Retirement Industry People Moves

FIA Hires Consultant and Research Analyst Focusing on DC Plans; Ascensus Acquires Firms That Service ESOPs; CalSTRS Employs New Deputy CIO; and more. 

Alliant Gains SVP to Consult With Clients About Benefits Solutions

Bob Kristofak has joined Alliant Employee Benefits.

The new senior vice president will work with a diverse portfolio of clients to provide strategic employee benefits solutions that reduce spending, increase performance, and support long-term growth. Kristofak has worked with clients in all four major regions of the Commonwealth. He has also consulted with employers across the U.S. concerning their domestic and global benefits.

“In an environment of rising healthcare costs, Bob has the ability to build programs that not only reduce spending but improve outcomes,” says Kevin Overbey, senior executive vice president and senior managing director, Alliant Employee Benefits. “His expertise will add an additional layer of strength and sophistication to our already robust service profile.”

A 30-year health care and employee benefits veteran, Kristofak is highly regarded for his ability to develop customized, high-quality employee benefits programs that combat rising health care costs. He also developed a proprietary tool assisting employers in optimizing the success of their health, retirement, and workers’ compensation insurance programs.

Prior to joining Alliant, Kristofak was executive vice president and practice leader with a national insurance brokerage and employee benefits consulting firm. He also has held senior leadership positions with two of the nation’s largest health insurance carriers: United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Kristofak is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College and earned his Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Russell Investment Hires Former Investment Executive

Russell Investments announced that Robert Hostetter has joined the firm in a new position as Global head of product. With 20 years of experience driving product strategy in the investment management industry as both an executive and a consultant, Hostetter will lead the development and honing of investment solutions that draw from strategies across Russell Investments’ global operations. The ultimate goal is to achieve better outcomes for the firm’s clients, addressing challenges common to many institutional investors and financial intermediaries. Hostetter reports directly to chairman and CEO Michelle Seitz. 

“At Russell Investments, we have spent decades developing innovative investment solutions to help our clients achieve the outcomes they expect,” says Seitz. “In creating this enhanced global product framework, we’ll be better positioned to take solutions perfected in one region and apply them on behalf of clients in other parts of the world. Bob and the new Global Product team will work to ensure that we fully leverage our best ideas and insights on a global scale.” 

Hostetter’s previous industry experience includes AllianceBernstein, where he served as managing director and Global head of product strategy. He was responsible for directing the firm’s overall product lineup across equities, fixed income, multi-asset and alternatives in North America, EMEA, and Pan-Asian markets. Earlier in his career, Hostetter was a consultant to asset management and private equity firms for McKinsey & Company.

FIA Hires Consultant and Research Analyst Focusing on DC Plans

Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC (FIA) hired Carol McShera as a consultant and research analyst. McShera will be based in FIA’s Boston office and will focus on defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors and their participants. She has extensive experience in retirement plan design, plan fee disclosure and benchmarking, vendor searches and selection, and investment analysis.

“We are excited to welcome Carol to the Massachusetts-based FIA team. Carol is an experienced and knowledgeable consultant who will be an integral part of our Massachusetts growth plans as we expand to meet our growing client base.  She embodies our focus on delivering superior advice and the highest level of client service,” notes Mark Wetzel, president of FIA.

Prior to joining FIA, Carol worked at Sapers & Wallack as a retirement plan consultant. She was also previously employed by Wells Fargo Asset Management in Consultant Relations, where she began her investment industry career.

P-Solve Appoints U.S. Leadership Team Members

P-Solve announced the appointments of Tom Cassara and David Rosenblum as managing directors and members of the U.S. Leadership Team. These hires will open an office in New York City as part of the expansion of the firm.

“The addition of Tom and Dave to our U.S. team further solidifies River and Mercantile’s position in the marketplace as we rebrand from P-Solve and expand our leadership as an actuarial and investment solutions consulting firm,” says Ryan McGlothlin, global head of Strategic Relationships. “Their expertise and leadership will accelerate our growth in the retirement plan consulting space.”

Cassara was most recently a senior partner, investment consultant and business leader with Mercer where he worked since 1989. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a degree in mathematics, a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, and an Enrolled Actuary. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Rosenblum was also a senior partner, consulting actuary and business leader with Mercer where he has over 30 years of experience. He is a graduate of Colgate University with a degree in economics, a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, and an Enrolled Actuary.

“To be a part of an organization like the River and Mercantile Group with their highly effective solutions and products is exciting. I am enthusiastic to be able to help implement effective and innovative solutions, like derivatives, for example, to solve complex retirement plan problems,” added Cassara.

Ascensus Acquires Firms That Service ESOPs 

Ascensus has acquired Swerdlin & Company and SES Advisors. Both firms will become part of Ascensus’ TPA Solutions division. Swerdlin & Company will also add defined contribution (DC) and defined benefit expertise (DB), according to Ascensus.

Swerdlin & Company provides actuarial, consulting, administrative, and recordkeeping services for all types of retirement, health, and cafeteria plans to clients nationwide. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the firm services benefit plans—including 401(k), cash balance, employee stock ownership (ESOP) and health reimbursement accounts.

Swerdlin & Company works with plans of any size, from sole proprietorships to companies with thousands of employees. 

“For almost 40 years, we at Swerdlin & Company have held ourselves accountable for the services we provide and the work we produce,” says Lee Swerdlin, president and chief operating officer for Swerdlin & Company. “We’ll continue this tradition as part of Ascensus, continuously improving client experiences and building long-lasting relationships based on honesty, trust, and mutual respect.” 

SES Advisors specializes in ESOP administration, consulting, and recordkeeping services. The firm, which is based Valparaiso, Indiana, helps companies administer ESOP plans by balancing the needs of owners and employees to create “successful, sustainable employee ownership outcomes.”

LDIntelligence Appoints 401(k) and Managed Account VP

LDIntelligence LLC (LDI) announced the appointment of Chip Moore to lead the company’s growth of its iJoin 401(k) enrollment and managed account solutions. He joins LDI as its vice president of Business Development responsible for expanding relationships within the FIS Relius client base and other industry partners.

Over the course of his career, Moore has held senior leadership positions in sales and business development with industry leaders SunGard Relius (now FIS Relius) and Innovest Systems.

“This is a key strategic hire for LDIntelligence,” says Steve McCoy, chief operating officer. “Chip has a deep understanding of the needs of recordkeepers, financial advisers, plan sponsors and participants. He’s witnessed the need for a better enrollment solution and better approach to helping participants succeed on their retirement savings path. He also enjoys a great rapport with our initial target audience of independent recordkeepers.”

Moore added, “I’m excited to join LDI and lead the effort to broadly introduce our enrollment and managed account solutions. We’re leveraging our deep FIS integration to deliver a quality of performance recordkeepers and advisers have not experienced before. I think it’s a game changer. On a personal note, I look forward to connecting with many friends in the retirement space.”

DCIO Managing Director Joins Nuveen

Nuveen appointed David Christopher as managing director, Defined Contribution Investment Only (DCIO) Institutional Sales. The new hire builds upon Nuveen’s continued growth in the DCIO space.

Christopher reports directly to Erin Donnelly, executive vice president and head of Nuveen’s DCIO business. He is based in Radnor, Pennsylvania. In this newly created role, Christopher will focus on expanding Nuveen’s presence in the mega plan market, cultivating relationships with defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors and bringing Nuveen’s broad investment capabilities to an expanded footprint.

Christopher joins Nuveen from the DC Institutional Sales team at J.P. Morgan, where he worked for 17 years building client relationships with some of the largest companies in the United States, growing assets from the ground up. He has wide-ranging experience working with plan sponsors and successfully partnering with both internal and external business teams to deliver positive results for clients. Specialist fixed income manager,


BlueBay Creates Global Structured Credit Role

BlueBay Asset Management LLP added Sid Chhabra to the newly created role of head of Structured Credit and CLOs (collateralized loan obligations).

Based in London, Chhabra will report to Mark Dowding and Stephen Thariyan, co-heads of Developed Markets, and will lead the initiative to establish and manage a new range of BlueBay global structured credit and asset-backed securities (ABS) strategies.

This new capability will be utilized in existing multi asset credit portfolios, as well as in new, stand-alone traditional and alternative strategies. Launches are expected to commence towards the end of the year and in 2019.

As part of the Developed Markets team, Chhabra will be working closely with colleagues in leveraged finance, utilizing global credit analyst resources, in a group which has invested in global leveraged loans for the past 15 years.  In addition, BlueBay plans to appoint other experienced individuals to support Chhabra in building out this capability.

He has over 15 years of structured credit and CLO experience; most recently he spent seven years as a London-based managing director, responsible for Structured Credit and CLOs at Anchorage Capital Europe. Prior to this, Chhabra was part of the Structured Credit/CDO Group, EMEA at J.P. Morgan, where he was involved in structuring, originating and investing in structured credit products.

CalSTRS Employs New Deputy CIO

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System announced the hiring of Scott Chan as the new deputy chief investment officer. Chan begins his tenure on August 1 and will report directly to CalSTRS chief investment officer Christopher Ailman.

Chan comes to CalSTRS from the University of California Regents where he was the senior managing director. Prior to his UC Regents tenure, Chan was the chief investment officer for the Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System and a partner and portfolio manager for a number of hedge fund partnerships.

He has served on the investment committee for Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Labs’ retirement plans, as well as on many investment advisory boards for real estate (international and domestic), public equity and alternative investments.

Chan has a master’s in business administration from Fuqua School of Business, Duke University and a bachelor’s in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).