Ascensus Announces Sales Leadership Moves

Image: Ascensus Announces Sales Leadership Moves

Ascensus announced several changes in its Retirement Sales leadership team today, promoting from within to deliver more dedicated support to the advisors and partners they serve, enhance leader focus on key initiatives, and enable the long-term growth of the business.

Head of Core Retirement, Jason Crane, has named Anthony Bologna to the newly created role of National Sales Director. Bologna, a 25+-year Ascensus veteran, will be responsible for overall leadership of the retirement sales organization, and span both field-based and internal resources.

He began his Ascensus career in sales in 1998 and was named to his prior role as Division Vice President – Eastern Region in 2014. Bologna’s focus on leveraging data and analytics to drive informed behavior has helped evolve the company’s sales practices and delivered outsized growth for the business.

Reporting to Bologna will be Lori Zeman, Division Vice President – Western Region; Carolyn Fraser, Head of Internal Sales; and Jeff Simes, Bologna’s successor as Division Vice President – Eastern Region.

Simes joined Ascensus in 2018 as Regional Vice President – Northeast and has been a top performer in each year of his tenure. He previously excelled in roles with CUNA, The Hartford, and Principal Financial Group, and brings more than 30 years of sales experience to his new role.

Crane announced that Mickie Morley has succeeded Simes as Regional Vice President – Northeast, assuming responsibility for Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Morley joined Ascensus in 2019 in internal sales following an 11-year sales career with CUNA and its CPI division.

In addition, Jim Walker, previously Director, Internal Sales, has assumed the newly formed role of Head of Enablement – Core Retirement. Walker, who joined Ascensus in 2019, will report directly to Crane and focus on accelerated delivery of data and analytics-driven insights used to optimize deployment of resources. He also will assist with governance and organizational readiness to help evolve the Core Retirement business. 

Finally, Russ Winchester will backfill Walker and assume responsibility for the Internal Sales Consultant team as part of Carolyn Fraser’s organization. Winchester joined Ascensus in 2020, having led internal sales teams with Newport, Transamerica, and LPL.

“Our ability to make these changes from within recognizes both the talent and leadership strength inherent in our organization,” said Crane. “These individuals share a common belief in modeling our Core Values, ensuring the wellbeing and growth of our associates, and inspiring our high-performing work culture that balances both personal and professional achievement. I have tremendous confidence in each of these leaders and their ability to build strong relationships and drive results.” 

The changes were effective May 25, 2024.


About Ascensus

Ascensus is a market-leading enabler of tax-advantaged savings—providing technology, services, and expertise that help millions of people save for a better future.

The company is a premier savings program service provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator. Its platforms, industry knowledge, and data-based insights enhance the growth and success of its partners, their clients, and savers through co-branded, private-labeled, and governmental partnerships.

Ascensus offers comprehensive qualified and nonqualified retirement plan solutions, third-party retirement plan administration, 529 education and ABLE savings program administration, corporate- and bank-owned life insurance solutions, and fiduciary and total rewards services.

The company’s brands include Ascensus; Newport, an Ascensus company; and FuturePlan by Ascensus. Ascensus has more than $808 billion in assets under administration and employs more than 5,500 associates as of March 31, 2024.

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