Ascensus Announces Major 401k Hires

Firm committed to 'providing leading support and consultation to strategic clients'

Industry veterans join Ascensus.

Retirement plan record-keeping and technology giant Ascensus announced on Thursday that Kathleen Roche has joined the firm as a vice president with its institutional relationship management team.

As vice president of channel management strategy, Roche will be responsible for building and executing on Ascensus’ “overarching business plan to develop and fortify relationships through the broker-dealer and advisor channels.”

Roche brings nearly 30 years of experience and has become a prominent thought leader in the retirement industry, serving as president of the Women in Pension Network and an active member of NAPA.

Prior to joining Ascensus, Roche served as vice president for Commonwealth Financial Network, where she developed an industry-leading retirement plan consulting platform that served independent financial advisors. This home office experience will help the channel management team to conceptualize and implement financial advisor practice management and education initiatives.

The company said Derek Vito will also serve as vice president of channel management, focusing on sales strategy and brand expansion in key broker-dealer channels.

He will act as a resource to Ascensus’ sales team, and drive strategies that assist advisors in building their retirement plan business as they transition to new fee-based service models.

Vito most recently served as executive director, defined contribution program manager for Morgan Stanley where he designed product enhancements for the firm’s fee-based retirement specialist advisors and helped advisors develop unique value propositions.

He was also responsible for onboarding new retirement plan specialists at the firm.

Vito represented Morgan Stanley as a member of the Envestnet Broker-Dealer Advisory Council, shaping their advisor digital strategy and toolset enhancements.

“Kathleen and Derek bring extensive experience partnering with financial advisors, RIAs, and broker-dealers, who we recognize are critically important to our business, and many of our institutional partners,” Kathleen Connelly, Ascensus’ executive vice president of client experience and relationship management, said in a statement. “We’re committed to providing leading support and consultation to these strategic clients—our success is measured by theirs.”

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