Retirement Industry People Moves

Conduent Sells Global HR Consulting and Actuarial Business; Mercer Promotes Former Global Client Manager; Ameritas Announces SVP of Retirement Plans Team; and more. 

Conduent Incorporated announced it has entered into a binding agreement to sell its U.S. based human resource consulting and actuarial business. The deal also includes human resource consulting and outsourcing businesses located in Canada and the U.K. This business, formerly known as Buck Consultants, is being sold to H.I.G. Capital, a global private equity investment firm.


These businesses are part of the previously announced Conduent plan to divest up to $500 million in revenue in 2018 associated with non-core assets across the company.


In the transaction, Conduent will retain certain assets in line with its core technology platform business, including Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO), Total Benefits Outsourcing (TBO), BenefitWallet and RightOpt. 


“With this divestiture, our Human Resource Services business is now built around a diverse set of services supported by a portfolio of digital business platforms,” says Christine Landry, group chief executive, Conduent, Consumer & Industrials. “Together with our recent leadership hires and platform improvements, we are well positioned to help our clients modernize their HR processes, create seamless experiences for their employees and accelerate our growth in HR services.”


The transaction, which is subject to certain regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.  


Mercer Promotes Former Global Client Manager


Mercer announced that Julie Humphries has been appointed the firm’s U.S. Mercer digital leader. In her new role reporting to Susan Haberman, senior partner and U.S. career business leader for Mercer, Humphries will focus on driving Mercer’s business in helping clients strategize and implement digital strategies to engage their employees, streamline human resources (HR) processes and augment the human work experience to drive business success. 


“Julie is an exceptionally strong client manager and innovative business leader who helps organizations achieve business success through people,” says Haberman. “Her knowledge, insights, and background will help Mercer continue to progress our digital solutions through new technologies and provide our clients with innovative ways of advancing the future of work.”


Humphries specializes in aligning technology and process change to enable business growth, consulting on HR effectiveness issues, and leading high-performing teams. She has worked with clients in multiple industries, including retail, health care, airlines, energy, pharmaceuticals, financial services, information technology, utilities, and manufacturing.


She has held numerous positions at Mercer. In her prior role as global client manager, Humphries led the delivery of HR and strategy consulting services to a broad base of domestic and multinational clients. She also served as the U.S. central market leader, driving the delivery of Mercer’s services to clients in the central part of the United States. Prior to rejoining Mercer 10 years ago, she was a financial executive for technology and sales channels at Bank of America Corporation.


Humphries is an associate in the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree from University of Georgia and a Master of Arts degree from Georgia State University.


Past Trader Joins PanAgora as Head of Trading and Implementation


PanAgora Asset Management appointed Jason Gaunt as head of trading and implementation. He will be responsible for the firm’s global trading activities across equities, multi-asset and alternative investment strategies.


Gaunt is a veteran trader with more than 15 years of experience spanning both the buy and sell side. The last five years of his career have been spent with PanAgora as a senior trader on the equity investments team. In this role, Gaunt was responsible for the implementation of client portfolios that employ the firm’s equity investment strategies and equity trading for investment strategies across PanAgora’s broader platform. Before joining the firm in 2013, Gaunt was a senior sales trader at Susquehanna Financial Group. He also held trading positions at MFS, Jefferies, Riversource/American Express and LightKeeper Investments.

“During his tenure with the firm, Jason has consistently demonstrated that he is a gifted trader and talented business leader,” says George Mussalli, chief investment officer, Equities at PanAgora. “We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber serve as our head of trading and implementation, and look forward to his continued success at the Firm.”


Gaunt is a holder of both the Chartered Market Technician and Financial Risk Management designations.


Ameritas Announces SVP of Retirement Plans Team


Bill Lester, Ameritas president and chief operating officer, announced the election of Jim Kais to lead the Ameritas retirement plans division as senior vice president, retirement plans.

Prior to joining Ameritas, Kais held several roles with increasing responsibility culminating as senior vice president, retirement practice leader at Transamerica. Since joining Transamerica in 2006, Kais led sales, product and strategy efforts on nearly every retirement plan vertical.


“Jim’s expertise in the retirement plans industry will be an asset to Ameritas as we continue growing this important part of our business,” Lester says. “His knowledge and understanding nicely complement the Ameritas commitment to excellence and customer service. We’re excited to have him join us.”


Prior to Transamerica, Kais held various roles at ADP TotalSource, Prudential and Merrill Lynch.

Kais earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and business administration from Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and he holds the FINRA Series 6, 63 and 26 securities registrations.