John Simmers, who in his 30-year career helped consolidate ING’s roster
of broker/dealers into the four B/Ds
that comprise the ING Advisors Network, has retired from the company. Simmers, 58, had been chairman and CEO of ING Advisors Network; his “official role” with the company was to end on April 16, saidING spokesman Phil Margolis, though he said Simmers will continue to “play an advisory role” with ING while the company conducts a search for his permanent replacement.
In an interview, Simmers said that he was neither “dying,” nor “walking away from a business that isn’t successful; we’re very successful.” However, he felt that a “lot of the good” he could do in speaking with regulators and politicians lay outside of his role at ING, where he could express his opinions more freely and “not be the CEO.”
ING has named Mark Marr, current executive VP and chief administrative officer at the ING Advisors Network, who heads finance, risk management, technology, and operations, to serve as interim CEO.
He called his interim successor a “very good executive” with “credibility” with both ING executives and with advisors. Simmers said he and Marr had worked together for 11 years, that he “knew his mind very well,” and that the leadership of the ING Advisors Network had “never been a one-man show,” though he admitted that he had been the “face of the network.”
Catherine Smith, CEO of ING Retirement Services, called Simmers “one of the patriarchs of the modern day independent broker/dealer industry” in a prepared statement on April 3, and said that “over the next few weeks, we will select his successor from a deep list of experienced and talented internal candidates.” As of press time on April 17, however, no successor had been named by the company.
A Good Year