Donald Salama was named chief strategy officer at New York Life Investment Management, effective Feb. 15.
The position is new.
Mr. Salama was head of New York Life Retirement Plan Services, which provides investment management and other retirement services to defined benefit and defined contribution plans. He will be replaced by Drew E. Lawton, president of Fridson Investment Advisors and formerly president and CEO of Pyramis Global Advisors.
Mr. Salama, who was senior managing director and head of the retirement plan services unit, will oversee strategy as well as mergers and acquisitions for New York Life Investment Management. Some of those duties had been handled by Barry Schub, a former executive vice president of New York Life Investments who is now senior vice president in charge of human resources for parent New York Life Insurance, Mr. Salama said in an interview.
Mr. Salama said his M&A goal will be one of “strategic and tactical” deals. “We’re not looking for blockbusters,” he said. Declining to provide specific examples, he said his M&A targets would focus on “adding scale” to New York Life’s MainStay mutual fund family as well as “broadening or enhancing” its asset-management categories Mr. Salama said his strategic goal offers a mixture of internal growth and acquisitions.
Mr. Lawton’s title will be senior managing director and CEO of the retirement plan services unit, which administered more than $31.5 billion in bundled retirement plans and managed $2.4 billion in defined contribution investment-only assets, both as of Sept. 30, according to a New York Life news release.
Mr. Salama will retain a supervisory role over the retirement plan service business, he said. One important issue for the unit is upgrading its communications technology, now in the first year of a four- to five-year revamp. Mr. Salama said enhancing the web-based technology designed for plan sponsors, participants and advisers will be one of Mr. Lawton’s top goals. “We want to improve education, tools, services and products,” he said.
Mr. Lawton was recruited because of his experience and because “we always like to hire the people we know,” Mr. Salama said. He said Mr. Lawton and John Kim, president and CEO of New York Life Investment Management, had previously worked together at Aetna Inc.
Mr. Lawton had been president of Fridson, which specializes in corporate credit investing, since August 2008. Before that, he was president and CEO of Pyramis, the institutional asset management business of Fidelity Investments.
A call to Mr. Lawton was not returned by press time. Also, a call and e-mail to Sean Bailey, listed as an information contact on the Fridson website, seeking information on Mr. Lawton’s replacement were not returned. New York Life declined to make Mr. Lawton available for an interview.