In its ongoing effort to expand its middle-market defined contribution and defined benefit business, The Hartford has hired Denise Diana as VP, retirement plans mid-market.

Diana was previously vice president of business development at Transamerica, where she worked with broker/dealers, and also served as director, sales effectiveness, at Charles Schwab. Earlier, at Prudential Financial, as VP, channel management, Diana was responsible for nearly $6 billion in sales, including $4 billion over an 18 month period in key adviser bundled retirement relationships, and $1.7 billion in consultant relationships that Diana built from the ground up.

In her new role, the retirement plan specialist is charged with assembling a team of middle market specialists to support financial advisers and registered investment advisers and consultants, as well as to identify new mid-market development opportunities.

Following Diana's hiring at The Hartford, her new initiatives include a series of adviser forums that launch in September, starting with "A Dose of Reality: Strong, No Sugar," at which The Hartford will present new research on plan sponsors' and participants' evolving needs. The company will host these seminars in Atlanta, Boston, Irving, Texas, and San Francisco.

Since 2008, The Hartford has been building out its middle-market business, typically defined as plans with $10 million to $100 million in assets, with the acquisition of: TopNoggin, Princeton Retirement Group and the retirement business of Sun Life Financial, formerly known as MFS Retirement Services.

These deals round out The Hartford's open architecture offerings, technology capabilities and leadership, commented Sharon Ritchey, executive vice president and director of The Hartford's retirement plans group.


SEC Promotes Ramsay In Key Trading Oversight

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday the appointment of John Ramsay as the regulator's new deputy director in the Division of Trading and Markets.

Previously, Ramsay served with the SEC as deputy chief counsel for the Division of Market Regulation. He derived most of his regulatory experience from working in key positions at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the National Association of Securities Dealers (now FINRA). In the private sector, the veteran served as a partner at the law firm of Morgan Lewis and Bockius, and at the Bond Market Association (now part of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association), Citigroup Global Markets, and most recently, the Regulatory Fundamentals Group LLC, a private consulting firm.

In his new role, Ramsay will manage several of the regulator's divisions with a particular focus on broker-dealer financial responsibility, clearance and settlement. Additionally, Ramsay will play an integral part in the division's role in the SEC-wide implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Ramsay joins the division's current Deputy Director James Brigagliano, who has been in this role since last March.


Morgan Stanley Nabs Dembin, Schiavetti

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has recruited Ben Dembin and Francis Schiavetti, who previously oversaw $107 million in client assets and together generated $1.2 million in annual fees and commissions at Wells Fargo.

According to a report filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Dembin and Schiavetti will work at the joint venture's Boca Raton, Fla., operation

Dembin spent five years and Schiavetti spent four years at Wells Fargo. Prior to this, Schiavetti spent two years at UBS.

Some industry observers feel that since wirehouses have been creating more alluring golden handcuffs through sweeter retention packages to keep advisers satisfied, it is not always seen as the best strategy.

"It's not a long-term solution to the constant movement," said Alois Pirker, senior analyst at Aite Group. "The retention packages mean a lot to keep advisors, but it buys the wirehouses time, not loyalty."

As of recently, wirehouses began structuring incentives to really boost their position. "MSSB offers mortgages and loans for five to six years," Pirker says. "But if they leave sooner, they're on the hook to pay it back [and] this is a way they stay tied to the company."

Adding further to MSSB expansion efforts, the firm just recruited a million-dollar team from UBS Wealth Management Americas. Art Martin, his son, Wade Martin, and John Rizzo joined the brokerage's Lawrenceville, N.J office, the team managed $350 million in client assets and generated up to $3.3 million in combined annual production.


The Hartford Selects Davey To Head Mutual Funds

A recent realignment of The Hartford Financial Services Group resulted in a new position for Jim Davey running the company's mutual fund business.

Davey's appointment is part of a new organizational setup, confirmed Timothy Benedict, spokesperson for The Hartford. Davey previously headed the company's retirement division. After launching an initiative to revamp its wealth management business in April, Hartford Financial Services Group announced in June that John C. Walters, the president of wealth management, will leave the company at the end of July to "pursue other opportunities." The Hartford, Conn. company reported that David N. Levenson replaced Walters as of July 1.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.