Retirement Industry People Moves

OneAmerica hires client relationship executives, Nationwide, and AssuredPartners acquires NIS to serve 403(b) plans.

OneAmerica Hires Client Relationship Executives, Nationwide

OneAmerica has hired four client relationship executives to fill existing retirement service posts, taking on geographically crucial roles to support sales growth, the firm says. 

Industry veterans Christopher Drazen (based in St. Louis) and Paul Worthington (in Sparta, New Jersey) are focused on assisting institutional-sized companies with plan assets over $25 million, while Doug Reber (in Dallas) and Gordon Stiff (in Atlanta) are regionally positioned to serve core plans that focus on small to midsize employers. 

“We are pleased that these four individuals have chosen to join the OneAmerica family,” says Pete Welsh, vice president, distribution, OneAmerica Retirement Services. “The association of such quality individuals with OneAmerica further demonstrates our commitment to the highest level of service to our plan sponsor clients.” 

Worthington, who joined OneAmerica in May from Wells Fargo, serves clients in the New York City metropolitan area, as well as Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, D.C. 

“I’m very excited to join OneAmerica,” says Worthington, calling the company “a premier retirement plan service provider well-positioned to continue growing,” and adds, “my focus on client satisfaction and participant outcomes aligns well with OneAmerica’s solid reputation and culture of providing exceptional service.”

Drazen joined OneAmerica in April, following nearly three years with Transamerica. “Plan design and employee education, combined with an award-winning service structure, is the route to making impactful, positive retirement outcomes. It can certainly help employers with this task, and I look forward to working with clients in this role,” says Drazen.

Reber has been involved with financial services companies in a variety of roles, bringing three decades of experience, including 18 years at American Century Investments. He serves clients in parts of four Southwestern states. 

Stiff brings a wealth of knowledge and experience starting with 10 years at TIAA-CREF, then another nine at Empower, focusing on relationship management.

AssuredPartners Acquires NIS to Serve 403(b) Plans

Brookfield, Wisconsin, insurance agency National Insurance Services has been acquired by AssuredPartners Inc. in Lake Mary, Florida, for more than $50 million.

NIS provides employee benefits consulting and brokerage services for more than 2,500 public-sector organizations nationwide. It also administers about 600 403(b) plans, health reimbursements, flexible spending accounts (FSAs), employee benefit trusts and retirement incentive payouts for schools, cities and counties.

Under the terms of the deal, all of NIS’ 129 employees will continue to operate out of the same office under the guidance of President and CEO Bruce Miller. The NIS owners also set aside more than $1 million for the non-owner employees, who will receive a portion based on their time of service if they stay on at least one year from the transaction close.

“Because we’re so fortunate, we just wanted to share with those others,” says Terry Briscoe, NIS founder. “The owners are all coming out well on this deal. There are 110 or something other employees who are not involved with that so … we’re trying to be helpful to the employees.”

A separate insurance company, National Insurance Co. of Wisconsin, is being liquidated in a separate transaction, he says. “It will be a separate event. We’ll get there some day,” Briscoe says. “We transferred all the advantages of the insurance company over to the agency before we sold that.”

The acquisition of NIS is expected to broaden AssuredPartners’ reach in the public sector.

“We focus on partnering with agencies with strong management that demonstrate a dedication to growth and building lasting relationships—we have found this with NIS,” says Tom Riley, president and chief operating officer (COO) of AssuredPartners.