New York Life Investments Promotes Don Salama to Chief Strategy Officer; Drew Lawton to Lead New York Life Retirement Plan Services (RPS) as CEO

Jan 25, 2010, 11:30 ET from New York Life Investments

NEW YORK, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- New York Life Investments is pleased to announce the promotion of Don Salama, formerly head of New York Life Retirement Plan Services (RPS) to the new position of chief strategy officer.  We are also pleased to announce that Drew Lawton will join the firm as a senior managing director and lead RPS as chief executive officer.  

Don Salama

In his new role as chief strategy officer, Salama will take on the Strategy and Mergers and Acquisitions responsibilities for the enterprise.  Joining the firm in 2002 and leading Retirement Plan Services since 2006, Salama has successfully developed and implemented a strategy that has garnered some of the best service scores in the industry(1) and has led to unprecedented growth for the division, culminating in 2009's record achievements in gross and new plan sales.

"Given his track record, his understanding of organizational dynamics and his knowledge of our structure and strategy, Don is the ideal executive to lead these critical functions for New York Life Investments. I look forward to him applying his talent and skill set to growth initiatives spanning the entire enterprise," said John Kim, president and chief executive officer of New York Life Investments.

Salama has held numerous positions in the retirement industry over the last 20 years, including general management of Retirement Plan Solutions at Hartford Financial Services, managing institutional sales and marketing for the Vanguard Group and holding other senior positions in sales, marketing and operations at various firms. He earned a BS from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his MBA from Cornell University.

Drew Lawton

Lawton will join the firm as a senior managing director and lead RPS as chief executive officer.  The retirement and asset management industry veteran spent eleven years with Fidelity Investments in Boston, including five with Fidelity's Retirement Services Company. As senior vice president, he managed all investment-related functions for Fidelity's defined contribution businesses, including: DC client investment consulting, stable value product management, investment-only sales, client service and administration, consultant relations, investment product management and training.  He also served as executive vice president of DB Solutions for the Fidelity Employer Services Company where he managed Fidelity's bundled DB plan services business targeted to DB plans of $50-500M in assets.

"It is crucial that we appoint an outstanding individual to lead our retirement businesses seamlessly through their next phase of growth. Drew is the right person for this important assignment.  He brings with him an acute understanding of the retirement and investment management marketplaces, a valuable attribute as we continue to expand all of our retirement efforts," said Kim.  

While with Fidelity, Lawton served as president and chief executive officer of Fidelity Management Trust Company, and in 2005, was instrumental in the formation of Pyramis Global Advisors Trust Company, Fidelity's institutional asset management firm, where he also served as president and chief executive officer.  Most recently, Lawton co-founded Fridson Investment Advisors where he served as president.

Prior to his long tenure with Fidelity, Lawton spent sixteen years with Aetna serving in a variety of positions, most recently as chief marketing officer for Aeltus Investment Management, responsible for defined benefit and defined contribution distribution, marketing and client service of investment products.  Lawton received a BA from Yale University and his MBA in Finance from the University of North Texas.


Both Salama and Lawton will report directly to John Kim and both will serve as members of New York Life Investments' Senior Leadership Team.

"Our RPS strategy remains unchanged. To ensure that it is deployed seamlessly and that the leadership transition at RPS is a smooth one, Don will continue to be directly involved in key client, advisor and business decisions as defined by his new role in the company and will directly help in bringing Drew up to speed on the business plan and its execution," concluded Kim.  

About New York Life Retirement Plan Services

New York Life Retirement Plan Services offers bundled retirement plan solutions and defined contribution investment only products throughout the United States. New York Life Retirement Plan Services administers over $31.5 billion in bundled retirement plans and manages over $2.4 billion in defined contribution investment only assets as of September 30, 2009.  With offices in Westwood, Massachusetts, and Parsippany, New Jersey, New York Life Retirement Plan Services is widely recognized for its leadership within the retirement plan industry.

About New York Life Investments

New York Life Investments ranks among the largest asset management firms in the United States(2).  Through its multiple boutique investment structure, New York Life Investments delivers investment performance through an array of products designed for both institutional and retail clients. Through MainStay Investments and NYLIFE Distributors LLC, New York Life Investments distributes some of the most highly regarded mutual funds and wrap accounts in the industry.

New York Life Investments is a leading provider of retirement plans for corporations, multi-employer trusts, and individuals, and is recognized as one of the nation's top providers of guaranteed products to both the qualified and non-qualified markets. Together with its affiliates and over 1,400 employees, New York Life Investments manages over $248 billion in assets as of September 30, 2009.

"New York Life Investments" is a service mark used by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC and its subsidiary, New York Life Investment Management LLC.  

(1) As per results in the 2009 Boston Research Group and PLANSPONSOR magazine studies, respectively.

(2) Source: Pensions & Investments, May 18, 2009.


John Puccio

New York Life Investments


Sarah Lazarus

CL- Media Relations


SOURCE New York Life Investments