Our Leadership

Our executives channel their vast experience and "People Matter" mindset to foster a culture that values forward thinking, drives innovation, and celebrates achievement.

Kevin Cox

Kevin Cox

President of Retirement

Kevin is responsible for overseeing and driving the strategic direction for the Retirement line of business. He joined Ascensus in 2003 where he previously served as head of Government Savings. Kevin has over 20 years of operational and relationship management experience in the financial services industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and English from Lehigh University and graduated with honors from the Boston College Carroll Graduate School of Management master’s program.

Peg Creonte

Peg Creonte

President of Government Savings

Peg is responsible for setting the vision and strategy for Government Savings and charting its course for future growth. Peg joined Ascensus in 2004 and has served in leadership roles across business development, platform development, and system implementation. Prior to Ascensus, she held leadership and consulting roles in software and semiconductor firms. Peg holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from Cornell University.

Joe Dansky

Joe Dansky

Chief Legal, Risk and Compliance Officer

Joe heads Ascensus’ legal, risk management, and compliance department. He has been a corporate and transactional attorney since graduating from New York University School of Law. After graduating, he served as a law firm associate, first with Rogers & Wells and then Fulbright & Jaworski. He then served as assistant general counsel for NYSE-listed Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc. before joining Ascensus in 1999.

Jim Gearin

Jim Gearin

Chief Operating Officer

Jim oversees Ascensus’ service and operations area, which spans all locations and business lines within the areas of service, operations, integration, facilities, and project management. His 30+ years of experience includes service and operations leadership roles within the defined contribution, defined benefit, health, and retail segments. Jim earned his bachelor’s degree in management from Lesley University.

Teresa Hassara

Teresa Hassara

President of FuturePlan by Ascensus

Teresa is responsible for the strategic direction of FuturePlan by Ascensus. Prior to joining Ascensus in 2021, she served as head of Workplace Solutions for MassMutual and led the retirement, worksite insurance, and third-party distribution businesses. Teresa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Vanderbilt University and her Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Kurt Laning

Kurt Laning

President of Institutional Solutions

Kurt Laning oversees the strategic direction and operations for the Institutional Solutions line of business, including contemporary non-qualified retirement plan solutions and COLI/BOLI services. He has more than 30 years of industry experience, previously serving as president of Clark Consulting, and in product development, defined benefit pension consulting, and third-party marketing firm leadership roles. Kurt graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in actuarial science.

James Lucania

James Lucania

Chief Financial Officer

James Lucania oversees Ascensus’ finance, accounting, and facilities teams. Previously, he served as CFO of Checkpoint Systems and spent a decade on Wall Street as an investment banker focusing on large capital markets and strategic transactions. James has a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Music from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

David Musto

David Musto

President and CEO

As President and CEO of Ascensus, David is responsible for leading execution of the firm’s overall corporate strategy as well as overseeing all facets of its Retirement, FuturePlan, Government Savings, and Health & Benefits lines of business. He has more than 30 years of experience in the retirement, investment, and insurance industries. Prior to joining Ascensus, David was president of Great-West Investments. He earned a master’s degree in finance and international business from NYU, Stern School of Business, and a bachelor’s degree in finance from The College of William and Mary.

Raghav Nandagopal

Raghav Nandagopal

Chief Corporate Development Officer

Raghav leads corporate development and M&A strategy across the organization. He has over 25 years of industry and private equity experience at firms including Broadridge, US Trust/Bank of America, McKinsey, and ATT Capital. He holds an M.S. from Penn State, an M.B.A. from University of Bombay, and a B.S. from University of Madras. Raghav has also completed the SII Executive Development Program at the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.

Carl Negin

Carl Negin

Chief Marketing Officer

Carl oversees Ascensus' marketing, digital and advanced analytics capabilities to support its delivery of best-in-class client experiences and partner outcomes. He joined Ascensus in 2018, bringing broad domestic and international industry and consulting experience, including tech, automotive, healthcare, energy, tourism, and financial services. Carl has an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and a bachelor's degree in Architecture from Cornell University.

Laura Ramanis

Laura Ramanis

President of Newport Retirement

Laura is responsible for leading the strategic direction and operations of the Newport Retirement line of business. She joined Ascensus with the closure of the Newport merger agreement in April 2022, having served as Newport chief operating officer and interim CEO. Laura previously held leadership and client relationship management roles with the Mercer and Willis Towers Watson consulting firms. Laura earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

John Schroeder

John Schroeder

Chief Information Officer

John joined Ascensus in 2004 and is responsible for Information Technology. His 20 years of financial services and banking experience includes time spent at Bank One (JP Morgan Chase) and Advanta. He has also held senior IT roles at UPS and a management consulting firm. John holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Rutgers University.

Amy Walker

Amy Walker

Chief Human Resources Officer

Amy joined Ascensus in 2001 and is responsible for Human Resources. The HR team works as a strategic partner with the business units to create and support appropriate recruitment, retention, performance management, and ongoing training and development initiatives. Amy holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources from Shippensburg University.

Barb Yearout

Barb Yearout

President of Health & Benefits

Barb is responsible for leading the vision, strategy, and growth of the Health & Benefits line of business. Well versed in operations, sales, account management, and leadership, she brings more than 25 years in the employee benefits/TPA industry to her role. Barb earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Pre-Personnel and Industrial Relations from the University of Cincinnati and has a certificate in Senior Management from Xavier University.