Retirement Industry People Moves

T. Rowe Price hires senior DC strategist; Lockton adds retirement consultant to Northeast Practice; Mercer offers student loan repayment benefit as part of wellness program; and more.

Wilshire Partners With Vantage to Provide Fiduciary Services

Vantage Benefits Administrators welcomes Wilshire Associates into its Vantage Success Partners program. Wilshire will serve as a 3(38) fiduciary for a newly formed Vantage Retirement Trust and it will also build its investment menu.

“We wanted to identify established strategic partners who could work with us to provide small to mid-sized firms with large-plan pricing that would typically be available in retirement offerings at major corporations,” says Vantage CEO Jeff Richie. “Wilshire really stepped up as the investment manager for our new group Trust.”

Jason Schwarz, president of Wilshire Funds Management, says “We are truly pleased to be selected as a partner in this new approach developed by Vantage. We expect the use of outsourced fiduciaries providing efficient, cost-effective solutions to continue to grow, and Vantage is well positioned to capitalize on this trend with the recent launch of its group Trust. The need and interest demonstrated by plan sponsors and advisers is significant.”

T. Rowe Price Hires Senior DC Strategist

Linda Delivorias has joined T. Rowe Price as a senior defined contribution (DC) strategist. She will consult with key institutional clients on a variety of topics including plan governance, plan design and fiduciary policy. She will also serve as a subject matter expert and DC industry thought leader for the firm.

Most recently, she was a partner at Mercer with broad responsibilities in the DC and financial wellness areas. There, Delivorias led a team responsible for evaluating plan sponsor retirement program design and governance structures, conducting service provider evaluations and searches, and developing training materials about various 401(k) topics. Earlier in her career, she worked at Deloitte as an employee benefits tax manager and as an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) attorney at Washington, D.C. law firms.

“T. Rowe Price remains committed to providing excellent service to our growing roster of clients,” says Aimee DeCamillo, head of T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services. “We continue to place a high priority on nurturing our strong existing talent as well as attracting top talent from outside the firm. Linda is widely recognized and respected in the retirement industry and her vast knowledge and proven skill set will be a significant addition to our team.”

Lockton Expands Northeast Practice

Lockton announced the addition of Bert Kingsley as a retirement consultant in its Northeast Practice.

A 20-year veteran of the retirement industry, Kingsley spent his last 12 years as principal and growth leader for Mercer’s Eastern U.S. Defined Contribution Marketplace. Kingsley holds FINRA, Life Accident, and Health Insurance licenses and has completed numerous American Society of Pension Actuaries exams. He has expertise in qualified and nonqualified plans. He’s versed in various topics including compliance, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, financial wellness, and investment advice.

“Asking Bert to join the Northeast Practice reflects a deepening commitment to our clients,” says Washington, D.C.-based Robert Connolly, CEO of Lockton’s Northeast Practice. “The employers we serve want holistic advice about risk management, including their benefits liabilities. Bert is the third retirement consultant we’ve brought into the northeast in just over two years. His addition speaks to the importance of retirement to our clients, and his expertise is indicative of the caliber of consulting our customers have come to expect.”

Mercer Supports As a Student Loan Repayment Benefit Provider, an employer-funded student loan contribution platform, has been named a preferred provider by Mercer. The global consulting firm will showcase as a preferred provider of student loan repayment assistance to its clients as part of Mercer’s Financial Wellness offerings. It will continue to conduct ongoing monitoring to ensure optimal performance. Mercer clients can take advantage of competitive pre-negotiated fee arrangements.

Student loan repayment assistance has the potential to affect more than 44 million Americans burdened by student loan debt, Mercer says. The $1.4 trillion debt has raised financial stress throughout the workforce and that burden is bleeding into productivity and company bottom lines. Mercer’s Inside Employees’ Minds Financial Wellness survey found that on average, employees spend more than 150 hours of work time a year worrying about money. On a total U.S. wage bill of $5 trillion, this could be costing their employers more than $250 billion in lost wages each year. However, the survey also found that employees who have access to financial wellness programs report higher levels of trust and satisfaction with their employer.

“We are seeing an increasing number of employers adding student loan repayment assistance to their benefits programs as a powerful differentiator in attracting and retaining employees,” says Heather Coughlin, solution leader for Financial Wellness at Mercer. “Being able to name an innovator like as a preferred provider is another step forward in helping our clients compete for talent, differentiate their brand, and develop holistic financial wellness programs.”

Mercer Expands Carolina Health Business

Global consulting firm Mercer has appointed Joe Harten to the role of Carolina’s office leader for Mercer’s Health Business in the firm’s Charlotte office. Harten will report to Eric Grossman, market leader for Health in the Eastern U.S.

Harten has nearly 30 years of experience in the strategy, design, and implementation of health and welfare benefit programs. Prior to joining Mercer, he served as a senior consultant with Towers Watson from 2004 to 2013 and also spent 14 years in Deloitte’s Human Capital consulting practice. Harten has additional experience consulting on health care reform strategies, facilitating joint labor-management committee sessions on employee benefits, and assisting clients with merger/acquisition and benefit integration activities. 

He received his bachelor’s degree in history, magna cum laude, from Carleton College; and his juris doctor, also magna cum laude, from William Mitchell College of Law.

“We’re excited to welcome Joe to this new position,” says Grossman.“His experience, knowledge and proven track record of success will aid us in providing exceptional service and solutions to our clients while strategically growing our business in the Carolinas.”

Russell Investments Names Managing Director

Michael Hall has joined global asset manager Russell Investments as managing director. Hall leads a team of investment experts with deep industry experience across the firm’s many areas of expertise including asset management, outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO), and consulting and implementation services. The team will focus on identifying and mitigating risks in defined benefit (DB), defined contribution (DC) and health care retirement plans, particularly in the larger end of the market. Hall will report to Bryan Weeks, head of Americas Institutional.

“This team brings together Russell Investments’ core capabilities—from advice and investments to implementation—in order to help the world’s largest retirement plans understand and resolve plan risk,” explains Weeks. “This team deeply understands the risk footprint of a plan and is able to assess implications for corporate sponsors, including impact on balance sheet, income statement and cashflow, and then develop thoughtful, long-term solutions.”

Hall’s areas of expertise include plan governance, investment policy review, asset allocation modeling and implementation, and liability hedging.

Before rejoining Russell Investments, Hall was the West Division leader for Towers Watson Investment Services at Willis Towers Watson. While there, Hall led the Advisory Portfolio Group (APG). He’s spent 12 years at Russell Investments, where he’s served in various roles including director of investment strategy, director of asset liability strategy and senior consultant.

USI Consulting Hires Retirement Services Leader

USI Consulting Group has announced that Jesse Grams has joined the company as vice president of retirement services, based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Grams brings to his new role more than 20 years of sales and consulting experience, which includes 10 years of retirement knowledge working with both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) plans.

Previously, Grams spent seven years with a large firm as part of the major accounts retirement team. His primary responsibilities included retirement plan sales and adviser sales, as well as working plans under ERISA.