LONGMEADOW, Mass. — Frank C. Bermani Jr., executive director of the Society of Professional Administrators and Recordkeepers, Simsbury, Conn., died at home in his sleep on Feb. 26. He was 63.
Mr. Bermani joined SPARK parent RG Wuelfing in 1996 as executive director of the firm's Society of Plan Sponsors and became executive director of SPARK in 1999. Jeffrey S. Close, RG Wuelfing director of marketing and research, said no successor has been named and the executive staff is handling Mr. Bermani's duties. Officials are evaluating how they will fill the post, Mr. Close said.
RG Wuelfing founded SPARK in 1989 as a trade association of investment managers and service providers, mainly in the defined contribution plan area. SPARK membership comprises more than 250 companies, which provide services to roughly 95% of the 401(k) plan participants in the United States, according to RG Wuelfing's website.
Robert G. Wuelfing, principal and managing director of RG Wuelfing, said in a statement that Mr. Bermani "was a good friend and important part" of the company, and SPARK "prospered and grew" under Mr. Bermani's direction.
Bob Liberto, vice president of investment consulting in the New York office of Segal Advisors Inc. and a member of the SPARK steering committee, said Mr. Bermani was "one of a kind." He called Mr. Bermani's passing a "big loss to our industry." He said he not only respected Mr. Bermani professionally, but also considered him a friend, noting Mr. Bermani left "big shoes to fill."
Ed Ryan, senior vice president-sales at MassMutual Financial Group, Springfield, Mass., and another member of SPARK's steering committee, said Mr. Bermani was "one of the best people I've met in 30 years in the business," adding he "was a class act."
Mr. Ryan said Mr. Bermani possessed a "nice combination of knowing the business and being a very nice person."
Prior to joining RG Wuelfing, Mr. Bermani was with CIGNA's Retirement Services business for 31 years.
Mr. Bermani is survived by his wife, Margaret, as well as a sister, daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren. Donations may be made in Mr. Bermani's memory to the Springfield Rescue Mission, 19 Bliss St., Springfield, MA 01105, or a charity of the donor's choice.