Retirement Industry People Moves

Northern Trust expands Foundation & Institutional Advisors team; Russell Investments names new CEO; Aon to acquire real estate and investment management firm; and more.

CANNEX Hires Annuity Research Leader

CANNEX Financial Exchanges, an independent provider of annuity pricing and analytics to the financial services industry, welcomes Tamiko Toland as its new head of Annuity Research.

Toland will be responsible for product research on the annuity market and she will contribute to the development of CANNEX services. She brings to her role 15 years of experience as a researcher and editor focused on retirement income and annuities. Toland will provide financial institutions and annuity product manufacturers with insights into product design and trends.

Toland most recently served as managing director, Editorial and Research Operations/Retirement Income Consulting, at Strategic Insight, parent company of PLANADVISER. While there, she managed the firm’s Annuity Insight service. Her responsibilities included authoring and editing research reports about various topics including managed volatility funds and in-plan guarantees. Prior to Strategic Insight, she was managing editor at Annuity Market News, a SourceMedia publication that provided industry news about fixed and variable annuities, as well as variable life insurance.

“At a time of industry change and investor uncertainty, the perspective and analysis Tamiko will offer has never been more valuable,” says Gary Baker, president, CANNEX USA. “As we continue to expand our annuity evaluation and selection services, she will be a resource for clients and the media, as well as our development and client-facing teams.”

Northern Trust Expands Foundation & Institutional Advisors Team

Northern Trust Wealth Management has added three new team members to the Foundation & Institutional Advisors (FIA) practice, which serves nonprofit organizations through investment management solutions, insight and resources.

The new members are Cord Dannen, CFA, in Washington, D.C.; Ryan McCauley in Houston, Texas; and Patrick Nolan in Tampa, Florida.

Dannen and Nolan are senior institutional investment advisors in their regions. They will work closely with the staff, investment committees and boards of nonprofits to develop, implement and monitor customized investment programs that support their missions and long-term investment goals. Before joining Northern Trust, Dannen was an investment director at Cambridge Associates in Arlington, Virginia. Nolan joined Northern Trust in 2014 as a portfolio manager in Asset Management for the Northern Large Cap Growth and Value Portfolios.

McCauley is a regional director. He will work with a variety of organizations to implement customized investment solutions and he will consult directly with boards and professional staff to implement consulting, asset management, custody, and planned giving services that align with their missions and values. Prior to his current position, McCauley was a vice president and relationship manager for higher education, health care and not-for-profit clients of J.P. Morgan in Texas and Alabama.

“To further our commitment to providing an extraordinary client experience, we continue to seek talent capable of providing best-in-class advice and service to our clients,” says Darius A. Gill, national practice executive for FIA.

Conning Expands Investment Leadership Team

Global investment management firm Conning has announced the appointment of Paul Norris as managing director, head of Structured Products. Leading a team of traders and analysts, he will be responsible for overseeing all research, investment and trading in structured securities for Conning in the U.S.

Norris joins Conning from Mariner Investment Group, where he was a portfolio manager for a mortgage hedge fund and focused on mortgage derivatives. Prior to that, Norris was head of Securitized Products at Dwight Asset Management, where he led a team of portfolio managers, traders and analysts managing that sector.

Conning also announced the promotion of Matthew Daly to managing director, head of Corporate Credit Research. He will be responsible for overseeing the corporate credit research team.

Daly has been with Conning since 2003. He joined the firm from Webster Bank, where he was employed as a credit analyst following non-investment grade leveraged loans.

“We continuously strive to build out Conning’s global team of seasoned investment professionals, grooming senior executives from within as well as attracting top talent in the market,” says Rich Sega, chief investment officer at Conning.

Russell Investments Names New CEO

Global asset manager Russell Investments announced that Michelle Seitz has been named chief executive officer and a director on the firm’s board. She will become chairman of the board effective January 1, 2018, and will be based in the firm’s headquarters in Seattle. She succeeds Len Brennan who will serve as chairman of Russell Investments through the end of 2017, after which time he will become a strategic adviser to the firm.

Seitz joins Russell Investments following 16 years leading William Blair Investment Management (WBIM) and serving on the seven-person executive committee of William Blair. She led the growth of WBIM’s institutional business from $2.3 billion in AUM to $65 billion.

“We are excited to welcome Michelle as Russell Investments’ new CEO, and believe that her forward-looking leadership will help propel the firm into a new phase of evolution and growth that will benefit clients and associates alike,” says Todd R. Crockett, managing director, TA Associates.

Voya Investment Management Hires Head of Product Strategy

Voya Investment Management has hired Dina Santoro as a managing director and head of Product and Marketing Strategy.

In this role, Santoro will lead and execute the strategic product and marketing agenda for Voya Investment Management. Leading a team of 45 product and marketing professionals, Santoro will work with the firm’s investment and distribution teams to optimize Investment Management’s “go to market” strategies with investment products to meet client needs.   

Prior to joining Voya Investment Management, Santoro was a managing director and head of Product Strategy and Distribution at QMA, a global investment management division of Prudential. There, she served as part of the executive management team that was responsible for shaping organizational strategy and managing the business operations of the firm. 

“I’m pleased to welcome Dina to Voya,” says Shaun Mathews, senior managing director and head of the Client Group at Voya Investment Management. “With great people, a unique culture and a distinct brand, Voya Investment Management continues to achieve strong results by focusing on our clients. As a member of our leadership team, Dina will help us advance Voya Investment Management’s momentum by developing and delivering solutions that meet our clients’ long-term investing needs. I’m looking forward to working closely with her.”

Aon to Acquire Townsend Group

Aon has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire The Townsend Group, majority owned by Colony NorthStar, a global real estate and investment management firm. Aon is a global professional services firm providing various risk, retirement and health solutions

Townsend is a provider of global investment management and advisory services primarily focused on real estate. This transaction will contribute to Aon’s offering in alternative private market assets.

Aon has agreed to acquire Townsend for $475 million subject to certain purchase price adjustments, the firm reports. The transaction is expected to close over the next six months, subject to customary closing and negotiated conditions. No other financial terms were disclosed by Aon.

With the integration of Townsend’s solutions into its Investment business, Aon will expand its investment capabilities, which include outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) services and advisory services for large and mid-sized global organizations.

“Our clients’ investment strategies are focused on driving the strongest risk management and return outcomes, and alternative private market investments are playing an increasingly important role in those strategies,” says Cary Grace, chief executive officer of Global Retirement & Investment Solutions at Aon. “This acquisition will unite two investment industry leaders that provide objective advice and implemented OCIO solutions to institutional investors. Together, we will expand our capabilities and expertise to create sophisticated investment solutions that best serve our clients and further accelerate our growth.”

Terry Ahern, CEO of Townsend Group, says, “We were happy to have a large number of quality firms that wanted to partner with us, but it was the commonality of culture, approach and expertise that led us to Aon. We look forward to having additional opportunities to continue our evolution that we began 30 years ago, while leveraging the platform, capabilities and people that, together, Aon and Townsend can offer to clients.”

Ahern will continue to lead real estate and real asset investment services as part of Aon’s Global Retirement & Investment organization.