IRI Hall of Fame Welcomes Three New Members
By Cathy Weatherford
Insured Retirement Institute (IRI)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today honored three retirement income professionals for their leadership, vision and contributions to the industry and IRI. Jana W. Greer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Retirement Income Solutions, AIG Life and Retirement; Jane M. Mancini, Founder and CEO of I-Pension LLC; and James A. Shepherdson, Managing Partner of Crossroads Capital Group LLC, were inducted into the IRI Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Vision: IRI Annual Meeting 2013.
“They are the industry pioneers whose achievements have led to the innovative and robust insured retirement marketplace we know today,” said Cathy Weatherford, IRI President and CEO. “Through their dedication, their leadership, and their foresight, they have each made significant contributions that have advanced and transformed our industry as well as IRI.”
Jana W. Greer
Jana W. Greer is a financial services leader, who has strived to help Americans reach their retirement goals for nearly 40 years. As President and CEO, Retirement Income Solutions, AIG Life and Retirement, she is responsible for the firm’s variable and fixed-indexed annuity products, which are both marketed under the SunAmerica brand. Ms. Greer has been instrumental in developing in-depth research on retirement attitudes and behaviors. Under her leadership, SunAmerica Retirement Markets has been recognized for its efforts, through award-winning marketing materials, to educate investors on the importance of insured retirement vehicles within a complete retirement plan.
Ms. Greer has served on the Board of Directors of SunAmerica Financial Group, now AIG Life and Retirement, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the SunAmerica Services Trust and the Seasons Series Trust. She is a charter member of IRI and served on its Board of Directors from 2000 to 2002. Ms. Greer also has served on numerous IRI committees.
“Jana has been a transformative figure and a success in the retirement business, while being a leading voice in civic affairs and philanthropic endeavors,” said Larry Roth, Immediate Past Chairman of the IRI Board of Directors, who presented the IRI Hall of Fame Award to Ms. Greer. “She is an outstanding leader and valuable resource to her firm and the industry. She continues to focus on bringing innovative products to market, while providing exceptional service. Through her efforts, her firm continues to be an industry leader.”
Jane M. Mancini
Jane M. Mancini has more than 30 years in the financial services industry, dedicating her career to developing and distributing retirement income solutions. With MFS Investment Management, owned by SunLife of Canada, from 1988 to 1996, she charted a new strategic direction of the firm’s approach to variable annuity and variable life products and was responsible for all distribution channels. Ms. Mancini also successfully established the MFS Variable Insurance Trust, which managed insurance product assets through non-proprietary insurance contracts. Later as Managing Director of Putnam Investments, where she was head of its insurance business, Ms. Mancini led the firm’s sales, marketing and distribution of variable annuity managed separate accounts. She would later serve in a similar role as Executive Vice President at Rydex Investments.
Her passion for educating consumers about the importance of retirement income led her to become involved with IRI in the 1990s, serving on numerous committees, as a member of the IRI Board of Directors, in several executive roles, and as Chairman in 2004. In her current role as CEO for I-Pension LLC, a registered investment advisory firm she established in 2007, Ms. Mancini educates and advises clients and provides retirement solutions to middle-income pension participants.
“Throughout her career, Jane has been instrumental in promoting retirement income solutions, gaining more widespread acceptance and participation from investment firms and broker-dealers,” said Chairman of the Board of Investors Capital William “Bill” Atherton, a business consultant focused on retirement income planning and a 2003 IRI Hall of Fame Award recipient, who presented the award to Ms. Mancini. “Today she follows her passion by promoting the value of retirement income solutions on a daily basis through her advisory firm, while providing her expertise and services to several education and charitable organizations.”
James A. Shepherdson
James A. Shepherdson’s tenure in the financial service industry dates back to the 1970s. Before taking on his current role as Managing Partner of Crossroads Capital Group, Mr. Shepherdson was President of Retirement Services and Senior Executive Vice President of AXA Equitable. He was responsible for AXA Equitable’s retirement and annuity business, including wholesale distribution through AXA Distributors, a company he cofounded in 1996. He also served as Chairman of AXA Life Europe and CEO of AXA Global Distributors, where he distributed propriety annuity products through global and national banking institutions throughout Europe.
Mr. Shepherdson has been actively engaged with IRI since the early 2000s and served as Vice Chair in 2008. From 2009 to 2011, he served as Chairman of IRI. During his tenure as Chairman, Mr. Shepherdson endeavored to expand the organization’s focus and mission – reshaping the organization to represent the entire industry’s supply chain of insured retirement products. Through his efforts, IRI expanded into the education, research and advocacy association it is today, providing value for consumers, financial advisors, and the industry.
“His entrepreneurial spirit and innovative leadership helped to transform IRI,” said Robert “Bob” Cassato, a 2009 IRI Hall of Fame Award recipient, who presented the award to Mr. Shepherdson. “Working with Cathy Weatherford and the IRI Board of Directors, James led a rebranding initiative that culminated with the organization emerging with a new name, location, and mission. It was a monumental undertaking, but the endeavor helped to elevate IRI and established a framework for the organization to continue to grow and flourish.”
About the IRI Hall of Fame:
From 1996 through 2011, the John D. Marsh Memorial Award was given every two years to industry pioneers who exercised visionary leadership and dedicated their work to the advancement of variable annuity products. Named for John D. Marsh, who is considered the “father” of the commercial variable annuity in the United States, the award was given to 35 industry leaders. As IRI has evolved with the changing world of financial services to represent the entire supply chain of the insured retirement income industry, the John D. Marsh Memorial Award was renamed the IRI Hall of Fame Award in 2013. The newly renamed honor is awarded to industry leaders who exercise outstanding leadership and vision, and dedicate their work to the advancement of the insured retirement income industry.