Great-West Retirement Services has hired Adam Blitz as regional sales director for Long Island, a newly created position in which he is responsible for developing 401(k) plan business through brokers, financial advisers, consultants, wirehouses and third-party administrators.

"We believe the New York market offers strong opportunities for continued growth," said Bill Harmon, vice president of 401(k) sales. "I'm very pleased that Adam has joined Great-West Retirement Services. He's an excellent addition to an already successful New York sales team."

Blitz spent the past four years at Lincoln Financial, where he worked as a regional vice president for metro New York, developing defined contribution and defined benefit plan business with financial advisers and third-party administrators. Before that, he was a retirement specialist with J.P. Morgan and AXA Financial.


Farmakis Joins DST as Vice President of Sales

John Farmakis has joined DST Retirement Solutions as vice president of sales, focused on business development opportunities for the firm.

Farmakis has more than 30 years of sales, product, relationship management and strategic business development experience specializing in the financial services, pension and asset management industries.

Farmakis most recently was senior vice president of sales and business development at Expertplan. He has also held senior roles at Ascensus and Great-West Life and Annuity.

"In our continued push to provide innovative solutions to retirement plan providers, we pride ourselves on the high-level industry expertise represented on our team," said Jude Metcalfe, president of DST Retirement Solutions. "We are committed to supporting the needs of plan providers of all sizes and continuing to develop long-term relationships within the industry."

Farmakis said: "DST Retirement Solutions is known for its commitment to the business, its vision for growth and its ability to deliver comprehensive, flexible solutions and high-quality services. I'm very pleased to join the team and look forward to playing a role in further expanding DST Retirement Solutions' presence in the marketplace."


Anova Appoints DeFreitas, Cooper as Consultants

Anova Consulting Group, a financial services market research and consulting firm, has appointed Sarah DeFreita and Linda Cooper as consultants. In these newly created positions, they will report to Jeannine Kulsick, director of market research, and Richard Schroder, president.

DeFreitas spent the past two years as a private consultant to a start-up company and previously was a senior financial analyst at Time Warner Cable and at Donnelly Marketing.

Prior to joining Anova, Cooper was a key accounts manager for New York Life Retirement Plan Services, where she worked for 12 years in a variety of positions, including as a defined contribution account manager. Earlier in her career, she worked for Trust Consultants as a manager of defined contribution plans and as a client service manager for State Street Corp.

"Anova's market research and consultant expertise helps our clients capture more new business and retain those relationships," Schroder said. "We are experiencing strong momentum in 2011 after a year in which we more than doubled revenue and added new financial services clients. Linda and Sarah are experienced, high-level additions to our team who will help us continue to execute on existing relationships with new business prospects."


MSSB Adds Six Advisers, Mostly From Rival Merrill

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has just recruited six financial advisers, mostly from its closest industry rival Merrill Lynch.

Team members Joseph Viviani and Robert Digregorio joined the company's office in Melville, N.Y. They will report to Complex Manager Dino Carfora. They came from Merrill Lynch, where they managed $398 million in client assets, and had combined production of $2.1 million.

Meanwhile, Rosalie Schlaen and Izhar Shefer joined MSSB's operation in Aventura, Fla. They also came from Merrill Lynch, where they oversaw assets of $177 million and generated $1.3 million in production. They will report to Complex Manager Bill Van Scoyoc.

Also from Merrill Lynch, David Cohen joined in Melbourne, Fla. He will report to Branch Manager Sue Kahn. Cohen had assets $150 million and production of $1.6 million.

Finally, Keith Cline joined MSSB in Fort Myers, Fla., from Raymond James. He will report to Branch Manager Thomas Wielgos. Previously, Cline had $73 million in assets and $1.1 million in production.


Benjamin F. Edwards Recruits Wells Fargo Exec

St. Louis-based brokerage Benjamin F. Edwards continues to its slow-but-steady growth with its recruitment of Rick Balmaseda.

He joined the Danbury, Conn., branch as senior vice president-investments. Balmaseda will report to Arnold H. Rozany, branch manager and senior vice president-investments. Balmaseda began his career in the financial services industry almost 30 years ago when he joined Prudential Securities in 1984.

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