Corporate culture

Ascensus Appoints Kevin Cox as Head of Retirement and Peg Creonte as Head of Government Savings

Cox to Succeed Shannon Kelly as Head of Retirement Line of Business

 

Dresher, PA–Ascensus–whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare–is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Cox as head of its Retirement line of business. The firm is equally happy to share that Peg Creonte will succeed Cox as head of its Government Savings line of business. Both also will continue to build Ascensus’ reputation as a leading technology services provider, partnering with financial institutions and government entities to support the delivery of tax-advantaged savings programs.

Cox succeeds Shannon Kelly, who recently announced her plans to take a professional sabbatical following an outstanding Ascensus career spanning nearly 20 years.

Cox has served as head of Government Savings for the past two years, and prior to that, spent six years as the business line’s chief operating officer. In his new role, Cox will oversee and drive the strategic direction for Retirement, including Ascensus’ full-service retirement plan recordkeeping and administration, along with its compliance, trust, and education and training functions. Prior to joining Ascensus, Cox spent more than a decade in the retirement industry, with a focus on large institutional 401(k) plans during tenures at MFS Investment Management and CIGNA. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and English from Lehigh University and graduated with honors from the Boston College Carroll Graduate School of Management master’s program.

“Kevin has been a valued member of our Government Savings team since 2004 and has led the business with great success since 2018–growing Ascensus’ share of the 529 college savings market, fostering our leadership role in ABLE accounts, and supporting the launch of the nation’s first three state-facilitated retirement programs,” said David Musto, president and CEO of Ascensus. “With more than 25 years of career experience in both the 529 and retirement markets, he brings the depth and breadth of proven experience and success that our clients have come to expect from Ascensus.”

“Shannon has influenced all aspects of our Retirement line of business–bringing client satisfaction to new heights, overseeing material investments in our market-leading technology capabilities, and transforming service and operations to better serve our clients,” Musto continued. “We thank her for being such a tremendous leader within our organization for nearly two decades and for the legacy that she leaves with us.”

Creonte has served as Government Savings’ senior vice president of business development for the past five years, leading a variety of initiatives to grow the business from both a revenue and client retention standpoint. In her new role, she is now responsible for setting the vision and strategy for Government Savings and charting its course for future growth. Creonte brings more than 25 years of experience in business development and technology to her new role. She joined Ascensus in 2004 on the Unite platform team, managed the development and launch of Ugift (the nation’s first “529 gifting” platform), and oversaw a wealth of large-scale data conversions for recordkeeping transitions. Prior to Ascensus, Creonte served in leadership and consulting roles with several technology firms, including Advanced Micro Devices. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University and her Master of Business Administration from Cornell University.

“Peg is known for her strong leadership, deep technical background, and impressive track record in new business wins,” said Musto. “Her experience in product, platform, and process development–combined with her ability to build meaningful and substantial partnerships and relationships–made her the clear choice to lead our Government Savings business and its growth.”

Cox and Creonte have assumed their new roles immediately, reporting to Musto, with Kelly remaining onboard through the end of May 2020 to support the leadership transition.

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com. Explore the Ascensus’ latest data and insights on savings behaviors at pulse.ascensus.com.


Intac Actuarial Services, Inc. Receives 2020 NJBiz Best Places to Work Honors

Retirement Third-Party Administration Firm Achieves Best Workplaces Ranking for Fifth Time

Woodcliff Lake, NJ—Intac Actuarial Services, Inc., part of FuturePlan by Ascensus (INTAC), is pleased to announce that the firm has once again been named to the NJBiz Best Places to Work list in the medium-sized business category. This is the fifth such recognition for the actuarial firm, which specializes in retirement plan design, implementation, and administration. The award is given by NJBiz, New Jersey’s leading business journal.

Nominations for the annual Best Places to Work list are submitted by associates, who receive surveys asking for feedback regarding associate engagement/satisfaction and benefits. Charles Rosenberg, vice president of INTAC, said that his company’s benefits and culture have led to favorable reviews and high associate retention rates.

“We moved our offices in 2019 to a modern, new space in Woodcliff Lake with lots of natural light and onsite amenities that provide many conveniences for our staff,” notes Rosenberg. “Since then, we’ve added 12 new staff members and our retention is at an all-time high, in part because of our associate benefits, which stand out in our industry. We believe if we take care of our team, they’ll take care of our clients—which is so important to us.”

Illustrating his point about retention, Rosenberg added that a senior associate, Pam Cavallo, retired at the end of March after 31 years with the firm. Cavallo credits her long career there to the trust, teamwork, and flexibility embedded in INTAC’s corporate culture.

“I started working for founders Max and Harry Rosenberg, who were easy to work with and had complete trust and faith in their associates,” says Cavallo. “They were flexible about meeting my scheduling needs when family matters became a priority through the years. They also fostered great camaraderie at the office, where I’ve made many long-lasting friendships.”

Cavallo added that there were only about 8 associates when she began her career at INTAC. Today, there are more than 60.

INTAC is located at 50 Tice Boulevard in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. It is part of FuturePlan, a national TPA formed by 28 outstanding legacy firms to create a unique market position: high-touch service from expert local TPAs backed by the strength and security of a large national firm. Visit intacinc.com and FuturePlan.com to learn more.

About Intac Actuarial Services, Inc.
Intac Actuarial Services, Inc. (INTAC) has been providing full-service retirement plan design, implementation, administration, and consulting for employer-sponsored retirement plans since 1977. The firm currently serves more than 3,000 small- to mid-sized companies, business owners, key executives, and associates in 35 states. In 2018, INTAC joined the FuturePlan by Ascensus family of retirement services providers. It has been recognized as an NJBiz Best Place to Work five times and has been consistently named by the publication as New Jersey’s #1 401(k) defined contribution provider. For more information, visit intacinc.com.

About FuturePlan
FuturePlan is the nation’s largest retirement third-party administrator, combining high-touch local service with the strength and security of an industry leader. A line of business within Ascensus, FuturePlan’s dedicated team serves more than 56,000 retirement plan sponsors in more than 40 locations across the country as of December 31, 2019. For more information, visit
FuturePlan.com.

About NJBiz Best Places to Work
The Best Places to Work in New Jersey is a survey and awards program dedicated to identifying and recognizing the area’s best employers and providing organizations with valuable employee feedback. Small (15 – 40 associates), medium (50 – 249 associates), and large (more than 250 associates) honorees are decided based upon their participation with the Best Places to Work survey from fellow NJBiz sister firm Best Companies Group. The program confidentially collects data, allowing workers to comfortably share feedback about their employers so that those companies can learn from and act on what they learn. For a one-page program overview, click here.


Ascensus Appoints Lori Zeman as Division Vice President, Western Region

Company Veteran Brings Experience Across Multiple Sales and Operations Disciplines to Organizational Leadership Role

 

Dresher, PAAscensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce the appointment of Lori Zeman as division vice president of the firm’s retirement plan sales team for the western region.

In this role, Zeman will help achieve national goals for Ascensus retirement plan sales while leading a team of external sales associates alongside Ascensus veteran Anthony Bologna, who will continue to manage the eastern half of the sales organization. She most recently served as a regional vice president for the firm’s Pacific Northwest region, covering Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana.

Along with an impressive track record of sales excellence, Zeman brings more than 15 years of financial services experience in relationship management and business development. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Bemidji State University. She also holds her FINRA Series 6 and 63 designations along with her Certified IRA Professional (CIP) designation.

“Lori’s deep understanding of Ascensus and tireless desire to help those around her excel have earned her the respect of colleagues both within our organization and across the industry,” said Jason Crane, head of retirement sales at Ascensus. “I’ve been touting Ascensus’ ability to attract and retain top talent for years now; I couldn’t be happier to point out that our ideal and most-qualified hire came from within our own organization.”

 

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com. Explore the Ascensus’ latest data and insights on savings behaviors at pulse.ascensus.com and view career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.


Dan Basile Shares Best Practices for Fostering Engagement with Financial Wellness Programs

In a PLANSPONSOR webcast​ presented on March 25, Dan Basile, Ascensus’ head of retirement product, shared perspective on tactics employers can leverage to foster employee engagement with their financial wellness offerings. He encourages employers to utilize multi-channel communications tactics and to identify employee advocates who can act as champions of the program to their colleagues.

He also shared insight on why Ascensus chose to partner with Financial Finesse and how we’ve incorporated their wellness tools and services into our core retirement plan product to ensure employees across businesses of all sizes could access the tools and education they need to chart a personalized savings strategy. Watch a full recording of the webcast here​.


Ascensus Appoints Two New Regional Vice Presidents

Michael Moschetta and James Swartz Join Retirement Plan Sales Team to Support Financial Advisors and Their Clients

 

Dresher, PA—Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce the appointments of Michael Moschetta and James Swartz as regional vice presidents on the firm’s retirement plan sales team.

Moschetta and Swartz are tasked with building and maintaining Ascensus’ retirement plan distribution networks by working with financial advisors, third-party administrators, and financial institutions—including institutional and DCIO (defined contribution investment only) partners. Moschetta will report to Anthony Bologna, retirement sales divisional vice president of the eastern region, and Swartz to the soon-to-be-appointed head of the western region.

Moschetta will serve the Erie territory, covering Pittsburgh and upstate New York. He brings nearly 20 years of retirement experience across both recordkeeping platforms and investments, with a focus on consultative sales, relationship building, and financial acumen. He most recently worked as a regional vice president for CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions and has also held retirement sales positions at Neuberger Berman, The Hartford, and Nationwide.

Moschetta earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Marketing from The Ohio State University. He also holds FINRA Series 6, 7, 63, and 65 designations.

Swartz will represent Ascensus in the newly established L.A. and Central Valley region, which was created to enhance sales support and coverage in California. Alongside counterparts in the Northern and Southern California regions, Swartz will tap into his 20+ years of retirement product, sales, and relationship management experience to serve advisors and their clients in the nation’s most populous state. He most recently held the position of senior regional sales manager for Securian Financial and has also held positions at Transamerica, SunGard, and Wells Fargo.

Swartz earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Finance from California State University, Northridge and his Master of Business Administration in Management from California State University, San Bernardino. He is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® and holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 designations as well as a life insurance license.

“Adding Michael and James reaffirms Ascensus’ commitment to supporting advisors and their clients with high-performing individuals who build meaningful, lasting relationships and business alliances,” said Jason Crane, head of retirement sales at Ascensus. “In James’ case, the creation of a new territory also demonstrates Ascensus’ continued investment in distribution so that we may help more people save for what matters.”

 

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com. Explore the Ascensus’ latest data and insights on savings behaviors at pulse.ascensus.com and view career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.


Ascensus Appoints New Regional Vice President

Jennifer Hinrichsen Joins Sales Team to Support Financial Advisors and Their Clients in the Florida Region

Dresher, PA—Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer Hinrichsen as regional vice president of the firm’s retirement plan sales team for the Florida region.

In this role, Hinrichsen will work with financial advisors, third-party administrators, and financial institutions—including institutional and DCIO (defined contribution investment only) partners—to build and maintain Ascensus’ retirement plan distribution networks. She will report directly to Chad Brown, divisional vice president, retirement sales.

Hinrichsen brings more than 20 years of retirement industry experience to her role and a reputation for building successful, mutually beneficial business relationships with advisors. Prior to joining Ascensus, she served as a senior consultant and external wholesaler at Principal Financial Group, working with financial professionals and corporate plan sponsors to design, implement, and deliver institutional non-qualified executive benefit solutions. During the course of her career, Hinrichsen has also worked for State Farm Insurance, Phoenix Wealth Management, MetLife Financial, and Manulife Financial. She attended Nova Southeastern University and holds several designations, including Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) and Financial Services Specialist (FSS), along with FINRA Series 6 and 63 licenses.

“Jennifer is a highly talented individual whose deep commitment to advisor support and business development makes her an ideal candidate to represent Ascensus in our Florida region,” states Jason Crane, head of retirement sales at Ascensus. “Her dedication to putting clients and individuals on the path toward healthy and fulfilling retirements aligns with our noble purpose of helping people save for what matters; we’re extremely pleased to have her join the Ascensus team.”

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Our market insights and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com. Explore the Ascensus’ latest data and insights on savings behaviors at pulse.ascensus.com and view career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.


Ascensus Receives Top Honors for Exceptional Support from Retirement Plan Sponsors and Advisors

Firm Receives Most Best in Class Awards in <$50MM Segments in PLANSPONSOR Defined Contribution (DC) Survey and Wins 2019 PLANADVISER Adviser Choice Award

Dresher, PA—Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce that it has received the most Best in Class Awards among all providers for plan segments up to $50 million in the 2019 PLANSPONSOR Magazine Defined Contribution (DC) Survey. This marks the second consecutive year that the firm has received the most overall awards for those retirement plan size segments. Overall, Ascensus won a total of 56 awards across the under $5 million, $5 to $25 million, and $25 to $50 million plan segments.

For over two decades, PLANSPONSOR’s annual DC Survey has been a significant retirement industry benchmark, measuring and evaluating 401(k) and other DC providers according to feedback from their own plan sponsor clients. “Plan sponsors rate their providers by category, and those ratings are compared to benchmarks to establish ‘Best in Class’ standards.”

Ascensus received PLANSPONSOR Best in Class recognition in the following categories:

  • 15 Awards for Technology;
  • 15 Awards for Plan Administration;
  • 9 Awards for Communication and Education;
  • 9 Awards for Sponsor Service/Support; and
  • 8 Awards for Investments and Fees.

The firm received Best in Class status for all plan segments up to $50 million in every possible category for Plan Administration and Sponsor Service/Support. The firm’s participant and plan sponsor websites also achieved “Best in Class” status across all of these segments, demonstrating that Ascensus’ approach to digital experiences continues to meet the needs of savers and employers. In 2019, Ascensus received nine more “Best in Class” awards in the $25 to $50 million plan segment relative to 2018, reflecting an added investment in products and services for growing businesses.

“We’re thrilled to see that our flexible, scalable service model and leading technology have enabled us to achieve notable recognition from both our small and mid-sized plan sponsor clients,” states Shannon Kelly, head of Ascensus’ retirement line of business. “Through our WellBusiness framework, we will continue to focus on providing value-add services and support that promote plan and overall business health for employers of all sizes.”

Ascensus has also been named a winner in the recordkeeping category of the 2019 PLANADVISER Adviser Choice Awards. The Adviser Choice Awards recognize the firms that retirement specialist advisors favor most as indicated in PLANADVISER’s annual Retirement Plan Adviser Survey. Ascensus received top rankings in the following categories:

  • #1 for Fee Clarity, Accounting, Disclosure, Benchmarking
  • #2 for Best Overall Service, Micro Plans (under $5 million)

“We’re delighted to receive this recognition from our plan sponsor clients and advisor partners,” states Rick Irace, chief operating officer of Ascensus’ retirement line of business. “These phenomenal results validate that our expert service and technology continue to deliver on our purpose to help clients and their employees save for a more secure retirement.”

Ascensus will be honored as a 2019 PLANSPONSOR DC Survey Standout and PLANADVISER Adviser Choice Award winner at the 2020 PLANSPONSOR/PLANADVISER Excellence in Retirement Awards on March 26, 2020.

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Our market insights and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com. Explore the Ascensus’ latest data and insights on savings behaviors at pulse.ascensus.com and view career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.


Ascensus Appoints Dan Basile as Head of Product for the Firm’s Retirement Line of Business

Industry Veteran Will Shape a Robust Retirement Solutions Roadmap Tailored to Clients’ and Savers’ Needs

Dresher, PAAscensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce the appointment of Dan Basile as head of product for the firm’s Retirement line of business.

In this role, Basile will lead retirement product strategy and development initiatives. He will also work closely with other business lines to advance integration opportunities and innovation efforts across the organization. Basile will report to Shannon Kelly, head of Ascensus’ Retirement line of business.

Prior to joining Ascensus, Basile spent nine years at BlackRock, most recently as managing director and head of product management for the firm’s U.S. & Canada defined contribution business. He led product efforts across both institutional and advisor-sold sales channels, while overseeing the team responsible for all aspects of product delivery, including pricing, implementation, and driving the technology agenda. Basile started his career as a pension benefit administrator at MetLife and has over 20 years of retirement industry experience covering nearly all aspects of the business, including plan design and administration, implementation, investments, and systems project management. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Gettysburg College and holds his Series 7, 66, and 24 licenses.

“Dan’s vast experience and deep domain knowledge make him an excellent choice for shaping our strategic vision for retirement products and services,” states Kelly. “With his leadership, we will continue to work with leading institutional and distribution partners to help meet the savings needs of our retirement plan clients and their employees.”

About Ascensus

Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. Explore the firm’s latest data and insights on savings behaviors at pulse.ascensus.com and view career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.

 


Ascensus Associate Named a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional

Kylie Kiser Recognized as an Exceptional Technology Community Leader

Dresher, PA—Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce that Kylie Kiser, customer relationship management (CRM) product owner, has been awarded this year’s Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award. This prestigious award, which recognizes just over 2,000 people worldwide, seeks to spotlight exceptional technology leaders in the Microsoft community who share a deep commitment to helping others.

Kiser has been an active member in the Microsoft community since 2010, specifically in the CRM User Group (CRMUG) in which she currently serves as a chapter leader for Washington, DC. Before being recognized as a Microsoft MVP, Kiser was named a CRMUG All-Star (2015) and the 2016 CRMUG chapter leader of the year.

Since joining Ascensus’ IT organization in May, Kiser has proven to be a critical member of the firm’s rapidly growing CRM team. With almost 10 years of experience driving significant CRM initiatives, her expertise has been critical to streamlining processes and creating value for clients and internal business partners. Her new Microsoft status will grant Ascensus access to Microsoft executives and senior product team members, along with the ability to engage with other MVPs and potentially impact Microsoft product innovations—keeping Ascensus on the cutting edge of the industry.

“We’re proud to have a team member like Kylie who has been recognized in the industry with such a distinguished designation,” says John Schroeder, Ascensus’ chief information officer. “It underlines our commitment to investing in Ascensus’ future as we strive to hire the industry’s leading innovators to provide our clients with the best user experiences possible.”

Along with the other members of this highly select group, Kiser’s profile is live on the Microsoft MVP website.

 

About Ascensus

Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.

 


FuturePlan by Ascensus Appoints Greg Taylor as Divisional Vice President for the Southern California Region

Industry Veteran to Provide Retirement Plan Clients with Enhanced Consultative Support and Expand Relationships with Strategic Recordkeeping and Financial Advisor Partners

Dresher, PA — FuturePlan by Ascensus—the nation’s largest retirement TPA—is pleased to announce the appointment of Greg Taylor as divisional vice president (DVP) for the Southern California region.

In this role, Taylor will be responsible for helping to create and implement strategies that will drive the continued success of the FuturePlan sales team. He will also consult with sales representatives from FuturePlan’s recordkeeping partners and financial advisors whose prospective and existing small business clients could benefit from the support of a TPA in designing a retirement plan solution. Taylor joins FuturePlan’s national sales team that was announced earlier this year: Kasey Price (head of Institutional Sales), Jim Houpt (DVP of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Central regions), Richard Tatum (DVP of the Southeast and Southwest regions), and Eric Sharp (DVP of the Northwest region).

Taylor brings more than 40 years of retirement industry experience and extensive expertise in plan design, administration, actuarial services, and recordkeeping services. He most recently served as executive vice president in charge of QBI, an Ascensus company, which he co-founded in 1978. He has been an active member in industry organizations—including the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) and the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA)—throughout his career. Taylor received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from UCLA, where he was an offensive lineman on university’s football team.

“Greg is a well-established leader who has enjoyed tremendous success in the TPA industry by virtue of his superior work ethic and business acumen,” states Jerry Bramlett, head of FuturePlan. “Our business owner clients and key partners in the Southern California region will no doubt benefit from his ability to provide the support they need to meet their objectives.”

 

About FuturePlan by Ascensus
FuturePlan by Ascensus is the nation’s largest retirement TPA, combining high-touch local service with the strength and security of an industry leader. A business division of Ascensus, FuturePlan’s dedicated team serves more than 44,000 retirement plan sponsors in more than 40 locations across the country. For more information, visit futureplan.com.

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.