Retirement Industry People Moves

This week brings promotions at T. Rowe Price and Wilshire Consulting, as well as third-party administrator acquisitions.

T. Rowe Price recently appointed Marla Skeffington to the newly created position of head of client services for its U.S. Investment Services (USIS) financial institutions business.

Skeffington will be responsible for leading the division’s client relationship management strategy for the intermediary and institutional clients, which include defined contribution investment only (DCIO) recordkeeper partners and plan sponsors, banks and broker-dealers (B/Ds), and for providing client services internally, companywide. Overseeing a group of about 10 client service professionals, she will also serve on the division’s leadership team.  

Previously, Skeffington was a senior marketing manager in T. Rowe Price Global Investment Services (GIS) division, where she led all aspects of fixed-income go-to-market planning and marketing campaigns for the firm’s North American institutional clients. She held several executive-level positions in marketing and client service at Western Asset Management Company, a Legg Mason subsidiary. Skeffington, who has more than a decade of experience in the asset management industry, reports to George Riedel, head of USIS financial institutions services, who cites her experience in client service and marketing, as well as her leadership abilities.

Skeffington holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in business administration from Suffolk University in Boston.

NEXT: Client services VP moves into corporate strategy at Envisage.

Christen Marsenison has been promoted to vice president of corporate strategy and development at Envisage Information Systems (EIS), where she will drive analysis of marketplace trends and participant behavior patterns.

Steff McGonagle, president and chief executive of EIS, cites Marsenison’s experience and expertise as essential for the firm’s initiative in creating systems and technologies to better serve Millennials in retirement planning.

Marsenison spent the past five years acting as vice president of client services for EIS. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, and is a Society of Professional Asset-Managers and Record Keepers (SPARK) Institute board member.

 NEXT: Bates & Co. acquires Jacksonville, Florida, TPA.

Pension Plan Professionals Inc. (P3), a Jacksonville, Florida, third-party administrator (TPA) of employer retirement plans, has been acquired by Bates & Co. Inc., a retirement plan administration and consulting service provider in Winter Park, Florida.

Founded by Dale Smith, P3 has supplied consulting, actuarial and administrative services to retirement plan sponsors in the Southeast for close to 30 years. The acquisition gives Bates & Co., serving the Orlando area since the 1980s, a northern Florida base.

The two firms hope to exploit a shared business philosophy and similar operating methods, to foster growth and expansion, Bates & Co. says. Its strategy, which includes retaining the Jacksonville office and staff, also will involve enhancing support and technological resources and increasing personal contact via a larger field force, the company says.

According to Bates founder and President John Laskowitz, the firm has a reputation for attention to detail and accuracy, delivered with personalized integrity and professional excellence.

Bates & Co., a non-producing TPA, works with all retirement plan platform providers.

NEXT: Wilshire Consulting promotes managing director to president.

Andrew Junkin has been promoted to president of Wilshire Consulting, the institutional advisory and outsourced-CIO [chief investment officer] business unit of Wilshire Associates.

A recent appointment to the firm’s board of directors, Junkin leaves his position as the unit’s managing director, which he has held since 2006, and replaces Julia Bonafede, a long-time Wilshire veteran. She will assist with the management transition.

Junkin was ranked twice by Chief Investment Officer magazine, an Asset International publication, as one of the 25 most influential consultants globally. A member of Wilshire Consulting’s investment committee, he joined the firm in 2005 as a vice president and has been responsible for advising corporate and public retirement plans ranging in size from $1 billion to more than $300 billion.

Dennis Tito, Wilshire Associates founder, chief executive and board chairman, cites Junkin’s managerial acumen/expertise and significant contributions to the firm during his tenure as inspiring the promotion.

Junkin also served as director of research and senior consultant at Asset Services Co. He holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Alternative Investment designations.

Wilshire Consulting provides custom investment consulting solutions to plan sponsors.

NEXT: New York Bank acquires New Hampshire TPA.

NBT Bank, based in New York with branches in Vermont, said it has acquired Third Party Administrators Inc. (TPA), a retirement plan services company in Bedford, New Hampshire. The business provides administrative services for 401(k), profit sharing and defined benefit plans for more than 700 businesses as well as Cafeteria Plan administration. TPA, with 23 employees and assets under administration of more than $850 million, will continue operating as a stand-alone business, retaining its staff, business name and location. Neil Tullis, who will continue in his role as president of TPA, said the firm plans to increase its referral network and accelerate organic growth.

Timothy Brenner, president of wealth management at NBT Bank, cited TPA’s stellar reputation in the industry and said its services dovetail with the bank’s own retirement plan services as well as the recordkeeping services offered by its sister company, EPIC Advisors Inc.

NBT Bank, N.A., is a full-service bank with a network of more than 155 banking locations in six states, including five locations in southern New Hampshire.

NEXT: BlackRock VP joins Commonfund’s sales team.

Ellen Blix has joined the sales team of Commonfund as a managing director. She will be based in San Francisco, focusing on building relationships with mission-based nonprofit institutions, pension plans and family offices in the Western region. Her previous roles include positions at Lehman Brothers and J.P. Morgan Securities, most recently acting as vice president in the global client group at BlackRock.

Blix holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in business administration in finance from Columbia University.


-Jill Cornfield, Sara Kelly and Karen Wittwer