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New faces and titles inside major firms
The first month of the new year continued with a series of major moves in the employee benefits arena, especially in the legal offices that practice law for benefit advisers and employers. ERISA-focused law firm The Wagner Group hired a pair of lawyers as a partner and of counsel, and Bricker & Eckler LLP and Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP both promoted counselors inside their ranks.

It was a good month for doctors, too. Health Catalysts hired a pair of leading physicians to serve as strategic advisers to the healthcare data analytics firm. Robert Massa joined Qualified Plan Advisors after it signed a strategic partnership with the retirement plan practice of Ascende Wealth Advisers, a division of EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants.

Industry veterans had good career news as well. South Florida employee benefits agency Sapoznik Insurance hired a 30-year insurance industry as its company's benefits consultant. And Lockton promoted an insider to the role of COO of its Pacific Operations in US with more than a dozen years of experience.
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James starts at Health Catalyst
Healthcare data analytics firm Health Catalyst has hired Dr. Brent James as a strategic adviser. James recently served as chief quality officer of Intermountain Healthcare, a chain of hospitals based in Salt Lake City where he oversaw quality and improvement. As leader of the Intermountain Advanced Training Program, James trained more than 5,000 senior physician, nursing and administrative executives in clinical quality improvement science and methodology, and more than 50 'sister' training programs in more than 10 countries.
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De Blouw named partner at California employment law firm
Nicholas J. De Blouw, a member of the employment and consumer class action group at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP, has been named a partner of the California employment law firm. His practice focuses on class actions brought on behalf of employees and consumers against large companies. He will work out of the firm's San Diego office.
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Delano joins ERISA law firm
ERISA-focused law firm The Wagner Law Group has added Dannae L. Delano as partner, labor and employment attorney. She concentrates her practice in employee benefits, executive compensation and tax matters. Focusing on employee benefits for employers, she counsels clients regarding employee benefits design, implementation, termination and compliance for benefits programs. Delano was previously a partner at Lowenbaum Law and Husch Blackwell.
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Richard joins Sapoznik Insurance as benefits consultant
South Florida employee benefits agency Sapoznik Insurance has hired 30-year insurance industry veteran Lowell Richard as the company's benefits consultant. In this new role, he will help Sapoznik enhance current programs and develop new initiatives. Richard started his insurance career in 1986 and most recently served as vice president of The Maslow Group and Contracted General Agency.
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Lockton names Mascolo as COO
Lockton Benefit Group has added Mike Mascolo as Chief Operating Officer. He will focus on coordination and collaboration across the benefits group as work with insurers and other business partners. A 20-year veteran, Mascolo spent the last decade with Wells Fargo Insurance as the Employee Benefits National Practice Resource Leader. He will be based out of Lockton's Kansas City, Missouri, office.
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Massa signs up for QPA
Qualified Plan Advisors has entered into a strategic partnership with the retirement plan practice of Ascende Wealth Advisers, a division of EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants. Joining QPA is Robert Massa, who will serve as managing director and head of Houston operations. The agreement started on Jan. 1 and will add approximately $4 billion in assets under advisement to QPA, as well as a West Coast presence in Northern California.
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Symetra names Monti to new role
Symetra Life Insurance Company promoted Harry Monti to senior vice president for its group Life and Disability and Select Benefits fixed payment medical businesses. The move is effective April 1, 2018. Monti will succeed Craig Raymond, who will be retiring. Currently vice president, LAD operations, Monti will continue to be based in Symetra's Enfield, Connecticut office, and will report to Michael Fry, executive vice president, Symetra's benefits division. Monti joined Symetra in 2014 from his stint as director, insurance advisory services with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hartford, Conn.
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Mundy promoted to COO of Lockton's Pacific Operations in U.S.
Insurance broker Lockton has promoted Nate Mundy to senior vice president and chief operating officer of its Pacific operations in the U.S. He succeeds Gary Petrosino, a 40-year industry veteran who is retiring. Mundy has more than 13 years of experience with Lockton and most recently held the position of senior vice president of operations of the Pacific Series.
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Schraeder joins ERISA law firm
Ian Schraeder has been named "of counsel" for The Wagoner Law Group's ERISA practice. In his career, he has provided collective bargaining, employment law counsel and litigation defense for dozens of local governments in Missouri and Illinois, and serves as general counsel for the Missouri Public Employers' Labor Relations Association. He previously served as the Missouri Director of Labor Relations and also taught labor and employment law for the Missouri Bar Association, the Missouri Municipal Attorneys' Association and the Missouri School Boards' Association.
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Lockton veteran Spencer to lead Prime Capital Investment
Prime Capital Investment Advisors has named Glenn A. Spencer as chief executive officer. Current PCI CEO Scott Colangelo and President Tim Hakes will assume titles of Managing Director, Chairman, and Managing Director, Vice Chairman, respectively. Spencer will report to both men and will be responsible for running the day to day operations of Prime Capital. Spencer's 30-year career in financial and professional services includes 11 years with Lockton where he served as U.S. COO, Global COO and most recently as Global CEO.
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Stein elected partner at Bricker & Eckler LLP
The law firm of Bricker & Eckler LLP recently elected David K. Stein as its newest partner. Stein currently chairs Bricker's Banking & Financial Services practice group where he maintains a national practice in this area of law. His clients include banks, lenders, credit unions, insurance companies and mortgage servicers. He also advises businesses on consumer-facing issues, including real estate, privacy, credit reporting, technology, data security and e-commerce.
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Topol joins Health Catalyst
Data analytics firm Health Catalyst has hired Dr. Eric Topol as a strategic adviser. Topol is executive vice president and professor of Molecular Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute, and the founder and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, Calif. As a researcher, he has published more than 1,100 peer-reviewed articles, with more than 190,000 citations and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Topol previously ran the Cleveland Clinic heart program for 14 years, helping it to earn the No. 1 ranking by U.S. News and World Report for 10 consecutive years.