Retirement Industry People Moves

Colony Enacts Mergers with Bridgewater Wealth and BWA; Multnomah Group Hires Former Investment Consultant; American Century Hires ETF Initiative Specialists; and more.

Colony Enacts Mergers with Bridgewater Wealth and BWA

Focus Financial Partners has announced that The Colony Group (Colony), a registered investment advisory firm with clients across the country, completed mergers with Bridgewater Wealth & Financial Management (Bridgewater Wealth) and Blue Water Advisors (BWA).

Through these transactions, Colony has expanded its presence to encompass 10 offices employing approximately 140 professionals. Colony has completed seven strategic transactions since joining the Focus partnership in 2011, added eight offices, and more than doubled its number of employees.

“As partner firms of Focus, the Colony and Bridgewater Wealth teams have been sharing our ideas for years. We hold similar values and work diligently to provide high-quality client services,” says Ron Rubin, vice-chairman and managing director, Mid-Atlantic Region, of The Colony Group. “I now look forward to combining the talents of our successful and innovative firms as we strive to deliver what we believe is the best set of solutions and cultural experience for our clients.”

Multnomah Group Hires Former Investment Consultant

Multnomah Group, an independent retirement plan consulting firm, has announced the hiring of David Williams.

Williams’ background includes nearly two decades of work in the retirement plan space. Most recently, he held the position of search consultant for Tejera & Associates, LLC.

Prior to Tejera & Associates, Williams served as a principal for Mercer, where he worked for more than 15 years providing investment consulting services to retirement plan sponsors, as well as endowments and foundation.

American Century Hires ETF Initiative Specialists  

American Century Investments has announced two new hires for its exchange-traded funds (ETF) initiative. Rene Casis has been named portfolio manager and Sean Walker an ETF specialist. American Century is scheduled to launch two ETF funds in the first quarter.

Casis and Walker bring substantial ETF experience from BlackRock. Most recently, Casis was a partner at 55 Institutional, where he was a member of the firm’s senior management team responsible for oversight of portfolio management and trading execution. Prior to that, he was a director for iShares at BlackRock, where he served as an investment strategist and senior portfolio manager. Casis worked at BlackRock for 19 years, including his tenure at Barclays Global Investors. Casis will be responsible for managing the index-based value equity ETF.

Walker worked at BlackRock as vice president and market leader, responsible for all active and passive product platforms for the West Coast of Florida. Prior to that, Walker managed Florida and southeast regional distribution for FlexShares ETF.  

“Rene and Sean will play a critical role as we establish American Century as an ETF destination, a company priority for 2018 and beyond,” says Peruvemba Satish, American Century’s senior vice president, portfolio manager and director of global analytics.

Casis graduated from the University of California with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Walker graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and multi-national business operations and later received his master’s degree from University of Miami School of Business.

Touchstone Retirement Group Changes to TRG

Touchstone Retirement Group LLC is now TRG and is launching a new company website and introducing an updated corporate identity.

TRG offers innovative and flexible retirement solutions tailored to the needs of employers and their employees. The new name and website, are in effect as of January, 2018.

“The name change comes at a time when we’re growing, adding staff and creating a strategic roadmap with new services for our clients on the horizon. The updated identity fits with our longer-term vision for the company,” says Kenneth Neward, principal.

TRG works with employers, advisers and third-party administrators (TPAs) to create custom retirement plan solutions, including investment recordkeeping, annual administration and 3(16) fiduciary services.

“TRG is large enough to present an extremely competitive retirement plan offering but we’re not so large that we’ve lost sight of the importance of being able to provide highly personal and customizable service,” says Neward.

Pacific Life Appoints CEO Amid Rebranding its Asset Management Business  

Pacific Life has announced the re-branding of its asset management business as Pacific Global Asset Management, committed to investment results, transparency, and strategies that meet client needs.

Pacific Global Asset Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pacific Life and builds upon the strengths of Pacific Life’s asset management business.

Pacific Life has appointed Kevin Byrne as CEO of Pacific Global Asset Management. Byrne brings significant investment management experience to his new role. For the past five years, he was senior vice president of finance and risk management for Pacific Life’s Retirement Solutions Division. Prior to joining Pacific Life, he was executive vice president and chief investment officer for AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company.

“We are pleased Kevin will oversee the next phase of Pacific Life’s asset management business,” says Adrian Griggs, chief operating officer of Pacific Life. “Kevin’s ability to see the big picture and his investment management expertise make him ideally suited to create a dynamic asset management organization for Pacific Life and its clients.”

Northern Trust to Acquire Tech From Citadel

Northern Trust Corporation announced today that it has reached an agreement with Citadel to bring Omnium technology development in-house, including a team of development professionals as well as software development rights for its Omnium technology platform. 

As the firms lay out, the agreement gives Northern Trust greater control over technological enhancements moving forward. Additionally, the transaction “enables deeper collaboration between Northern Trust’s operations professionals and the team of developers to provide innovative solutions for alternative fund managers, asset managers, institutional investors and family offices worldwide.”

Northern Trust acquired Citadel’s hedge fund administration business in 2011 and licensed their middle and back office investment technology. That business is now known as Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services.

After the acquisition, Northern Trust will continue to provide middle office and fund administration services for Citadel’s funds. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions included in the definitive binding agreement executed by the parties.

Cammack Retirement Group Appoints Public and Government Clients Leader

Cammack Retirement Group announced that Emily Wrightson, director, will lead its national public and governmental practice.

According to the firm, Wrightson has been instrumental in establishing and developing Cammack’s public sector practice. Wrightson and her team provide a comprehensive offering of retirement plan services to public clients, including investment consulting, requests for proposals for third-party administrator services, implementation projects, strategic reviews, contract negotiation, and plan consolidation.

With more than a decade of experience at Cammack Retirement Group, Wrightson has spoken at conferences, served as a moderator for AssetTV’s Master Class, and contributed to Cammack Retirement’s Staying Ahead of the Curve thought leadership series. She also serves on the Participant Engagement Committee for the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA).