Wagner Law Group Hires ERISA Attorney
The Wagner Law Group announced that attorney Susan Elizabeth Rees has joined the firm as Of Counsel.
Rees has has over 30 years of extensive experience with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and other federal employment laws. In her capacity as a division chief for the Office of Regulations and Interpretations of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in Washington D.C., she provided advice to state and federal agencies, the public, and lawmakers and their staff, on ERISA interaction with state legislation involving all types of governmental plans and state retirement program alternatives. Throughout the course of her career, Rees has authored and provided advice in the creation of many ERISA-related regulations, advisory opinions, field assistance bulletins, and other technical legal memoranda on complicated issues including ERISA preemption and employee benefit plan definitions. She has served as the EBSA’s representative in intra- and inter-agency deliberations on ERISA litigation and rule making including as the longstanding lead to the ongoing joint agency project on the definition of a governmental plan.
Rees is frequently asked to speak at bar association and industry group meetings, and is a Fellow in the prestigious American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. She earned a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University and bachelor’s degree from Boston University, and is licensed to practice law in state and federal courts in Massachusetts, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals in the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 9th, and D.C. Circuits.
Attorneys Join ARA
The American Retirement Association (ARA) has added two figures to its workforce—Will Hansen as chief government affairs officer, and Allison Wielobob as general counsel of the ARA. Hansen’s role was effective January 7, while Wielobob role’s will start the 28th.
Hansen, an attorney with a masters of law degree in employee benefits from The John Marshall Law School, joins from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Industry Committee (ERIC) where he was senior vice president of Retirement and Compensation Policy, leading ERIC’s efforts to develop and advocate for retirement and compensation public policies priorities at the federal, state and local levels.
Hansen joined ERIC from the Holland America Group where he served as senior manager of Global Employee Benefits, overseeing employee benefit programs for five cruise brands under the Carnival Corporate umbrella. Hansen previously served as executive director of the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee, as well as legislative counsel for Senator Robert Casey, Jr., D-Pennsylvania, advising the senator on tax, pension, budget and Social Security issues, and as legislative director for Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin. He also has experience as an employee benefits attorney with McDermott Will & Emery LLP, where he focused on qualified and nonqualified retirement plans.
Wielobob comes to ARA from the Washington, D.C. office of international law firm Eversheds Sutherland. Prior to that, for 10 years she worked as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Labor, where she was on the staff of the Office of Regulations and Interpretations of the Employee Benefits Security Administration. During her tenure at the Labor Department, she worked on ERISA fiduciary issues and many of the Department’s major initiatives, including retirement plan fee disclosure and default investment alternatives.
Wielobob has a masters of law degree in Taxation from Georgetown University and a juris doctor from the James E. Beardsley School of Law at Temple University. She also served as legislation counsel for the Joint Committee on Taxation of the U.S. Congress and as an attorney-adviser in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). She takes on the role previously held by Craig Hoffman, who served as general counsel of the American Retirement Association for more than a decade. Hoffman will join the San Francisco-based law firm of Trucker Huss APC in April.
Eagle Asset Management Announces Promotions and New Hires
Eagle Asset Management announced promotions and new leadership roles for executives on its Small Cap Strategy and SMID Cap Strategy investment teams.
Jason Wulff, CFA, and Matthew Spitznagle, CFA, were both promoted to portfolio co-manager on January 1. Wulff will begin leading the SMID Cap Strategy portfolio on June 30. Portfolio Co-Manager Matthew McGeary, CFA, will assume leadership of the Small Cap Strategy at the same time. Spitznagle will support both strategies.
Wulff is also lead portfolio manager of the newly launched Eagle SMID Cap ESG Select institutional strategy, which considers environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in small- and mid-cap companies while trying to optimize long-term returns and minimize risk.
The changes are part of a planned succession process for strategy leadership that will provide a seamless transition in advance of the retirement of portfolio co-manager Charles Schwartz in 2020. The team will maintain the same investment strategy and philosophy it has used since 2001.
Executives of the Small Cap Strategy and the SMID Cap Strategy portfolios are based in Stowe, Vermont. They will continue to report to Court James, executive vice president of Carillon Tower Advisers.
“We have strong conviction in Matthew and Jason’s abilities to lead the Small Cap Strategy and SMID Cap Strategy investment teams as they continue to successfully identify smaller companies with capable management teams, solid balance sheets, and steady cash flows,” James says. “The team has extensive experience working together across a range of sectors, and a proven model to uncover overlooked opportunities in the small-cap and small- to mid-cap spaces.”
Wulff joined Eagle in 2015, and had previously worked alongside the team while at Sentinel Investments. He has 18 years of investment and financial industry experience. Spitznagle has been with the team since 2006 and has 23 years of investment related experience. McGeary and Portfolio Co-Manager Betsy Pecor, CFA, who will continue to support both strategies, have worked together constructing, refining, and managing Small Cap and SMID Cap portfolios since 2005.
“The Small Cap and SMID Cap investment group is a prime example of Eagle’s commitment to cultivating teams that execute investment strategies grounded in high quality research and valuation discipline, ensuring creative and nimble responses to changes in the equities markets,” said Cooper Abbott, CFA, president of Carillon Tower. “We look forward to supporting the team’s excellent work and its important contributions to Carillon Tower’s family of affiliates.”
Janney Increases NYC and Chicago Teams with Hires and Promotions
Janney Montgomery Scott LLC has hired seven and promoted two professionals to the firm’s Capital Markets group in the fourth quarter of 2018.
“I’m happy to welcome seven highly experienced Capital Markets professionals to Janney and am pleased that two of our talented employees were promoted this quarter. These promotions and new hires will strengthen our ability to serve our valued client base, building on our superior service and execution capabilities,” says Joe Culley, head of Capital Markets Group. “We also added a Higher Education and Not-for-Profit Advisory Group this quarter, which is greatly beneficial to continuing to grow our Capital Markets advisory business and expanding our presence in additional key markets.”
The Capital Markets new hires will be located in Janney’s Chicago and New York offices, and are Justin Ausher, director, Fixed Income Sales in Chicago; Mary Jane Darby, managing director, head of Higher Education and Not-For-Profit Advisory in New York; Steven Dumanski, associate, Equity Research in New York; Robert Kanzer, managing director, Higher Education and Not-For-Profit Advisory in New York; Mari Monahan, managing director, Fixed Income Sales in New York; Hanna Pisera, analyst, Equity Capital Markets Group in Boston; James Still, director, Higher Education and Not-For-Profit Advisory in New York.
As for promotions, Andy Ballou was given a new role as head of Institutional Sales in New York, and Katherine O’Brien was promoted to vice president, Institutional Equity Sales in Boston.
The string of new hires and promotions comes a year after the 2018 acquisition of HighBank Advisors, a middle-market investment bank and financial advisory firm headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, with a presence in Philadelphia. Additionally, Janney consolidated its New York City division into one office in Midtown Manhattan, relocating more than 100 Capital Markets and Private Client Group professionals into a single location.
Past CNA President Moves to Custodia Advisory Council
Custodia Financial has appointed Mark Herman to its Strategic Advisory Council (SAC).
Prior to joining the SAC, Herman served as president and chief operating officer of CNA Financial Corp’s Specialty Lines business. Before CNA, he served as CEO of Everest National Insurance Company and held other senior executive leadership roles at Chubb & Sons, ACE, and Ariel Holdings.
“Having a seasoned insurance industry CEO of Mark’s caliber on our SAC is a huge win for us,” says Tod Ruble, CEO of Custodia Financial. “As president and COO of CNA’s Specialty Lines business, Mark led the charge in expanding access to highly specialized coverage areas in a financially sustainable way—which is exactly what we’re doing with Retirement Loan Eraser (RLE). We’re thrilled to have his wealth of experience, deep subject matter expertise, and vast industry network to help make 401(k) loan insurance the next industry standard ‘auto’ feature.”
“I’m excited about what the Custodia team is doing with RLE,” says Herman. “Custodia has brought together all the necessary components for delivering on their mission: they’re addressing an urgent need, the ERISA legal framework strongly supports their approach, and they have the proprietary technology and financial model to offer their solution at scale.”
Herman joins Dave Liebrock, former president of Workplace Investing at Fidelity Investments, on the SAC.
Lincoln Financial Group Brings in Product Management VP
Lincoln Financial Group announced that Gary DeMaio joined its Retirement Plan Services (RPS) Product team as vice president, Small Corporate Market, Product Management.
“At Lincoln Financial, we continue to innovate and find new ways to help advisers and small business owners drive positive outcomes for retirement savers,” says Ralph Ferraro, senior vice president, Product and Solutions Management, RPS, Lincoln Financial Group. “Gary’s industry experience and expertise will fuel additional product development and innovation for our small market clients.”
DeMaio joins Lincoln Financial after more than 20 years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he most recently held the position of defined contribution product head. In that role, he was responsible for product management and development of the company’s proprietary institutional retirement business. Prior to his time at Merrill Lynch, DeMaio worked at Bankers Trust Company and began his career at Sedgwick Noble Lowndes.
DeMaio earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries and holds series 7 and 66 FINRA registrations.
Ascensus Grows TPA Solutions Team
Ascensus has added Jim Houpt, Eric Sharp, and Richard Tatum as divisional vice presidents and Kasey Price as head of institutional sales for the firm’s TPA Solutions business. Through this new structure, TPA Solutions will offer enhanced regional, consultative support to its retirement plan clients while expanding relationships with strategic recordkeeping and financial adviser partners.
In their new roles, the divisional vice presidents will be responsible for helping create and implement strategies to improve the performance and reach of the TPA Solutions sales team. In addition, they will work closely with the sales team to consult with wholesalers and financial advisers whose prospective and existing small business clients could benefit from the support of a third-party administrators (TPA) in designing a retirement plan solution.
Houpt, formerly of National Retirement Services, an Ascensus company, will be responsible for the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Central regions. Sharp, formerly of PenSys, will lead the Northwest region. Tatum, formerly of Avintus, will be responsible for the Southeast and Southwest regions.
“Jim, Eric, and Richard have each built extremely successful TPA practices prior to joining the Ascensus team,” states Jerry Bramlett, head of TPA Solutions. “We feel that they’re the ideal candidates to continue to move our business forward as we become the industry’s leading national TPA, backed by local expertise and personalized service.”
As head of institutional sales, Kasey Price, formerly of Retirement Strategies, Inc. will be responsible for managing, creating, and expanding relationships with financial advisers and the industry’s recordkeeping providers.
“We’re looking forward to watching each of these well-established leaders step into their new roles and help us build a national sales force for TPA Solutions,” continues Bramlett. “By investing in new leadership to guide our talented sales consultants, we can help ensure that our business owner clients and key partners continue to receive the support they need to meet their objectives.”
Fiduciary Counselors Inc. Adds SVP
Scott Gould has joined Fiduciary Counselors Inc. as senior vice president. Gould has over twenty years of experience working at Fortune 500 corporations in corporate finance, institutional retirement, and investment management. He has specific expertise in private equity, pension risk transfer, institutional retirement plans and merger & acquisition transactions.
“Fiduciary Counselors is excited to add Scott to our roster of professionals. His experience and breadth of knowledge will be invaluable to the clients we serve,” says Thomas O’Connor, president and CEO.
Prior to joining Fiduciary Counselors, Gould spent 18 years at MetLife. As part of the institutional retirement area, he was vice president of Structuring, Strategy and Distribution for the U.S. Pensions business. Gould also established a $50 million strategic venture capital fund, and as vice president in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group, executed 16 transactions totaling over $10 billion, and led due diligence, negotiations, and integration.
Prior to joining MetLife, Gould was a vice president at GE Capital Private Equity where he made private equity direct and fund investments. He also held several accounting management positions at Kraft Foods and was a consultant in KPMG’s Valuation Practice.
Gould holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s in finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Bolton Health & Retirement Practices Announces Leadership Changes
Bolton Health & Retirement Practices announced that Ellen Kleinstuber has assumed the role of chief actuary of Bolton Retirement. Kleinstuber has 27 years of actuarial consulting experience with an extensive background in defined benefit (DB) funding, accounting and general compliance, plan administration issues, fiduciary responsibility and actuarial professionalism. Tom Lowman will continue to serve as principal & president of Bolton Retirement.
Geoff Adams has assumed the role of president of Bolton Health. Over the last 25 years Adams has held leadership and health care consulting positions with several firms including The Warner Companies, Aon & Mercer. Mark Lynne will continue to serve as principal, senior consultant and vice president of Bolton Health.
Clark Hill Announces Addition to ESOP Practice
Clark Hill PLC has added Mark Kossow to the firm as a member in its Princeton, New Jersey office, in the Banking & Financial Services Group. He joins the firm from Archer where he had been a partner in the Employee Benefit/Executive Compensation/Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and Tax practices.
“We are delighted that Mark has joined Clark Hill,” says Jeffrey Conn, leader of Clark Hill’s Banking & Financial Services Group. “He brings a significant depth of experience regarding Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) which will complement the growth of Clark Hill’s national ESOP practice.”
A nationally recognized authority on ESOPs, Kossow has counseled companies, shareholders, directors, banks and trustees on both transactional and non-transactional ESOP-related issues. Kossow’s transactional experience includes representing clients in leveraged and non-leveraged ESOP transactions, such as stock purchases, leveraged buyouts, mergers, acquisitions and corporate reorganizations. His non-transactional ESOP experience includes advising companies with regard to corporate governance issues, succession planning, ESOP plan design and compliance, and ERISA fiduciary issues.
“Mark is a great addition to our growing team of lawyers in the Princeton office,” says Matthew Vigunas, member-in-charge of the Princeton office. “With an expanding, sophisticated client base in this region, Mark brings a unique background in a much-needed area of practice that greatly enhances the value proposition we are able to offer.”
In addition to Kossow’s ESOP practice, he counsels clients with regard to non-qualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plans and has experience with other qualified retirement plans.
Kossow earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration, with distinction, from the University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business, a juris doctor from the Albany Law School cum laude, and earned a master of law in Taxation from the New York University School of Law. He is a member of the ESOP Association and the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) and is vice president at the New York/New Jersey Chapter of the ESOP Association. Kossow is a frequent speaker at both ESOP conferences and to business owners and has published numerous articles on ESOP issues.