Retirement Industry People Moves

AXA hires executive for Life, Retirement and Wealth Management Business; T. Rowe Price expands Retirement Plan Services Team with new hires; Vestwell partners with Namely for retirement experience; and more.

AXA has announced that Aaron Sarfatti has been hired as managing director and head of strategy for its Life, Retirement and Wealth Management businesses. In this role, he will partner closely with the company’s business leaders to develop and execute key strategic initiatives, supporting growth and improvement efforts.

Sarfatti will report to Brian Winikoff, senior executive director and head of Life, Retirement and Wealth Management. 

“I’m thrilled to bring a proven leader of Aaron’s caliber onboard,” says Winikoff.  “His expertise in the insurance industry, particularly his thought leadership surrounding lifetime income, will help us continue to deliver innovative solutions on behalf of our customers.” 

Sarfatti most recently served as a partner with global management consulting firm, Oliver Wyman, in its North American Insurance Practice. This included a four-year role as head of the firm’s New York office.  

“It is an honor to join a leading firm and work alongside AXA’s experienced team,” says Sarfatti.  “I have long admired the company’s commitment to sound risk management and product innovation and look forward to helping chart its next chapter.”

Sarfatti has gained 15 years of experience working in financial services, life insurance, asset management and retail banking.  

Sarfatti received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in Computer Science from Princeton University, where he also received Certificates of Proficiency in Finance and Public and International Affairs. Sarfatti is a credentialed actuary.

T. Rowe Price Expands Retirement Plan Services Team with New Hires

T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services Inc., announced Mikey Gannon will join the Retirement Plan Services (RPS) territory sales team as senior retirement sales executive. In this role, Gannon will focus on small-market retirement plan sales in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. 

Gannon joins T. Rowe Price with more than 15 years of industry experience, most recently at Transamerica Retirement Solutions as national director of client services.

In addition, Emma Tookey has joined the RPS territory sales team as senior retirement sales executive, focusing on small-market retirement plan sales in northern California and Nevada.

Tookey also brings 15 years of industry experience to T. Rowe Price, most recently at Mass Mutual as managing director, covering northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

“Mikey and Emma bring a wealth of industry experience to our team and a passion for helping advisers grow their retirement plan business. The west coast is a base for many high-quality retirement plan advisers and we are thrilled to have Mikey and Emma on board to support their needs. We welcome them both and look forward to their contributions to our business,” says Mike Shamburger, head of territory sales at T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services, Inc.

TIAA Adds Executive VP for Nuveen Operations

TIAA announced that Ajit Naidu has joined the company as executive vice president, head of Asset Management Services & Technology and Global Corporate Solutions Technology. Naidu will be responsible for Nuveen operations and technology as well as the full suite of TIAA’s enterprise systems and applications in Finance & Actuarial, Human Resources, Advocacy & Oversight, Marketing and Information Technology.

Naidu will be based in Iselin, New Jersey, reporting to Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Client Services and Technology, Rahul Merchant.

Naidu brings more than 25 years of experience developing technology and business strategies that drive operational excellence and growth, primarily in financial services, asset management and investment banking. Most recently he was the CEO of MDC Business Management Services, a shared services company for the Mubadala group. Prior to that he was chief information officer for the Mubadala group. Naidu also spent 12 years at Merrill Lynch where he was chief technology officer in Global Markets and Investment Banking. He holds a BE in Computer Science and Engineering from Mysore University in Mysore, India and a MS in Computer Science from Virginia Tech.

RMB Promotes Top Executive to Co-Chief Investment Officer

RMB Capital (RMB) has named Partner and Managing Director of Asset Management Christopher Graff, CFA, as the firm’s co-chief investment officer. 

Graff has worked side-by-side with Richard M. Burridge, Jr., RMB’s founding partner, CEO, and co-chief investment officer, for 16 years—predating the firm’s inception in 2005. 

“Bringing Chris into this role has been a long time coming, as he’s been my co-pilot through almost two full market cycles,” says Burridge. “I’ve never been more excited about the wide range of strategies we’re able to offer our clients. The growth of our investment platform has made the role of CIO a two-person job, especially since we have many more ideas to execute on behalf of our wide range of investors.” 

“I’m excited to officially step into this role alongside Dick,” says Graff. “We are doubling down on the vision we have shared since the beginning, which is to offer a distinct array of actively managed investment solutions that can capture untapped value for our clients.”

Graff will continue to serve as managing director of asset management concurrently with his new role. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Graff is also a member of the CFA Society of Chicago and a CFA charterholder.

Vestwell Partners With Namely for Retirement Experience

Vestwell is partnering with Namely, a human resource (HR) platform for mid-sized companies, to provide an all-in-one retirement experience for plan sponsors and their employees.

Vestwell’s retirement offering will now integrate into Namely’s platform. Through single sign on, users will gain access to key benefits and retirement information, all in one place. More importantly, the new offering provides payroll integration, thus removing the significant administrative burden from plan sponsors of providing ongoing payroll information and updated election deferrals. 

“At Vestwell, our key objective is to modernize how retirement plans are offered and administered, and our partnership with Namely does just that,” says Aaron Schumm, founder and CEO, Vestwell. “By coupling Vestwell’s turnkey retirement solution with Namely’s humanized and savvy HR system, we’re able to create a more harmonious experience for the plan sponsor and their participants.”

Namely clients interested in Vestwell’s services for their retirement offering will benefit from a simplified payroll integration, fast and easy onboarding, transparent pricing, and streamlined administration.  

“At Namely, we’re focused on providing midsized companies with best-in-class technology for all of their HR needs,” said Michael Manne, VP Sales, Namely. “We’re excited to partner with Vestwell to provide our clients with a like-minded, advanced technology solution that seamlessly integrates into our HR platform.”