Paul JacobsPalisades Hudson Financial Group LLC, Scarsdale, N.Y., has named Paul Jacobs, CFP, its new chief investment officer, topping a list of personnel additions and promotions as the firm prepares to expand to the West Coast this month.

In addition to his CIO role, Jacobs continues in his current post as manager in charge of the firm’s Atlanta office. He started with Palisades Hudson in Scarsdale in 2002, and later was a manager in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office before establishing the Atlanta presence in 2008.

Jacobs has been a member of Palisades Hudson’s Investment Committee since 2005 and its chief compliance officer since 2009. He succeeds Jonathan Bergman, who left the firm this month, as CIO. Linda Elkin, Palisades Hudson’s director of marketing and human resources, who oversaw Bergman’s marketing efforts, will assume direct responsibility for marketing.

Another 10-year Palisades Hudson veteran, David Walters, CFP, CPA, will establish the firm’s West Coast presence with his relocation to metropolitan Portland, Ore., on Aug. 21. Walters began his career in Scarsdale and has been a client service manager in Fort Lauderdale since 2007.

Anna Pfaehler, CFP, succeeds Jacobs as the firm’s chief compliance officer. She is a client service manager in the Scarsdale office, where she joined Palisades Hudson in 2006.

Ben Sullivan, CFP, a client service manager based in Scarsdale, will join the firm’s Investment Committee, whose five members currently oversee more than $1.1 billion in client assets under management.

In other industry news:

The Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, Iowa, has reached an agreement to acquire First Dental Health. Upon closing, expected in October 2012, First Dental Health will become a member of the Principal Financial Group.

First Dental Health, a California-based independent dental preferred provider organization (PPO), includes more than 11,000 credentialed dentists with locations in California, Arizona and Nevada.

The Principal’s dental network serves more than 27,000 employers across all states, plus the District of Columbia. Principal dental products offer covered employees and their dependents flexible, comprehensive plan designs that focus on preventive care.

Closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory and other approvals.

 

Brian BrenemanThe Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Horsham, Pa., has hired Brian K. Breneman as managing director of 1847Financial, its Philadelphia agency, led by Jim Meehan, managing partner. Breneman will help the agency grow its business in the Greater Philadelphia region and into the Central Pennsylvania market.

Breneman most recently served with New England Financial for seven years as senior vice president. He was responsible for the company’s distribution channel, which included more than 2100 representatives in 35 sales offices across the country. Prior to that, he was regional vice president for MetLife, where he started his career in the field in 1987.

A graduate of Delaware Valley College, Breneman holds his FINRA Series 7 and 24 licenses as a registered representative of Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc. 1847Financial, formerly known as Independence Financial Associates, is The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company’s agency serving Philadelphia and the surrounding area.

 

James Poterba, Mitsui Professor of Economics at MIT, is to receive the award for Achievement in Applied Retirement Research, sponsored by Research Magazine / AdvisorOne.com. The award will be presented at the Retirement Income Industry Association’s Annual Fall Conference and Awards Gala to be held at the historic Omni Parker House in Boston on Oct. 4-5.

Dr. Poterba is also the president of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society. He is the past president of the National Tax Association, a former vice president of the American Economic Association, and a former director of the American Finance Association.

Poterba’s research focuses on how taxation affects the economic decisions of households and firms. His recent work has emphasized the effect of taxation on the financial behavior of households, particularly their saving and portfolio decisions. He has been interested in the analysis of tax-deferred retirement saving programs such as 401(k) plans and in the role of annuities in financing retirement consumption.

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, Minn., has named Janelle Walter the new director of life insurance sales in the Marketing division. Walter will be responsible for the development and execution of life insurance marketing strategies to drive life insurance sales. She will lead the collaboration among multiple divisions directing the strategic vision for all life insurance product marketing programs and will report to Doug Koenen, vice president of Distribution Marketing for Allianz Life.

Walter has spent her entire professional career with Allianz Life, starting with the company in 2002 as an internal wholesaler in Sales. Most recently, she was the life insurance marketing manager where she led the development of marketing collateral and strategic planning. In her 10 years with Allianz Life, Walter also held a role as a principal marketing analyst working with cross-functional teams to build marketing campaigns and as a marketing communications specialist.

Walter received a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing at Montana State University in Billings. She also earned a Master of Arts degree in strategic communication management from Concordia University in Saint Paul, Minn. Walter holds a Minnesota Life and Health license.

 

Aflac Incorporated, Columbus, Ga., has promoted Eric M. Kirsch to executive vice president, Global Investments, while continuing as global chief investment officer reporting to Kenneth S. Janke Jr., executive vice president and deputy chief financial officer of Aflac Incorporated.

Kirsch joined Aflac in November 2011 as first senior vice president; global chief investment officer. In his role, he will remain responsible for management of Aflac’s $109 billion investment portfolio and its team of more than 50 investment professionals. He will continue to oversee the company’s investment efforts from the newly established Wall Street office.

Before joining Aflac, Kirsch most recently served as managing director and global head of insurance asset management, including portfolio management, insurance advisory services and distribution at Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM). Kirsch was recruited by GSAM to create a dedicated global insurance business. In that capacity, he managed a global team of more than 55 professionals and was instrumental in elevating GSAM’s reputation as an insurance asset manager. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, he spent 27 combined years at Deutsche Asset Management (DeAM) and Bankers Trust Company, most recently serving as managing director and global head of insurance asset management. At DeAM, Kirsch was responsible for a staff of more than 100 people including teams in North America, Europe and Asia and oversaw total insurance assets of more than $150 billion while a member of the Global Operating Committee of DeAM. Prior to this, Kirsch served as managing director and head of North America Fixed Income, responsible for more than $150 billion of assets across institutional and retail clients and multiple fixed income investment strategies. He also previously served as vice president and stable value portfolio manager at Bankers Trust Company. Kirsch received a bachelor of business administration in business and finance from Baruch College in 1984, and a master’s of business administration from Pace University in 1988. He earned his CFA designation in 1990.