New Hires Roundup: New York Life Realigns Retirement Services; Great-West Promotion

Great-West promotes Neese; Goostray goes to Essex; Desai rejoins MassMutual; linkedFA adds Levine

This week in new hires, New York Life realigned its practice groups and named new team leaders, and also named Sue Ericksen as CIO; Sen. Max Baucus praised Senate approval of three tax court nominees for second terms; and Great-West Retirement Services promoted Brent Neese.

Also, Essex Investment Management welcomed Gregory Goostray; Shefali Desai returned to MassMutual; and linkedFA brought in Eric Levine.

New York Life Retirement Plan Services Realigns Practice Groups, Picks 5 to Lead Initiative

New York Life Retirement Plan Services announced Tuesday a new service model to align service team practice groups into four industry segments: Taft-Hartley, technology, finance and professional services, and manufacturing, materials and retail. Each practice will have its own team of relationship managers, communications consultants, investment specialists and ERISA consultants. The company named five at the firm to lead the initiative.

Joan Driscoll, a 24-year industry veteran with 18 years of experience at New York Life, has been promoted to lead the new effort as managing director of client strategy, and reports to David Castellani, CEO. James Byrne is director and retirement practice lead for Taft-Hartley; Joseph DeStefano is director and retirement practice lead for financial and professional services; Scott Francolini is director and retirement practice lead for manufacturing, materials and retail; and Michelle Morey is director and retirement practice lead for technology. They will now report to Driscoll.

New York Life Names Sue Ericksen Chief Information Officer

New York Life Insurance Company announced September 22 that Senior Vice President Sue Ericksen has been named chief information officer. In this role, she will report to Frank Boccio, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, direct a staff of more than 1,000 technology professionals, and set the company’s strategic technology direction as leader of the company’s corporate information department.

Ericksen, who replaces Eileen Slevin, joined New York Life in 2009 as chief technology officer and senior vice president responsible for New York Life’s information technology vision, strategy and planning, overseeing the enterprise architecture and engineering division in the corporate information department. Prior to that, she served as chief technology officer at Merrill Lynch Banks; before that, she held a number of executive positions at Citigroup, including chief technology officer for CitiCards and chief information officer for CitiFinancial.

Sen. Baucus Lauds Senate Approval of Tax Court Nominees

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., on Tuesday praised the Senate’s unanimous approval of the nominations of Juan Vasquez, Maurice Foley and Joseph Gale to serve second terms as judges of the U.S. tax court, which hears a variety of tax law-related cases and gives taxpayers a dedicated venue in which to dispute IRS claims. Baucus voiced support for Vasquez and Foley at a July 28 Finance Committee hearing and for Gale at a September 12 hearing. The Committee approved the nominations September 20; all were originally appointed to the U.S. tax court by President Clinton in 1995.

Vasquez is also an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center. Foley previously served as deputy tax legislative counsel in the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy and as an attorney-advisor for the IRS. Gale served as staff director and chief tax counsel on the Senate Finance Committee immediately prior to his initial appointment to the tax court, and advised Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., on tax issues between 1985 and 1992.

Great-West Retirement Services Promotes Brent Neese

Great-West Retirement Services announced September 22 that it has promoted Brent Neese to vice president, government markets. In this role, Neese will be responsible for sales, renewals, market strategy, field operations and plan management for the organization’s government clients. He is based in Great-West’s headquarters in metro Denver and reports to Gregg Seller, senior vice president of government markets.

Neese joined Great-West Retirement Services in 2007 as regional vice president, eastern region, pursuing growth in the organization’s government markets business across the eastern U.S. Prior to joining Great-West, Neese served in a number of management and sales positions with AIG Retirement Services for more than 12 years.

Essex Investment Management Welcomes Gregory Goostray

Essex Investment Management Company, LLC, announced September 22 that Gregory J. Goostray has joined the team as vice president, sales and marketing. In this role, Goostray will focus on identifying and developing relationships with intuitional investors, RIAs, multifamily offices and investment consultants, as well as working with current institutional and private clients.

Goostray has over 18 years of industry experience in sales and relationship management, most recently as senior national accounts manager for the intermediary business group at State Street Global Advisors (SSgA). Prior to that, he was a wholesaler for SSgA’s advisor strategies group.

MassMutual Retirement Services Hires Shefali Desai as National Sales Leader for Emerging Market

MassMutual's retirement services division announced Wednesday that Shefali Desai was appointed national sales leader of emerging markets, effective September 6. In this role, Desai leads the division's 15 sales directors as well as third-party administrator (TPA) channel managers targeting small market retirement plans. Desai reports to Scott Buffington, national sales manager for the retirement services division.

She first joined MassMutual in 1999 and held a number of key management roles in the company's retirement business, with experience in the annuity and trust businesses as well as management of the participant experience through the asset retention, call center and enrollment specialist functions. From 2005 to 2009, Desai led the Career Agency System (CAS) and TPA channels of the retirement business. Prior to joining MassMutual, Desai spent nine years with Fidelity Investments.

Linkedfa Appoints Eric Levine Executive Vice President of National Sales

Financial professional social networking site linkedFA announced September 21, that it has hired Eric Levine as executive vice president of national sales. He will be responsible for working with the financial industry to educate financial professionals about the business benefits of social media and technology solutions.

Previously, Levine spent 13 years at Investacorp Inc. as due diligence officer and director of business development.

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