BlackRock has created a new post, chief retirement strategist.

This week in personnel announcements and new hires, Marc Seidner went to PIMCO; Chip Castille moved up at BlackRock; the FIA announced that Barbara Wierzynski will leave at the end of 2014; Carla Martin joined Highland Capital Management; Jeff Passmore went to Barrow Hanley; NAREIT elected its 2015 chair and officers; and Cordium added John Donegan.

Also, Tom Elliot was tapped to head the new investment strategy division at deVere Group; Brian Portnoy joined Virtus Investment Partners; Jamie Bedard was named president and CEO of the Reputation Institute; Adam Levy and Lynn Kennerly joined DeVoe & Co.; Dan Farley was promoted at the Private Client Reserve; and Kelli Parsons joined New York Life.

PIMCO Hires Seidner as Managing Director, Portfolio Manager

PIMCO has announced that Marc Seidner has been hired as managing director and portfolio manager. He will also serve as chief investment officer — nontraditional strategies and head of portfolio management in the New York office, and be a member of the investment committee. He will begin on November 12th and will report to Daniel Ivascyn, group CIO.

Also, Curtis Mewbourne, current head of the firm’s New York portfolio management group, will return to the Newport Beach office as a senior member of the portfolio management team. He will continue in his role as head of the insurance, diversified income and sector fund separate account teams, and will assume additional responsibilities when he returns to Newport Beach in mid-2015.

Seidner was a senior portfolio manager at PIMCO from 2009 to 2014.

BlackRock Names Castille Chief Retirement Strategist

Chip Castille has been named chief retirement strategist, a newly created position, at BlackRock. He will be succeeded as head of the firm’s U.S. and Canada defined contribution business by Anne Ackerley, currently a managing director. Both report to Robert Fairbairn, senior managing director and global head of the firm’s iShares and retail businesses.

In addition, Jim Badenhausen, global head of corporate communications and also a managing director, will assume additional responsibilities as chief marketing officer.

Wierzynski to Leave FIA at Year End

The Futures Industry Association has announced that Barbara Wierzynski, the organization’s general counsel for 20 years, will leave at the end of 2014. She will be succeeded by Allison Lurton, who has served as deputy general counsel for almost two years.

Before joining, Lurton founded the derivatives practice at Covington & Burling and served for seven years at the CFTC in various capacities, including as counsel to Chairmen Gensler and Lukken and Commissioner O’Malia. With nearly 20 years of legal experience, Lurton began her career in commercial litigation and served for several years at the Department of Justice and in the CFTC’s Enforcement Division.

Martin Joins Highland Capital Management

Highland Capital Management L.P. has announced that Carla Martin has been named managing director of national accounts for the independent broker-dealer channel for Highland Capital Funds Distributor Inc. She will report to Brad Ross, president of Highland Capital Funds Distributor Inc.

Martin joins from W.P. Carey, where she was a senior vice president of business development in the IBD channel. She is a 12-year veteran of the financial services industry. NAREIT Elects 2015 Chairman, Officers

The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts announced the election of its 2015 chairman and officers.

David J. Neithercut, president and CEO of Equity Residential, was elected chairman. Neithercut takes the place of NAREIT’s 2014 Chair, Ronald L. Havner Jr., chairman, CEO and president of Public Storage.

Other NAREIT officers for 2015 are First Vice Chairman David B. Henry, Vice Chairman, President and CEO of Kimco Realty Corp.; Second Vice Chairman Edward J. Fritsch, president and CEO of Highwoods Properties Inc.; and Treasurer Timothy J. Naughton, Chairman and CEO of AvalonBay Communities Inc. All of NAREIT’s officers also are members of its Executive Board.

Barrow Hanley Adds Passmore

Investment management firm Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss, LLC, has announced that Jeff Passmore has joined the firm as director, client portfolio manager, liability-driven investing (LDI) strategist.

Passmore joins from Standish Mellon Asset Management in Boston, where he served as a senior liability strategist since 2012. Previously, he was an investment consultant and principal with Buck Global Investment Advisors for two years and a senior retirement consultant for Mercer from 2006 to 2010, both in Dallas. From 1990 to 2006, he was with Towers Watson (and predecessor Watson Wyatt), including the last five years as retirement practice leader in the firm’s Dallas office.

Donegan Joins Cordium

Compliance consulting firm Cordium has announced the addition of John Donegan as vice president of broker-dealer and AML consulting. He will be based in the New York office.

Donegan, with 30 years of financial services industry experience, has served as the registered AML and chief compliance officer at FINRA member firms.

Elliot Heads New Division at deVere Group

deVere Group has announced that Tom Elliot will head its new investment strategy division, which is aimed at helping investors better understand the economic, political and social factors that drive capital markets and thus portfolio returns.

Elliott is a former executive director at JP Morgan Asset Management, and has 25 years of experience in the financial sector. He was appointed deVere Group’s international investment strategist in 2013.

Virtus Adds Portnoy

Brian Portnoy has joined Virtus Investment Partners Inc. as vice president and director of investment education.

He joins from Chicago Equity Partners, where he was managing director and head of strategic initiatives and alternative investments since 2012. Previously, he was the associate director of hedge fund research at Mesirow Advanced Strategies and senior mutual fund analyst at Morningstar. Bedard to Head Reputation Institute

Corporate reputation research and advisory organization the Reputation Institute has named Jamie Bedard global president and CEO. He will succeed Jonathan Ewert, who will move to the RI board of directors.

Bedard, who joined earlier in the year, formerly led such organizations as Aberdeen Group and Benchmarking Partners.

Levy, Kennerly Join DeVoe & Co.

Adam Levy and Lynn Kennerly have joined DeVoe & Company, the former as managing director and the latter as director of operations.

Levy has over 15 years in nancial services; he spent over eight years as senior equity analyst at Invesco Funds Group and as a founder and portfolio manager at Deer Creek Capital Partners. Previously, he was an analyst on the mergers and acquisitions team at Emergency Medical Services Corp. He also has over seven years of experience founding and working at venture-capital-backed technology companies, including roles as CEO of Zwaggle, vice president of finance at TopSchool Inc., and director of finance and operations at Graphic.ly.

Kennerly was an investment analyst at Principal Financial Securities. Previously, she worked for George D. Bjurman & Associates as an associate portfolio manager.

Farley Promoted at Private Client Reserve

U.S. Bank Wealth Management has announced that Dan Farley has been promoted to Twin Cities investment lead at the Private Client Reserve. He will report to Margaret Paddock, Twin Cities market leader.

Farley has over 13 years of financial services experience. Prior to joining, he was a vice president with Dougherty Commercial Properties. Earlier, he worked as a management consultant in Deloitte Consulting’s strategy practice. He was also commissioned as a combat engineer officer in the U.S. Army, serving over five years on both active duty and in the Minnesota National Guard.

New York Life Welcomes Parsons

New York Life announced that Kelli Parsons has joined as chief corporate communications and marketing officer. She will report directly to Ted Mathas, chairman and CEO.

Parsons most recently was sevior vice president and chief communications officer for Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae). Previously, she was vice president of global communications and marketing for Warburg Pincus LLC, and an EVP and general manager for Hill & Knowlton Ltd. Before that, she was a television news reporter for NBC and CBS affiliates in Nashville, Louisville and Houston, and for CBS in New York.

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