SPARK National Conference

Conference Speakers

James Bentley

James Bentley
Senior Vice President & National Retirement Sales Manager,
PIMCO

James Bentley is a senior vice president and national retirement sales manager in the Newport Beach office. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2011, he was vice president at DWS Investments, the retail mutual fund division of Deutsche Bank, responsible for managing retirement plan sales in the midwest region. Previously, James was a sales director for the central region retirement plan division of Morningstar Associates. He was also a defined contribution consultant for Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Watson Wyatt Worldwide. 

In both 2014 and 2015, James was named one of the top 75 DC industry wholesalers by the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA). He has 19 years of investment experience and holds a bachelor's degree in finance and marketing from Loras College.

Julia Binder

Julia Binder
Head of Strategic Marketing Research,
DST kasina

Julia Binder is the head of strategic marketing research at DST kasina. She writes and presents extensively on digital sales and marketing strategies, interactive technology and advanced analytics. Her timely and practical recommendations make her a sought-after expert for kasina's clients as well as the media on diverse business issues. Her recent research has focused on the implications of the DOL fiduciary rule for asset managers, increasing advisor engagement with online personalization, and taking a unified approach to advisor segmentation. She is the managing editor of Digital Strategy Insights, a subscription service with frequent, timely articles on internet and technology trends, interactive strategies, and best practices for successful client engagement. Julia's broad experience in marketing and technology was developed in senior management roles at Calvert Investments, IBM, Lexis-Nexis and Congressional Quarterly Inc.

 

Ron Bush

Ron Bush
Principal,
Brightwork Partners, LLC

Ron Bush is a founder and Principal of Brightwork Partners, LLC. Drawing on over 30 years of research and consulting experience in the retirement and investment products business, he is a frequent speaker on retirement services industry topics at conferences and client forums. He has been ranked among the 100 most influential people in Defined Contribution by 401(k) Wire in each of the past five years.

Prior to forming Brightwork Partners in 1999, he was a founding partner of Access Research where he developed that firm's strategic consulting practice and a suite of retirement research programs. Previously he was with the pension and investment management business at CIGNA where he was responsible for business strategy and research.

Ron has core expertise in the defined contribution market but his interests extend across the retirement services arena. Recently, he has been particularly engaged with assessing the needs of pre-retirees and the recently retired, with the development of retirement income products and with ways to measure and enhance retirement plan effectiveness.

A graduate of Lebanon Valley College (BA) and the Harvard Business School (MBA), Ron is also the Managing Principal of Retirement Research, Inc.

Josh Cohen

Josh Cohen
Head of Institutional Defined Contribution,
Russell Investments

Josh Cohen is the Head of Institutional Defined Contribution for Russell Investments. He is responsible for the leadership, strategic direction, and growth of Russell's U.S. institutional defined contribution (DC) business.

Highly regarded throughout the industry and a recognized DC thought leader, Josh is a member of the Department of Labor's ERISA Advisory Council, a 15-member council providing advice on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Josh is also actively involved with other industry organizations, including the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA), serving as an executive committee member and vice-chair of the retirement research board, and the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), serving as a member of the Board of Trustees. In both 2013 and 2014, Josh was ranked on aiCIO's list of the 25 most influential investment thought leaders worldwide.

An established voice on DC issues and regular author of research papers, Josh often lends his expertise on a wide variety of topics, with a focus on identifying the steps plan sponsors can take to evolve and enhance their DC programs.

Prior to joining Russell in 2005, Josh spent nine years at Hewitt (now Aon Hewitt) where he consulted to large defined contribution plan sponsors. Prior to leaving this firm, Josh led the defined contribution investment consulting practice team.

Josh is a member of the CFA Institute and the Investment Analyst Society of Chicago.

Sean Cunniff

Sean Cunniff
Specialist Leader
Deloitte Consulting LLP

Sean Cunniff is a specialist leader in the financial services practice focusing on the retirement, wealth and investment management industries.  Prior to Deloitte Sean served as a senior vice president for SunGard's Wealth & Retirement business. Sean has experience in ERISA compliance and in institutional and retail product roles at leading financial institutions, including the development of multiple advice and planning solutions. He is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and a Certified Financial Planner.

Chris Gaston

Chris Gaston
Senior Policy Director,
Davis & Harman LLP

Chris Gaston is Senior Policy Director of Davis & Harman LLP. Chris has more than a dozen years of Capitol Hill experience and he represents clients on a wide range of issues before Congress, particularly retirement and savings policy.

Prior to joining Davis & Harman LLP, Chris served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) who was a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

After growing up in Central New Jersey, Chris initially started with Rep. Holt as an intern and over the next twelve years, worked for Rep. Holt in a number of congressional and political positions. For more than five years Chris served as Rep. Holt's Legislative Director where he helped establish an ambitious legislative agenda and advised him on a diverse range of legislative issues. In that capacity, Chris was responsible for all of Rep. Holt's work on the Education and the Workforce Committee, including his legislative initiatives to promote retirement savings. Chris also led Rep. Holt's efforts to raise concerns about the Department of Labor's fiduciary proposal.

Chris graduated with a B.A. in Political Science with a Public Policy Focus from The George Washington University and received a M.A. in International Law and Politics from Georgetown University. He and his wife, Molly, have two active kids, Max and Clare, and one hyper active Border collie, Ace.

Mike Hadley

Mike Hadley
Partner,
Davis & Harman LLP

Mike Hadley is a partner in the law firm Davis & Harman LLP. He practices in the area of employee benefits, advising clients on the full range of tax, ERISA, and other laws affecting benefit plans. He has a particular focus on helping financial institutions that sell products to defined contribution and defined benefit plans, IRAs and similar plans navigate the special rules that govern those plans. He also provides clients with strategic advice, plan design, counseling, and compliance assistance for qualified plans, 403(b) and 457 plans, non-qualified executive compensation, employment agreements, and health and other welfare plans.

Mike was formerly Associate Counsel for Pension Regulation at the Investment Company Institute, the national association of U.S. investment companies. His responsibilities included advocating for the Institute's membership before Congress, the Department of Labor, the Department of the Treasury, and the Securities Exchange Commission on retirement security issues and assisting ICI members and staff in understanding tax and ERISA rules. Among other duties he managed ICI's work implementing the Pension Protection Act and responding to 401(k) fee, investment advice, and fiduciary developments in Congress, DOL, and the courts.

Prior to joining ICI, Mike was an associate with Covington & Burling LLP, where he advised clients on employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements, provided advice on ERISA litigation, and assisted with pension and benefits issues in mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions.

Mike is a frequent speaker on the latest retirement savings policy developments coming out of Congress and the regulatory agencies and has testified before Treasury, IRS, and Department of Labor. A sampling of articles he has authored or co-authored: ERISA Compliance for Investment Advisers: A Q&A Guide To DOL's 408(b)(2) Disclosure Regulation, Investment Lawyer, Vol. 20, No. 7 (July 2013); The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2010 ICI Research Perspective, Vol. 17, No. 4 (June 2011); and 401 (k) Plans: A 25-Year Retrospective, ICI Research Perspective, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Nov. 2006).

Mike was a law clerk for the Honorable Gerald Tjoflat, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia, where he was Notes Editor of the Virginia Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif. He received his B.A., cum laude, from the College of William and Mary.

Rich Hochman

Rich Hochman
Managing Director,
DST Compliance Services

Richard is the Managing Director of DST Compliance Services; formerly McKay Hochman Consulting.  Richard has headed the McKay Hochman Company since 1997 and has been involved with the drafting of the company's pre-approved documents, has helped author and edit articles for its newsletters, internet alerts and web based research library and is a member of the firm's training faculty. 

With the integration into DST's Financial Services group, he has assisted with compliance issues on behalf of DST and its clients. He has over 35 years of industry experience.  He is a nationally recognized speaker on qualified retirement plan issues, has testified at agency hearings in Washington, DC, and received the American Association of Pension Professionals and Actuaries "Educator of the Year Award" in 2012.

He is currently ASPPA's President-Elect stressing the role that industry service providers serve in assuring a secure retirement for America's workforce.  Richard has a BS in business management, a BA in political science, an MBA and a Juris Doctor Degree all from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Thomas Kmak

Thomas Kmak
CEO,
Fiduciary Benchmarks

Tom is CEO and co-founder of Fiduciary Benchmarks, 2007 to current. Fiduciary Benchmarks (FBi) is a premier and patented benchmarking service (U.S. Patent 8,510,198) for defined contribution plans that uses various mathematical models to help fiduciaries determine whether the fees they are paying to their service providers are reasonable in light of the value being received. Through their construction and presentation, FBi reports give plan decision makers the context necessary to improve decisions and positively affect the measures of long-term plan success. FBi reports are available primarily through advisor/consultants, recordkeepers, TPAs and other plan service providers.

Prior to founding FBi, Tom Started the JPMorgan Retirement Plan Services business in 1990 with American Century. Upon leaving in October 2007, that business employed 1,100 people serving 200 large plan sponsors with over 1.5 million participants and more than $115 billion in assets.

During his 18 years with Retirement Plan Services, the company initiated numerous industry firsts including no blackout conversions and the innovative employee education program, Audience of One. Tom also served on the Executive Committee for JPMorgan's asset management business. Named by Ingram's magazine as one of Kansas City's inaugural class of "Forty most influential people under Forty," Tom is a recognized expert in the retirement services industry who has been a featured speaker at various conferences and has published articles in some of the most well-known periodicals in the industry.

Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from DePauw University with B.A. degrees in Economics and Computational Mathematics. He is also the first graduate of the Management Fellows Program and 3 year letterman in inter-collegiate basketball.

Muriel Knapp

Muriel Knapp
Principal,
Mercer

Muriel is the National Business Leader for Mercer's Defined Contribution Advisors specialty practice. As its National Business Leader, Ms. Knapp drives the continued success of the practice, with an emphasis on providing sound decision-making, evaluation, and monitoring to plan sponsors. She reports to Bill Howard, Principal, who oversees a number of Mercer's specialty practices.

Ms. Knapp has more than 20 years of experience in employee benefits and consulting, most recently as the Market Leader for Defined Contribution Advisors in the South and Midwest Markets. In this role, she focused on business development, practice-wide training, talent management, operational efficiencies, product development and strategy, and client relationship management. Prior to joining Mercer, she spent 13 years with Great-West Retirement Services, where she held various leadership positions, including Regional Vice President.

Ms. Knapp graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing.

Members of Mercer's Defined Contribution Advisors are Registered Representatives and/or Investment Adviser Representatives with MMC Securities Corp.

David Levine

David Levine
Principal,
Groom Law Group, Chartered

David N. Levine is a principal at Groom Law Group, Chartered.  He advises plan sponsors, advisors, and other service providers on a wide range of employee benefits matters, from retirement and executive compensation to health and welfare plan matters.

David's areas of service include: the redesign of complex retirement, executive, and health and welfare plans; ongoing, day-to-day counseling of plan sponsors; in-depth compliance reviews of corporate and governmental benefit programs; and representation of tax-exempt organizations with respect to issues involving corporate governance, executive compensation, and unrelated business income tax liability.

David was previously the Chair of the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (2011-2013) and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association and serves in a number of leadership roles in the American Bar Association Tax Section's Employee Benefits Committee. David regularly speaks on plan design, fiduciary governance, and legislative issues and contributes a recurring column to NAPA Net, The Magazine.  He is recognized in The Legal 500 and USA Chambers guide for Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation.  Mr. Levine received his J.D., from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his B.A., with general and departmental honors, from Johns Hopkins University.

Jody Meth

Jody Meth
Practice Director,
BridgePoint Group

Jody is a Practice Director and key executive at BridgePoint Group with nearly 30 years of financial services industry experience with strong leadership experience in product management and development.  She has proven hands-on experience leading financial firms to profitable growth and increased value through her skills of strategy creation and implementation, product management & development, sales & distribution, client service management, P&L Management, leadership development, and organizational transformation. Jody's leadership in strategic assessment includes identifying target markets, competitive positioning and go-to market approach for enhanced advisor distribution and growth.

Jody's experience spans from Executive Vice President & Head of Product Management at Fidelity Investments in addition to the Senior Vice President at JPMorgan Chase and operational expert - where she was critical in maximizing quality and operational efficiencies including an 800-person call center business through implementing capacity planning models, performance metrics & scorecards, and enhanced call center technology.  Ms. Meth also served as the Managing Director of Bankers Trust Company and as an Assistant Division Manager at Federal Reserve Bank of New York throughout her career. 

William Meyer

William Meyer
CEO & Founder
Social Security Solutions

William Meyer, founder and CEO of SSAnalyzer.com, is a nationally recognized expert in Social Security claiming strategies. With Dr. William Reichenstein from Baylor University, he developed SSAnalyzer, the leading software for advisors. They provide comprehensive education and marketing programs that help financial advisors grow their business and give advice. His patented technology is recognized as the easiest to use with the deepest advice logic and is based on robust quantitative research. Meyer has been the featured speaker at national FPA, NAPFA, AICPA, and other practitioner events. His book entitled Social Security Strategies is known by advisors as the authoritative source of Social Security planning. Bill earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from UCLA and his MBA degree from the Anderson School at UCLA. He is a former Trustee of the Securities Industry Institute at Wharton and holds multiple securities licenses.

Stephen Mitchell

Stephen Mitchell
Managing Consultant,
BridgePoint Group

Stephen is a Managing Consultant at BridgePoint Group who has extensive retirement and investment experience spanning business, marketing, and product strategy, product management and launch, client services, and operations management.

Stephen is currently with working with both the financial services industry and key states on the design, feasibility, and business models to support state-mandated retirement programs. He has led several research studies on the changing nature of retirement as well as numerous qualitative and quantitative customer and prospect research studies.  He is a proven leader in market research and competitive intelligence, product management and development, retirement and retirement income, and developing investor education and planning tools.

His prior leadership positions include Director of Retirement Group at Merrill Lynch, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Senior Vice President of Institutional Client Services for Fidelity Investments, and Vice President and DC Practice Leader at AON.

A graduate of the University of Southern Maine, Stephen is a frequent speaker at industry events and a media spokesperson on a wide range of retirement and investing topics.

Greg Montana

Greg Montana
CEVP, Chief Risk Officer.
FIS

Greg Montana, corporate executive vice president, chief risk officer, leads the strategic development and execution of FIS' risk, information security and compliance programs.

Highly experienced in risk management, Montana has spent more than 20 years successfully managing risk at some of the world's most recognized financial services institutions, including Bank of America, where he served as senior vice president and senior operational risk executive; PayPal, where he served as senior director, global risk operations; and Lloyds Banking Group, where he was director, operational, credit and compliance risk.

He is Chairman of the Jacksonville (Fla.) Board of Catholic Charities. Committed to the advancement of risk management higher education, Montana also is an adjunct professor of risk management at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., and serves as a member of the board of trustees of the Georgia State University Risk Management Foundation. Because of his dedication to risk management education, Montana received the Risk Management Association's (RMA) Special Service Award in October 2012; the same year he joined FIS. He also has authored four articles in the RMA Journal.

Montana holds a master's degree in business administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and received a bachelor's degree cum laude from Boston College. He received his six sigma Black Belt Certification from Bank of America in 2005.

Ed Murphy

Ed Murphy
President,
Empower Retirement

Edmund (Ed) Murphy provides leadership and strategic direction for Empower Retirement's 4,000 associates. He directs all defined contribution, defined benefit institutional and IRA markets. He also has overall responsibility for sales, marketing and global operations.

Ed brings 30 years of broad industry experience to his role. Before his 2014 appointment as President of Empower, he had served as Head of Defined Contribution for Putnam Investments since 2009. In this role, he led the firm's retirement services business, including 401(k), Taft-Hartley, IRA/IRA rollover, brokerage and investment-only activities. He joined the firm's operating committee in 2011.

Prior to Putnam, Ed held executive leadership roles for nearly 20 years at Fidelity Investments inits institutional, private equity and retail businesses. He also served as President and CEO of Veritude LLC and as a board member of BostonCoach, Advisor Technology Services, Seaport Hotel, World TradeCenter and several other Fidelity-owned businesses. Earlier, he spent six years at Merrill Lynch.

Ed has written articles on retirement-related matters and has testified in Washington, D.C., beforethe House Committee on Ways and Means. He has also testified before the Department of Labor, the Treasury Department and the IRS. He speaks on topics ranging from investment advice to lifetime income solutions for retirees.

Ed is a board member of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the Cristo Rey School, Boston College Wall Street Council, Jobs for the Future and the New England Council. He holds a bachelor's degree from Boston College. Ed is also a graduate of the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School.

Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray
Executive Vice President, National Director of Institutional Sales,
Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust

Doug Murray is part of the senior leadership team for Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. In this role, he is actively involved in setting overall strategic direction for the group. As the national director of institutional sales, Doug leads distribution efforts across all products and market segments.

Doug has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with majors in finance and risk/insurance. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the CFA Institute.

Doug is active in the retirement industry and in his community. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and on the Board of Directors at Partnership Resources, Inc., a local nonprofit organization. Doug is also a member of Wells Fargo's Minnesota Leadership Council.

Doug lives in Minneapolis, MN with his wife Karen and teenage children Madison and Ian. His interests include traveling with his family, golf, and cooking.

Jamie Ohl

Jamie Ohl
President, Retirement Plan Services
Lincoln Financial Group

Jamie Ohl is president of Retirement Plan Services for Lincoln Financial Group. She is responsible for the overall strategy, growth and profitability of Lincoln's Retirement Plans Services business, which is committed to partnering with intermediaries and plan sponsors to provide solutions, services and education to help plan participants retire successfully.

Ohl has more than 25 years of financial services experience spanning a variety of areas in the retirement industry including consulting, plan administration, relationship management, product development, asset management and investments. In 2015, she joined Lincoln Financial from Edward Jones where she served as principal responsible for leading the broker-dealer's strategic direction and product management for its retirement business, including retirement plans and individual retirement accounts.

During her career, Ohl's held several senior leadership positions including president of Tax-Exempt Markets at VOYA Financial, Inc. (previously ING U.S., Inc.) and president of Wilshire Funds Management at Wilshire Associates Incorporated. She also served in leadership roles at The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. where she spearheaded the firm's entry into the 403(b) market and led the growth of its 401(k) business, and spent numerous years at AIG VALIC as the senior vice president of Institutional Markets, in addition to retirement-related roles at Hewitt Associates.

Ohl has been recognized for her significant impact on the industry, including: 401kWire's "Top100 Most Influential People in Defined Contribution" in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2014; "Women in Insurance Leadership Award" from Insurance Networking News in 2009; Business Insurance magazine's "Women to Watch" in 2009; and Los Angeles Business Journal's "Who's Who" of Women in Finance in 2012.

Ohl is a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist with the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and a Qualified Pension Administrator with the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries. She holds Series 6, 7, 24, 26 and 63 FINRA licenses. She earned a master of business administration degree from the University of Nebraska and a bachelor of science degree in business management from LeTourneau University.

Badhri Parthasarathy

Badhri Parthasarathy
Chief Security Officer,
Broadridge

Badhri Parthasarathy is the Chief Security Officer at Broadridge Financial Solutions. He leads the Information Security Group and is responsible to inform and enhance the company's ongoing Information Security Strategy, to provide leadership in regard to making informed "risk based" investment decisions, oversee planning and execution of projects enhancing information security profile, and to insure compliance with applicable policies and regulation.

Badhri joined Broadridge in 2011 to lead Technology Services Delivery for the Global Technology & Operations business segment. He led key initiatives including data center transitions, new business and client on-boarding, solution formulation, contract negotiations and establishment, services delivery governance, and managing international delivery. Prior to joining Broadridge, Badhri worked in the Biopharmaceutical industry, managing global infrastructure delivery. Badhri also held leadership roles in technology and management for a decade at IBM.

Badhri holds a Master's degree in Computer Science / Information Systems from Marist College, multiple professional certifications, and is a graduate of the Securities Industry Institute sponsored by SIFMA and The Wharton School.

Marc Pester

Marc Pester
SVP,
Prudential Retirement

Marc is a SVP with Prudential Retirement.  Marc joined Prudential in 1992, and has held a number of senior positions in Prudential's Investment Management Services Division.

From 1986 through 1992, Marc served as an attorney for Sullivan and Cromwell in their general corporate practice, including handling corporate governance, securities law, mergers and acquisitions and investment company issues.  He received a B.S. (graduating Magna Cum Laude) in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance in May 1983 and a J.D. from New York University School of Law in June 1986.  Marc served as a Committee member to lend expertise to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in connection with identifying appropriate planned gifts and implementing adequate policies and procedures in place to achieve the foundation's goals and objectives for growth.

Julian Regan

Julian Regan
Vice President & Principal,
The Marco Consulting Group

Julian Regan joined The Marco Consulting Group ("MCG") in 2009 as part of the firm's expanding commitment to jointly trusteed and public benefit funds. Prior to joining MCG, he served as chief executive for an $8 billion public retirement board, developed institutional investment programs and served in a series of senior management and risk oversight roles. In addition to advising benefit fund boards and executives, Regan serves on MCG's fiduciary services and due diligence committees and is an author and speaker for leading labor-management and public plan organizations.

Regan previously served as Executive Director for the New York State Deferred Compensation Board, where he ran the state's 159,000-member supplemental retirement plan and regulated 250 local plans. He also served as Vice President, Risk Governance and Strategy for Fidelity Investments and, as Assistant General Manager and Budget Director for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. In 2005, the U.S. Treasury Secretary appointed Regan to the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities. He is a former member of HERE Local 26, a 2008 recipient of the IRS Tax-Exempt and Government Entities "Commissioner's Award", and a 2004 "Plan Sponsor of the Year" award recipient. He received his M.B.A. and B.S.B.A. from Suffolk University.

 

 

Chris Robino

Chris Robino
ERISA Attorney,
Boston Financial

Chris is an ERISA attorney, and has been with Boston Financial for two years supporting DST. Chris is responsible for managing compliance with ERISA and other relevant regulations as they relate to DST's retirement business, while also working with regulatory agencies and legal staff to resolve complex compliance issues. Prior to joining the organization, Chris worked as a compliance consultant for John Hancock Signature Services, and spent over ten years combined with Putnam Investments and Mercer HR Services as an ERISA Regulatory Consultant and Relationship Manager.
 
Chris received his JD from New England Law Boston in 1999 and has over 14 years' experience in the qualified retirement plan recordkeeping industry.  Chris is a member of the SPARK Government Relations Committee and the ASPPA Government Affairs Committee.
Dan Rosshirt

Dan Rosshirt
Principal,
Deloitte Consulting LLP

Dan has 25 years of experience developing business and product strategies for the leading companies in the retirement services industry. Prior to joining Deloitte Consulting, he had his own consulting company focused on the retirement and asset management industries where he advised clients on product development; capability assessment/due diligence; strategic analysis; product and organizational positioning and business development.

Before entering the consulting industry, Dan was Vice President and Head of Marketing and Strategic Planning for MetLife's Retirement and Savings group. He also held the positions of Chief-of-staff and Director of Strategic Marketing for MetLife's Institutional Business.

Dan's work focuses primarily on operating model review and design including competitive benchmarking in areas of fees, costs and services, and transformative efforts including cost transparency, management reporting and customer experience.

Dan has written a number of articles and reports including "Building Trust through an Enhanced Customer Experience", "Cost Transparency - How Retirement Providers are Transforming their Business" and The ICI/Deloitte Defined Contribution/401k Fee Study (2009, 2011).

Tim Rouse

Tim Rouse
Executive Director,
The Spark Institute

Tim has over thirty years of experience in the financial services industry mainly within retirement services of large mutual fund companies.  For the past twenty-five years Tim has worked with major plan sponsors in state and local governments, corporations, Taft-Hartley plans, nonprofit hospitals, colleges and universities.  Over his career Tim has worked with Voya Financial, Fidelity Investments, ICMA Retirement Corporation and The Vanguard Group. 

Tim is a former President of the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators' Industry Board and a graduate of Villanova University.

Andrew Scherer

Andrew Scherer
Director, Defined Contribution,
Russell Investments

Andrew Scherer is the director of defined contribution for Russell Investments' Private Client Services business. In this role, Andrew is responsible for managing all aspects of Russell Investments' intermediary distribution of retirement plan solutions across the U.S. Andrew and his team identify and develop strategic opportunities, coordinate the sales, marketing and service of Russell Investments' DC solutions, and ensure the efficient delivery of Russell Investments' programs through a network of financial advisors, consultants and recordkeeping platforms.

Andrew joined Russell Investments in 2013. Prior to joining Russell Investments, Andrew was the national sales director for the RIA division at INVESCO. Starting in 1993, Andrew spent seventeen years as an associate for Morgan Stanley Investment Management, where he was a managing director and led their U.S. Intermediary division, which included the firm's defined contribution, managed accounts, registered investment advisors and variable annuity businesses. In this role, Andrew led a joint venture with Russell Investments' Private Client Services focusing on the development and distribution of a suite of target date funds. In 1985, Andrew started his career as an associate at Bear Stearns.

Andrew holds an M.B.A. and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan.

John Scott

John Scott
Director, Retirement Savings
The Pew Charitable Trusts

John Scott directs the retirement savings project at the Pew Charitable Trusts.  The project conducts original research and works with key experts and policy makers to understand the barriers to retirement savings in the United States, how specific policy initiatives might increase retirement savings, and whether enhanced disclosures of fees within retirement plans and IRAs can help both employers and employees make better decisions about their retirement savings accounts. 

Prior to joining Pew, Scott taught and conducted research on public policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a particular focus on aging issues, tax policy, and the policy making process.  He continues to hold a research associate professorship in UNC's Department of Public Policy. He also has extensive experience in retirement policy, having worked in policy advocacy on retirement and compensation issues in Washington.  Scott began his career as a tax attorney and consultant in the financial services industry with a focus on pension plan design and legal compliance issues. 

Scott earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Cornell University, an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park, a law degree from the Pennsylvania State University, and a bachelors in Economics from Swarthmore College.

Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor
Vice President,
Callan Associates

Ben Taylor is a Vice President and a defined contribution consultant in Callan's Fund Sponsor Consulting group based in the San Francisco office. Ben serves as a lead consultant to DC plans, and has a primary focus on public sector DC plans, ranging from 457(b) plans to single and multi-vendor 403(b)/401(a) and 401(k) plans. As a member of Callan's DC team, Ben also conducts specialized research, fee studies, plan structure analyses, and serves as a project manager for TPA and record keeper searches.

Ben formerly taught economics at Harvard University, where he received an award for excellence in teaching.

Ben earned a Masters of International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University. He also earned a Masters of Public Policy with a concentration in International Trade and Finance from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He received his BA from Reed College. Ben is a Board member of NAGDCA.

Gregory Touhill

Gregory Touhill
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity & Communications,
Department of Homeland Security

Brigadier General (retired) Gregory J. Touhill is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications within the National Protections and Programs Directorate (NPPD) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where he focuses on the development and implementation of operational programs designed to protect our government networks and critical infrastructure systems.

General Touhill retired from the U.S. Air Force in July 2013 after a distinguished career culminating as the Chief Information Officer and Director of Command, Control, Communications, and Cyber Systems at U.S. Transportation Command - one of the nation's 10 combatant commands. A highly decorated combat leader, he served as the United States Defense Attache to Kuwait and as the 81st Training Wing commander, where he established the Air Force's Cyberspace Operations training programs and led the $1 billion rebuilding of Keesler AFB, Miss., in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

General Touhill is a distinguished graduate of the Squadron Officer School, the Air Command and Staff College, and the Advanced Communications Officer Training school, where he received the Webb Award as the top graduate. He also is a graduate of the Air War College, the Armed Forces Staff College, the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows program, and the University of North Carolina's Logistics and Technology Program for Executives.

General Touhill maintains the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Acquisition Professional, and the Master Professional Director certifications.

Shelli VanDeMark_Kendig

Shelli VanDeMark_Kendig
Practice Director,
BridgePoint Group

Shelli VanDeMark Kendig is a Practice Director with BridgePoint Group, LLC.  As a consultant to the financial services industry, Shelli has considerable experience helping provider and vendor firms develop business, marketing, and execution strategies, as well as introducing new capabilities through effective go-to-market planning.  Shelli also serves as the Chief Marketing Officer for the firm. 

Prior to joining BridgePoint in 2013, Shelli led multiple marketing leadership roles spanning a 25-year career.  She served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Fidelity's Benefits Outsourcing Division, Vice President of Marketing for TIAA-CREF which included responsibilities over Asset Management, Enterprise Marketing, and Institutional Products, and Vice President of Global Marketing for Avid Technology.  In these roles, Shelli was responsible for setting the strategic direction for the business and driving marketing success through research, segmentation, thought leadership, product positioning, campaign management and management of global marketing operations.

Shelli holds a Bachelor of Science degree from CornellUniversity.

Mike Volo

Mike Volo
Senior Partner,
Cammack Retirement Group

Mike is the Senior Partner at Cammack Consulting.  His focus is on the success and satisfaction of Cammack Retirement clients and their employees. He works with the nation's leading academic and research institutions, healthcare providers, corporations, non-profit organizations and public sector employers to help solve their biggest retirement plan challenges. Mike is a recognized retirement savings expert, with a passion for clients and their employees, who excels at developing innovative and effective solutions.

Mike has 25 years of financial services and workplace benefits industry experience, with a focus on client management, sales, marketing and product development. Prior to joining Cammack Retirement Group, Mike led the client service organization, focused on the non-profit sector, at the largest U.S. retirement planning firm, and served as head of acquisition and client marketing for workplace benefits. Additionally, Mike served as the chief marketing officer for a leading investment manager, where he was responsible for the retirement plan, mutual fund and insurance product lines. Mike received his Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College's Carroll School of Management.

Eric Weber

Eric Weber
EVP, Sales and Marketing,
Custodia Financial

Mr. Weber brings more than 23 years of retirement industry experience to his role as business leader for Sales and Marketing at Custodia Financial. Known for his strategic, analytical nature and innovative approach, he is able to establish vision and goals and execute to plan.

Mr. Weber is highly regarded for being a natural leader who builds customer-centric teams that produce strong results in new and existing channels. Passionate about customer advocacy, service, and relationships, his approachable personality allows him to connect and build confidence and trust in his strategic abilities. He is proficient in driving growth through laser focus, team unity, cross functional collaboration, and creativity. 

Prior to joining Custodia, Mr. Weber was the head of Defined Contribution sales at Hartford Funds. Prior to that he held sales or sales management positions at Morningstar, mPower, and Wells Fargo. Mr. Weber attended Fordham University and lives in Seal Beach, CA.

George White

George White
EVP, Operations,
Custodia Financial

George White has more than 25 years of experience in financial services, with expertise managing retirement programs for corporate clients.  He spent 20 years at Fidelity Investments, the nation's largest provider of retirement plans with more than ten million participants, where his responsibilities included leading implementation, service, operations and communications as Senior Vice President in the large plans division.  George formed RNC Capital in 2009 to provide investment consulting services to qualified retirement plans, and since 2011 has been Vice President for non-qualified client relationships and operations at The Newport Group.  George graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a bachelors' degree in business administration, and holds the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist designation.  

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