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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Mercer’s Conaway Replaces Salisbury as EBRI Chief

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The Employee Benefit Research Institute announced Thursday that Harry Conaway will become its new CEO effective Jan. 1, replacing longtime president and CEO Dallas Salisbury, who will become president and resident fellow.

EBRI said in a release that Conaway, a leading expert on employee benefit, health and retirement issues, represents the organization’s commitment to its unique role as a “fact tank” for the public and decision makers.

Conaway, who has served on the EBRI Board of Trustees for more than a decade, as well as on the EBRI executive committee, is currently senior partner with Mercer, the consulting firm, where he has worked since 1989.

“With its unparalleled reputation, databases, and talented research team, EBRI has the capacity to shatter myths and preconceptions,” Conaway said in a statement. “As the new CEO, I’m proud that I will have the opportunity to listen to and work with EBRI’s members and partners in the benefits community and to lead the nation’s premier employee benefits research organization.”

EBRI Board Chair Pamela French commented in the statement that at Mercer, “Conaway has built and managed a large, highly regarded and financially successful human resources and employee benefits legislative and regulatory interpretation, research and communications group and will hit the ground running.”

Salisbury served as EBRI’s CEO from 1978 to 2015. He told ThinkAdvisor in an email message that his new post does represent full retirement for him, but that he will continue to put forth his thoughts, opinions and ideas about issues via such outlets as blogs, twitter and websites.

“After 46 years of being part of ‘management’ I will now find out what it is like to have no management responsibilities, while being productive and contributing substantively. From that I hope to never ‘retire,’” he said.  

As EBRI president emeritus and resident fellow in 2016 and 2017, Salisbury says he will ”figure out how I want to contribute to the world of thought, ideas, suggestions, writing and distribution, and begin to do it.”

Come 2018, “I will see what the two years has allowed me to develop as a vision for my own future. In the meantime, Conaway, and the very talented and productive team at EBRI, will move the organization to the ‘next level’/'next stage’ and I shall take great pleasure in their success and in having had the opportunity to be a part of EBRI since 13 consulting firms founded it in September of 1978″ and “were kind enough to hire me in October to put it together, and to their successor Trustees for allowing me the privilege of still being part of the organization.”


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