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Executive Moves

TD Ameritrade Snags Wachovia Exec

Christine Gaze has been named the new director of practice management for TD Ameritrade Institutional, a division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., responsible for developing the unit's strategic direction of all advisor practice management and business consulting services.

Specifically, Gaze will focus on building and maintaining practice management programs designed to help independent registered investment advisors run and grow their businesses.

Prior to joining TD Ameritrade Institutional, Gaze helped build the practice management consulting group for Wachovia Securities where she actively consulted with advisors to help them improve productivity and bring in new business. She has held a variety of sales and leadership roles at firms including Merrill Lynch, Prudential and AllianceBernstein.

CPI Brings In Retirement Consultant

CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, Inc. has promoted Vicki Keffer to the position of Senior Manager for Public Education, serving as retirement plan consultant specializing in retirement plan solutions for K-12 schools, as well as public and private colleges and universities.

Keffer's coverage includes the continental U.S. west of the Mississippi River, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Keffer joined CPI in 2000 as a regional coordinator on the sales team. In 2002, she became a senior consulting coordinator in marketing, but was promoted to team leader less than a year later. In 2006, she became the founding supervisor of CPI's new Education & Enrollment Services team, which was dedicated to assisting financial advisors with all aspects of plan management and participant education.

LIMRA Names Retirement Research Head

The financial research and consulting organization LIMRA has hired Alison Salka to serve as corporate vice president and director of its retirement research division.

Salka is responsible for the development and execution of LIMRA's retirement research strategy. Under her supervision, LIMRA's retirement research division will conduct research into such areas as insights and trends in consumer behavior and sentiment, and sales and market benchmark studies. Other research subjects include plan sponsor and advisor studies and strategic white papers focused on helping member companies better understand issues and trends in the retirement market.

Previously, Salka led the retirement research and competitive intelligence team at Prudential Financial Inc. She was also director of retirement research and analytics at MassMutual Financial Group.

Forward's Cheu to Target Institutions

Alternative mutual fund purveyor Forward Funds is aiming to grow its institutional client base with the hiring of Ann Cheu as vice president for Consultant Relations.

Cheu was most recently at Mercer Investment Consulting, where she was a senior associate.

Forward's move to bolster its consultant outreach reflects the consulting community's integral role in institutional decision-making, according to Clay Smudsky, president of Forward's institutional business.

"Working closely with consultants is essential if you want to forge new institutional relationships, and that's doubly true given Forward's focus on strategies that transcend traditional style boxes," he stated. "Having Ann on board lets us increase our dialogue with consultants on how our strategies fit into institutional portfolios."

The firm currently serves more than a dozen major institutional clients including banks and bank trust departments, foundations and endowments, retirement plans and family offices. Smudsky said he plans to further expand Forward's institutional team in the coming months.

Forward's product lineup includes 12 alternative strategies available as mutual funds or managed accounts.

SEI Welcomes Distribution Chief

Oaks, PA-based SEI has appointed Paul Swanson as head of U.S. asset management distribution, responsible for developing and maintaining strategic relationships with large distributors, driving asset and revenue growth, and managing SEI's strategic sales plan for the company's U.S. asset management distribution efforts.

Target firms will include wirehouses, insurance companies, retirement platforms, and regional, national, and global banks.

Swanson joins SEI from Lincoln Financial Distributors, where he served as head of sales for the defined contribution intermediary channel.

"Paul's background in financial services and extensive experience in sales will be valuable as we continue to build momentum and achieve our goals for future growth," stated Kevin Barr, Head of SEI's Investment Management Unit.

"SEI's investment programs are powered by a disciplined, institutional investment process and Paul's appointment will help us to continue our success and develop new business opportunities."