Retirement Industry People Moves

TIAA hires chief customer officer; Northern Trust announces COO for global foreign exchange; CapAcuity merges with executive benefits firm; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

Art by Subin Yang

TIAA Hires Chief Customer Officer

Sanjay Gupta has started at TIAA as chief customer officer of TIAA Financial Solutions. Gupta will report to Lori Dickerson Fouché, chief executive officer, TIAA Financial Solutions.

In this newly created position, Gupta will lead the strategic development, execution and measurement of a comprehensive approach to simplify the customer experience for TIAA’s 15,000 institutional and 5 million individual customers, including overseeing marketing and communications for the company.

“Sanjay’s deep expertise will accelerate our efforts to grow our business in service to our customers,” says Fouché. “His extensive experience launching and building brands and digital and mobile platforms, along with his focus on execution excellence will enable us to engage those we serve in a highly personalized, customized way to help them build confidence and meet their financial goals.”

Prior to joining TIAA, Gupta served as executive vice president of Marketing, Innovation and Corporate Relations at Allstate where he led advertising, public relations, e-commerce and drove product and service innovation. He also previously served as chief marketing officer of Ally Financial where he drove revenue growth by establishing a new brand, creating new products and promoting the company using innovative marketing. Previously, he held several roles at Bank of America.

Gupta holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from the University of Mumbai and a master’s in business administration from The University of Texas at Austin. He will be based at TIAA’s New York headquarters.

Northern Trust Announces COO for Global Foreign Exchange

Marisa Kurk has been named chief operating officer of Northern Trust’s Global Foreign Exchange (GFX) business.

Based in Chicago, Kurk will drive the day-to-day enablement of GFX business strategy and operations, capitalizing on strategic technology and product capabilities gained through acquisitions and partnerships. She brings more than 15 years of industry experience in FX operating and strategic risk management frameworks, including the management of legal and regulatory risks, as well as market best practices, controls and client servicing. Prior to joining Northern Trust, Kurk served as COO of Belvedere Trading, LLC and COO and senior managing director of Currency Management at Mesirow Financial.

“Marisa brings excellent industry experience to Northern Trust and will accelerate the execution of our FX strategy and delivery of innovative solutions to clients,” says John Turney, head of Global Foreign Exchange at Northern Trust. “Marisa is a key leader to help drive our investment in technology and continued focus on the client experience across our FX platform.”

The acquisition of BEx LLC in 2018 enhanced Northern Trust’s platform for algorithmic FX trading, global liquidity aggregation and transparency in execution and pricing to institutional clients worldwide. A partnership with Lumint Corporation, also announced in 2018, delivers currency management solutions with advanced portfolio, share class and look-through hedging services, complemented by transparency and analytical tools.

CapAcuity Merges with Executive Benefits Firm

CapAcuity, LLC and Westport Strategies, LLC (Westport) have signed a definitive agreement to merge their operations.

“We are very excited to have the Westport team join forces with us,” says CapAcuity CEO Peter Cahall. “They are one of the preeminent firms in the executive benefits marketplace, with over $2.5 billion in assets under management. Their staff, systems, technology, and client base will be important assets to our combined business.”

“Combining our companies is a significant event for the marketplace and for our clients,” says Westport Managing Director Don Harrington. “CapAcuity has become a leader in executive benefits by identifying and responding to the trends that are fundamentally changing our business—new tax laws, reduced investment product costs, and greater demand for transparency. And they are addressing these trends with cutting-edge solutions that materially benefit plan sponsors and their bottom lines.”

The two companies have complementary service offerings. Both companies work exclusively in the executive benefit marketplace, with expertise in funding and hedging, tax optimization, and asset management. “Importantly, CapAcuity and Westport share the same values of objectivity, transparency, and high-touch client service,” Cahall says.

CapAcuity Chief Operating Officer Bryant Kirk notes that “like CapAcuity, Westport’s professionals have decades of experience and expertise. They have built proprietary systems for evaluating and delivering cost-effective funding solutions and asset-liability management. Plan sponsors, consultants and advisers trust Westport, which is why they have built a large and loyal client base.” Kirk emphasized that Westport’s Albany and Boston-based teams will not change and will provide seamless continuity of services to their clients.

“By leveraging CapAcuity’s innovations and thought leadership, we’ll be able to offer our clients a broader suite of services, and drive efficiencies for even more companies,” says Westport Managing Director Scott Seibel.

Pryor Cashman Welcomes Seventh Lateral Partner  

Shane Stroud has joined law firm Pryor Cashman to co-lead its Executive Compensation, Employee Retirement Income Security Act and Employee Benefits Group. With nearly two decades of experience, Stroud joins as a partner, having previously been with Hughes Hubbard & Reed. He will be resident to the firm’s New York office.

Stroud is the seventh new lateral partner to join Pryor Cashman since February.

Specializing in all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation (EBEC), Stroud represents both executives and employers—particularly in the media + entertainment, professional services and pharmaceutical industries—in negotiating and drafting executive employment and severance agreements, as well as advising on EBEC issues related to major mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, IPOs, private equity and leveraged buyout transactions.

“With businesses merging and reorganizing at historic rates, our clients are looking to us for sophisticated guidance on complex executive employment, compensation and ERISA matters. As one of the foremost attorneys in this field, Shane will bolster our Group’s already recognized capabilities while serving as a strategic adviser both to employers and high-level talent,” said Ronald Shechtman, Pryor Cashman’s managing partner.

Stroud also regularly advises clients on the design and drafting of equity-based and incentive compensation plans and the implementation and design of qualified and non-qualified employee benefit plans (including health and welfare plans, 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans and supplemental executive retirement plans). 

Stroud received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Tulane Law School, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Acquires DPI Benefits  

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. acquired Kansas-based Darrell Phillips, Inc., dba DPI Benefits.

Operating since 2008, DPI Benefits is an independent benefits broker and consultant offering qualified retirement plans and group benefits to hospitals and other businesses throughout the state of Kansas. Darrell Phillips and his associates will continue to operate from their current location under the direction of Jerry Roberts, head of Gallagher’s Heartland region employee benefits consulting and brokerage division, and Jeff Leonard, National Financial and Retirement Services practice leader.

“DPI Benefits is a highly specialized benefits consultant with solid client relationships that offers strong cross-selling opportunities with Gallagher’s other brokerage operations,” says J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr., Chairman, president and CEO. “I am very pleased to welcome Darrell and his associates to Gallagher.”

Sentinel Benefits Brings in Sales Consultant for Health Team  

Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group has added Joni Worrell to the Health & Welfare team as a sales consultant. She will be working out of Ohio to expand Sentinel’s Health & Welfare service offerings into the Midwest region, along with Tennessee, Pennsylvania and other areas.

Prior to her hiring at Sentinel, Worrell worked as a relationship development manager at BusinessPlans Inc. in Miamisburg, Ohio.

Worrell brings over 20 years of experience in the benefits services industry, along with nearly 10 years of COBRA administration. 

“We are so excited to have Joni join our team,” says Scott Riordan, vice president, Health & Welfare Services. “She not only brings her experience and expertise in this field, but also a passion for our industry and a desire to help both employers and participants alike. We’re ecstatic about everything she brings to the table.”