CUNA Mutual Group Hires New Leaders for Wealth Management Business

Company Aims to Broaden its Brokerage Services and Distribution Channels

MADISON, Wis. – CUNA Mutual Group announced today the hiring of Rob Comfort as president of CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI) and Martin Powell as vice president of strategic account development and management for the company’s wealth management business.

“We continue to innovate and grow to provide products and services that help people build financial security in retirement,” said David Sweitzer, senior vice president, wealth management, CUNA Mutual Group. “We are excited to bring Rob and Martin onboard to help us reach more consumers who need support securing their lifetime income needs.”

Comfort will be responsible for leading CBSI sales operations and further developing CBSI’s network of 400 advisors located at more than 250 credit unions across the country.

Prior to joining CBSI, Comfort was executive vice president at LPL Financial where he guided strategic direction for the company’s business consulting team and managed partnerships with bank and credit union clients. He also previously served as director of Huntington Wealth Advisors and president of Huntington Investment Company where he led the broker-dealer operations and broader wealth management services.

“Despite some industry headwinds, CBSI is in a great position to fulfill our long-standing commitment to doing what’s right, and build on our positive momentum in the marketplace with a compelling value proposition for credit unions and financial advisors,” said Comfort, noting that CBSI saw a 2.4 percent revenue increase during 2016 when many of the top independent broker-dealers experienced a decline.

Separately, Powell will be working for CUNA Mutual Group’s annuity business to lead the distribution expansion for the company’s fast-growing annuity products into broker-dealer relationships. He joins the company with more than 20 years of experience in wealth management, business management and sales development. Most recently, he was vice president and senior account manager with Lincoln Financial Group, where he led strategic partnerships and product sales strategy.

“The complexity and risk often associated with financial investing and planning can be intimidating when people are considering retirement options,” said Powell. “We have an opportunity to help meet the needs of today’s consumer with expanded annuity products that are straight-forward and built to alleviate some of the fear associated with investing.”

According to data from LIMRA, a research trade association focused on retirement, insurance and distribution, first quarter 2017 CUNA Mutual Group annuity sales were up 10 percent year-over-year, despite the industry experiencing a 12 percent drop in total annuity sales. Additionally, CUNA Mutual Group’s variable annuity sales increased 26 percent year-over-year as of the first quarter, compared to an 8 percent decrease industry wide.