Retirement Industry People Moves

DWS hires municipal bond director; PBGC announces several leadership appointments; Principal International names retirement income solutions leader; and more.

DWS hires municipal bond director

DWS has added Chad Farrington as a managing director and portfolio manager on the municipal high-yield bond team. Based in Boston, Farrington will report to Ashton Goodfield and Carol Flynn, co-heads of the municipal bond department.

“We are continuing to see opportunities in the municipal bond space as investors are looking for ways to diversify their asset allocation. The potential tax benefits of municipal bonds may make them a valuable addition for portfolio construction,” says Greg Staples, co-head of fixed income, Americas. 

With more than 20 years of industry experience, Farrington joins DWS from Columbia Threadneedle Investments, where he was the lead portfolio manager for a high-yield municipal fund. Farrington also ran the firm’s team of municipal research credit analysts and published numerous thought leadership pieces on the market. Prior to Columbia Threadneedle, Farrington worked with Fitch Ratings in several positions, including evaluating municipal government credits across the U.S.

PBGC Announces Several Leadership Appointments

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced four appointments to its leadership team, as follows: Ross Marcelin, deputy chief of negotiations and restructuring; Ted Goldman, director of the policy, research and analysis department; Kimberly Mayo, director of the budget department; and Jeffrey Donahue, director of the procurement department.

Marcelin will help manage the agency’s interactions with plan sponsors and pension practitioners, across both multiemployer and single-employer program operations. Marcelin is a certified public accountant, and graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Goldman will play a key role in policy development, pension modeling and forecasting, and conducting retirement research. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He holds multiple designations including Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, Enrolled Actuary, Member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and Fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries. Goldman replaces Supervisory Actuary Jensen Chan and Senior Adviser for External Affairs Anne Henderson, who both served as acting policy directors during the past year. 

Mayo is tasked with the formulation and execution of PBGC’s annual operating budget and serves as PBGC’s primary liaison for budget matters with the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Labor. In this position, Mayo is responsible for leading PBGC’s budget design, review and reporting functions. She also co-chairs PBGC’s Information Technology Portfolio Review Board. Mayo earned a master’s of business administration in international finance degree from George Washington University and a bachelor’s of science degree in business management from Hampton University. Mayo replaces Edgar Bennett, who retired at the end of October. 

Donahue, in his new role, will oversee the procurement process and acquisition solutions that support the agency’s mission. The PBGC Procurement Department manages the process of competing, awarding and administering PBGC contracts. Donahue has a bachelor’s degree in management from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and a master’s of business administration in global business degree from George Mason University. He replaces Chief of the Policy, Training, Compliance & Systems Division Steven Kvalevog and Senior Contract Specialist Roland Thomas, who both served as acting procurement directors during the past year.

Principal International Names Retirement Income Solutions Leader

Renee Schaaf, currently senior vice president and chief operating officer of Principal International, will become the new president of retirement and income solutions, effective March 1, 2019. After 27 years with Principal, current president of  retirement income and solutions (and chairman of Principal Funds) Nora Everett, announced her intentions to retire at the end of March 2019.

Schaaf has a long tenure at Principal and has played several key leadership roles across the organization, including roles in the retirement income and solutions area. From 2000 to 2008, she held various leadership positions in marketing and strategy, with a focus on mid-sized retirement plan business. She also served as vice president of national accounts in the health division prior to moving to Principal International to lead strategic planning and business development. 

Schaaf’s successor within Principal International will be shared in early 2019.

Alternative Investment Executives Join Wilshire

Wilshire Associates announced that Jessica Nicosia and Cian Desmond have joined Wilshire Funds Management as vice president and assistant vice president, respectively. Nicosia will assist in developing Wilshire’s robust alternatives offering, supporting the firm’s efforts to identify and provide customized alternative investment solutions to financial intermediaries and institutions globally. Desmond joins Wilshire’s Manager Research Group, primarily focused on alternative investment strategies. 

Nicosia brings to Wilshire 15 years of experience in the alternative investment industry. Prior to joining Wilshire Associates, she held roles with a focus on marketing quantitative hedge funds at R.G. Niederhoffer Capital Management, Vegasoul and J. E. Moody & Company.

Desmond brings eight years of industry experience. Prior to joining Wilshire Associates, he was the director of alternative investment research at Shepherd Kaplan Krochuk LLC in Boston, with primary responsibility for developing investment strategy, conducting alternative investment research, and leading manager selection across asset classes. Prior to relocating to Boston, he worked in the alternative investment research group at Canterbury Consulting.

Nicosia will be based in New York, while Desmond will be based in Santa Monica.  

Data Analysis Expert Heads to EBRI Research Team

EBRI has added Zahra Ebrahimi to its research staff. Ebrahimi recently earned her Ph.D. in economics from Stony Brook University in New York, and has a background in data analysis and labor economics. 

According to Jack VanDerhei, research director, Ebrahimi’s primary focus will be concentrated on conducting and interpreting research related to labor market and spending behavior of the elderly, using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) dataset. Ebrahimi will also provide perspectives and analysis for EBRI’s Financial Wellbeing Research Center. 

Ebrahimi will be based at EBRI’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Robeco B.V. Selects New CCO and Legal Leader

Robeco B.V. has appointed Kevin Murphy as chief compliance officer and head of legal within Robeco Institutional Asset Management U.S. Inc. In this position, Murphy is responsible for developing and implementing a scalable legal and compliance infrastructure to service institutional clients across the U.S. and Canada. He brings extensive legal and compliance experience gained from nearly two decades working in the global investment management industry. 

Prior to joining Robeco U.S., Murphy was senior vice president and chief compliance officer at Itau USA Asset Management Inc. Prior to that, Murphy served as vice president and compliance director of J.P. Morgan Chase. Before his time at J.P. Morgan, Murphy was a founder and principal at KBM Consulting, serving as a compliance consultant to firms such as Prudential Investment Management and Horizon Asset Management. He has also held compliance roles at GLG Inc. and Allianz Global Investors of America.

Murphy began his career in the investment advisory industry as assistant vice president, counsel, at Pershing LLC. He earned his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.