Posted on September 28, 2018

Washington, D.C. -- The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) announced the election of Benjamin Huneke as Chair of its Board of Directors. Huneke is Managing Director, Head of Investment Solutions at Morgan Stanley. He replaces outgoing IRI Chair Robert DeChellis, President and Chief Strategist with Allianz Exchange. IRI also announced the election of its 2018-2019 Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

“Ben Huneke is a fantastic choice to serve as IRI Board Chair,” said Cathy Weatherford, IRI president and CEO. “I know that he will provide outstanding leadership as the organization begins its journey to the next level of success. I also want to thank Robert DeChellis for his dedication and hard work in serving as Board Chair for the past two years. With his leadership, IRI successfully managed many challenges to emerge a stronger organization.”

“I am excited and honored to be elected as IRI Board Chair,” Huneke said. “IRI is the primary voice and advocate for the retirement income industry and I look forward to helping lead the industry forward as our nation continues to seek solutions to the emerging retirement crisis. We are uniquely positioned to offer protected income solutions to help tens of millions of consumers enjoy a financially sound retirement.”

Joining Huneke on the IRI Executive Committee are:

  • Kevin Kennedy, Vice Chairman (Managing Director, Head of Individual Annuity Business, AXA)
  • Paula Nelson, Secretary/Treasurer (President & Managing Director, Retirement, Global Atlantic Financial Company)
  • Robert DeChellis, Past Chair (President & Chief Strategist, Allianz Exchange)
  • RJ Moore, Member-at-Large (Chief Executive Officer, Cetera)
  • Jerry Patterson, Member-at-Large (SVP, Retirement & Income Solutions, Principal Financial Group)
  • Peter Cieszko, Member-at-Large (Head of Strategic Development, American Century Investments)
  • Drew Bowden, Member-at-Large (SVP & General Counsel, Jackson National Life Insurance Company)

“We  also are excited to see several new people join the IRI Board this year,” Weatherford said. “We are fortunate to have well-rounded, highly experienced member company executives who are willing to step up to guide our organization and lead our industry. I know that they will continue to propel IRI to new levels of achievement.”

The following Board Members were re-elected to a three-year term to expire in 2021:

  • Wayne Chopus, Wayne Chopus, SVP, Strategic Relationship Management & Investment Solutions, Prudential Annuities
  • Robert DeChellis, President & Chief Strategist, Allianz Exchange
  • Dylan Huang, SVP, Head of Retail Annuities, New York Life Insurance Company
  • Kevin Kennedy, Managing Director, Head of Individual Annuity Business, AXA Distributors LLC
  • Myles Lambert, Chief Distribution & Marketing Officer, Brighthouse Financial
  • Bill Lowe, President, Sammons Institutional Group
  • RJ Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Cetera
  • Paula Nelson, President & Managing Director, Retirement, Global Atlantic Financial Company; and,
  • Jerry Patterson, SVP, Retirement & Income Solutions, Principal Financial Group

The following were elected to the IRI Board of Directors to fill vacancies with remaining terms:

  • Chris Adam, MD, Head/Personal Retirement Solutions & Business Execution, Merrill Lynch
  • Kristin M. Andreski, Senior Vice President, ADP Retirement Services
  • Andrew “Drew” Bowden, SVP & General Counsel, Jackson National Life Insurance Company
  • Jim Crowley, Chief Operating Officer, Pershing, a BNY Mellon Company
  • Dan Guilbert, EVP, Individual Life and Retirement Solutions, Symetra Financial
  • Rob Jameison, SVP, Head/Institutional Insurance, Fidelity Institutional Asset Management
  • Stephen Langlois, Head/Business Development, eMoney Advisor, LLC
  • Bob Shaw, President, Individual Markets, Great-West Financial
  • Tina Wilson, SVP, Head/Investment Solutions Innovation, MassMutual


Contact: Dan Zielinski