long/short strategies in 2007, and establishing an illiquid credit research capability in 2009. He currently chairs the Top-Down Research Group.

Srivastava joined the credit research team in 2014 as a senior researcher. Prior to this appointment, she served as head of Manager Research for EMEA. Jayasingha previously served as global head of Real Estate within Willis Towers Watson’s Manager Research function and has been at the company for over 19 years.

In addition, Stephen Miles remains global head of Equity Stream, covering traditional equities, long/short equities and private equity. 

“These new appointments provide an opportunity to further evolve our research structure to better align portfolio construction so that we continue to provide a sustainable competitive advantage for our clients,” says Luba Nikulina, global head of Manager Research, Willis Towers Watson.

NEXT: MassMutual Appoints Head of Strategy & Corporate Development

MassMutual Appoints Head of Strategy & Corporate Development

Aaron Miller has been named Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) head ofStrategy & Corporate Development. Working closely with the executive leadership team, he will be responsible for leading the development of the company's corporate and business strategies, as well as competitive intelligence.

Miller joins MassMutual from Capital One Financial Corporation, where he spent more than six years as managing vice president of Strategy. He was also a principal at the Boston-based private equity firm Great Hill Partners. Miller began his career in 1999 with McKinsey & Company's North American financial services practice, eventually becoming a senior consultant. Miller received his bachelor's degree in economics and public policy studies from Duke University, and earned his master’s degree from The Harvard Business School.

"Aaron's nearly two decades of experience across many disciplines within the financial services arena will add both breadth and depth to our business strategy and planning thought leadership," says Betsy Ward, MassMutual's chief financial officer and chief actuary. "We look forward to Aaron's business acumen in helping differentiate MassMutual from key competitors through the monitoring of global industries, markets, opportunities and trends—all in support of our purpose of helping people secure their future and protect the ones they love."

NEXT: Mercer Names Central Market DC Segment Leader

Mercer Names Central Market DC Segment Leader

Global consulting firm Mercer has named Paul Staples as partner and Defined Contribution (DC) Segment Leader in the Central market region. In this newly created role, Staples will be tasked with overseeing and accelerating the growth of the company’s DC business in Mercer’s Central market territory. He will work out of St. Louis, Missouri.  

Staples will bring to his new role more than 20 years on investment experience which included time spent as a principal with Summit Strategies Group. There, he served as a DC consultant and served some of the firm’s largest DC clients.

He’s also worked for Independence Investments and SG Cowen Securities. Staples graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is also a Level II candidate in the CFA program.