Retirement Industry People Moves

Murphy and Reynolds take new roles at Great-West; Hooker & Holcombe announce promotion and hires; The Standard brings in director of stable value sales; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

Art by Subin Yang


Murphy and Reynolds Take New Roles at Great-West

Edmund Murphy III, has been appointed president and CEO of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company (GWL&A), the U.S. subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc. and the parent of Empower Retirement.

Former President and CEO Robert Reynolds will shift to a new role as chair of Great-West Lifeco U.S. LLC. Reynolds will maintain his role as president and CEO of Boston-based Putnam Investments, also a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco US.

As president and CEO, Murphy will assume leadership of all of GWL&A, which includes Empower Retirement, Great-West Investments and the company’s individual life insurance and annuity businesses.

Murphy will remain president of Empower Retirement and will report directly to Great-West Lifeco President and CEO Paul Mahon. He brings 30 years of broad industry experience to his role. Before his 2014 appointment as president of Empower, he had served as managing director of the defined contribution investment only (DCIO) business at Putnam Investments since 2009 and served on the firm’s Operating Committee.  Previously, he held executive leadership roles for 17 years at Fidelity Investments in its institutional, private equity and retail businesses. He also served as president and CEO of Veritude, LLC, as well as a board member of BostonCoach, Advisor Technology Services, Seaport Hotel, World Trade Center and several other Fidelity-owned businesses. Earlier, he spent six years at Merrill Lynch.

Murphy has written articles on retirement-related matters and has testified in Washington, D.C., before the House Ways and Means Committee, the Department of Labor (DOL), the Treasury Department and the IRS. He speaks on topics ranging from retirement issues and public policy to investment advice and lifetime income strategies.

He is a board member of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Cristo Rey School, Boston College Wall Street Council and the New England Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and is a graduate of the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School.

ERISA Industry Committee Appoints Leaders

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) added Aliya Robinson as the new senior vice president of Retirement and Compensation Policy and LeAnne Wilson as vice president of Strategic Partnerships.

Robinson will lead ERIC’s efforts to develop and advocate for retirement and compensation public policies priorities for ERIC member companies at the federal, state, and local levels.

For the past 12 years, Robinson served as the executive director of Retirement Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where she was responsible for developing, promoting, and publicizing the Chamber’s policy on employer-provided retirement plans, nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC), and Social Security.

Robinson also practiced employee benefits law advising clients on issues relating to ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) and the Internal Revenue Code for retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and fringe benefit plans. Additionally, she worked on multiemployer pension plan compliance under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, and various areas of corporate tax, including corporate restructuring, implementation of cafeteria plans, and compliance with tax reporting obligations.

Robinson is a graduate of New York University School of Law, where she also received a Master of Laws in Taxation. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics and African studies from Yale University.

As the vice president, Strategic Partnerships for ERIC, Wilson will be responsible for developing, growing, and managing partnerships to build resources for the nation’s largest employers. She will work closely with ERIC’s vice president for Membership Development on membership matters and with ERIC’s CEO on strategic initiatives. 

Wilson has led strategic development and implementation of membership programs that significantly increased dues revenue at both the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Business Roundtable (BRT). At BRT, she served as senior vice president, responsible for developing member retention, recruitment, and services. While there, Wilson also oversaw the association’s CEO quarterly meetings. She served as chief operating officer, then senior vice president of Membership at NAM. 

Before her work with that association, she served as a senior consultant with Bingham Consulting Group LLC. She has also worked with then-Governor John Engler in a number of different capacities, including 12 years as director of the State of Michigan office in Washington, D.C. 

Wilson holds a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Michigan.

Hooker & Holcombe Announce Promotion and Hires

Hooker & Holcombe named Steve Lemanski, practice leader and consulting actuary, as principal of the firm, while Stephen Chykirda and Norm Yamamoto have joined the team as consulting actuaries

“We are excited about the expertise these individuals bring to our actuarial team. Steve is well-respected by his peers and has already proven to be a valued member of our executive team.  Additionally, the depth of knowledge Stephen and Norm bring to the firm further enhances our leadership position in the Northeast,” states Richard Sych, president and consulting actuary. 

Lemanski is an enrolled actuary and holds the FSA, FCA and MAAA designations. He joined the firm in 2016 as consulting actuary. In 2018, he was promoted to practice leader of the Actuarial Services Group where he oversees a team of skilled actuarial professionals. Lemanski graduated summa cum laude from Drew University with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and economics.  Prior to joining the firm, he was with Milliman where he served as principal and consulting actuary for a number of municipalities throughout the Northeast.

Chykirda joined the firm in 2018 as a consulting actuary. He is an enrolled actuary, holds both the ASA and MAAA designations, and earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Rhode Island.  He was most recently with MassMutual where he served as a consulting actuary for municipalities and Fortune 500 companies.

Yamamoto is an enrolled actuary who joined the firm in 2018 and holds ASA, FCA and MAAA designations. His diverse client base has included aerospace, banking, manufacturing, higher education, and a number of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Prior to joining the firm, Yamamoto was with Buck Consultants where he served as principal and consulting actuary. He graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with a bachelor’s in applied mathematics/systems engineering and in psychology.

LCG Associates Promotes Former Investment Analysts

LCG Associates, Inc. promoted Matthew Hawkins, CAIA and W. Scott Sheely, CFA, CAIA to consultant. Both employees are based out of the Atlanta office.

“Matt and Scott’s promotions exemplify the high caliber of talent, collegiality, and commitment within LCG’s team,” says Edward F. Johnson, president and chief executive officer.

Hawkins joined LCG in 2015 and has four years of industry experience. His responsibilities include investment strategy development, manager due diligence, special research projects, and providing investment advice to clients. Hawkins also serves as a quantitative analytics specialist assisting with LCG’s proprietary analytical systems. He began his career at LCG as an investment analyst.

Hawkins has passed all three levels of the chartered financial analyst (CFA) Program and will be eligible for the CFA charter upon completion of the required work experience. Hawkins is a chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) charterholder. He holds a master’s degree in finance from Vanderbilt University and graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia (UGA) with a business administration degree in finance.

Sheely joined LCG in 2015 and has six years of industry experience. His responsibilities include investment strategy development, manager due diligence, special research projects, and providing investment advice to clients. He began his career at LCG as an investment analyst.

Prior to joining LCG, Sheely was an investment analyst at Segal Rogerscasey (now Segal Marco Advisors) responsible for conducting manager searches, preparing performance reports, analyzing information for clients, and other investment‐related projects.

Sheely is a CFA charterholder and is a member of the CFA Society of Atlanta. He is also a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) charterholder. Sheely graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s of science in business administration in both finance and management and a minor in political science from The University of South Carolina (USC).

Willis Towers Watson Appoints Rewards Practice Leader

Willis Towers Watson appointed Catherine Hartmann as Rewards practice leader for North America. In this role, Hartmann will have responsibility for the growth of the geography’s broad-based Rewards practice. She is based out of the company’s Irvine, California, office.

“We are delighted to appoint Catherine to this important leadership role,” says Carole Hathaway, global practice leader, Rewards, Willis Towers Watson. “Catherine has a tremendous 25-year track record of consulting, business development and thought leadership on rewards issues, and her expertise and experience make her the ideal candidate for this position. We’re confident that under Catherine’s leadership we’ll continue to grow our rewards business and deliver outstanding value for our clients.”

Hartmann joined the company’s Rewards practice in 2000. She left in 2005 before returning to Willis Towers Watson in 2013. Hartmann holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in women’s studies from Villanova University.

The Standard Brings In Director of Stable Value Sales

The Standard hired Joseph Simmons, CFA, as stable value sales director. This new position was created to support The Standard’s growing product base of stable value funds. 

Simmons has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, previously holding positions as a director of stable value and director of investment consulting. 

He has a master’s of business administration degree and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Northeastern University. Simmons also holds the chartered financial analyst designation and FINRA Series 7, 63 and 65 licenses.

“We are excited to grow our stable value sales team with an accomplished and knowledgeable professional like Joe,” says Chris Conklin, vice president of Individual Annuities and Asset Management Group Sales at The Standard. “With this larger team, we can further serve the investment needs of our advisor partners and their clients.”