Financial Services Industry People in the News

Schlifske will be next president of Northwestern Mutual

The board of trustees of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. put a leadership succession plan into motion last week, naming John Schlifske as the Milwaukee-based company’s 17th president and bumping Edward Zore up to become the firm’s seventh chairman.

Both appointments are effective March 31.

Zore, 63, will remain chief executive officer. Zore has been president of Northwestern Mutual since 2000 and chief executive officer since 2001. He was born in Milwaukee and joined the company in 1969 as a stock trader.  He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Schlifske, 49, also was elected to the company’s board of trustees, effective immediately, as was Gary "Skip" Poliner, 56, currently executive vice president of investment products and services. Poliner also will become executive vice president and chief risk officer. He will continue to have overall responsibility for Northwestern Mutual’s corporate finances.

Schlifske most recently served as president and CEO of Russell Investments, the Tacoma-based Northwestern Mutual subsidiary that provides global investment management services with more than $150 billion in assets under management. Prior to that role, he led Northwestern Mutual’s investment products and services business, after having served in a variety of positions of increasing authority in the company’s investment departments. He joined the company in 1987 as an investment specialist.  Schlifske was born in Milwaukee and received a B.A. degree in economics in 1981 from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., and a masters degree in finance and accounting in 1983 from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

In addition, the Northwestern board announced several other appointments, effective June 30, including:

  • Jean Maier, 54, currently senior vice president of enterprise of operations, will add responsibility for the company’s information systems department.
  • Gregory Oberland, 51, currently executive vice president of insurance and technology, will take on responsibility for investment products and services.
  • Marcia Rimai, 53, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, will also become the company’s chief compliance officer.

Marshall & Ilsley Corp. recently made several promotions to vice president, including:

  • Matteo Ciuffreda, vice president. Cuiffreda has been with M&I since 1995 and serves as database manager.
  • Jodi Payne, vice president. Payne, a state tax manager, has been with M&I since 2005 and has over ten years of industry experience.
  • Bernita K. Hile has been promoted to vice president, compliance services. Hile joined M&I in 2005 and currently serves as AML monitoring group manager.

Virchow Krause Wealth Management has promoted Todd Engman to manager of business development for the Retirement Plan Solutions Group. This newly created position is in response to feedback from plan sponsors looking for innovative ways to improve Investment Fund options and education to plan participants in today’s challenging market. Engman has been with Virchow Krause since 2004.


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