PHILIP STEELE, AIF® - President and Chief Executive Officer
Philip is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pension Architects, headquartered in Malibu, California. Philip began his career in the Baltimore -Washington DC region in 1978 as the principal founder of Steele, Hawes & Johnson, a fee-based financial planning firm; he became a frequent speaker during the 1980's, providing educational workshops to employees in the private sector, as well as to employees at virtually every branch of the Federal government.
With over 30 years of experience in retirement and financial services, Philip is widely considered a pioneer in the development of using financial planning skills and techniques in corporate plans. These methods, coupled with a "true" independent design platform, results in plan participants receiving actual education as opposed to simple enrollment.
Philip was named one of the Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers for 2013 by Plan Adviser Magazine. In 2012, he was named Retirement Adviser of the Year by the 401kWire as well as a Top 40 Finalist for Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year for PLANSPONSOR Magazine. Philip was also chosen by PLANSPONSOR Magazine as one of the five finalists for Plan Advisor of the Year in 2011 as well as 2009, out of more than 3,000 Top Retirement Advisors throughout the United States. He was also nominated in 2010 and 2011 by the 401kWire as one of the Top 300 Most Influential Advisors in Defined Contribution Plans as well as named one of the Most Influential D.C. Advisors in 2009.
Philip studied at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland and is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®).
SHARON STEELE - Principal
Co-founder of Pension Architects (1997), Sharon’s primary responsibility has been to oversee institutional investment relationships and manage investment design for the Pension Architects platform. Mrs. Steele is also responsible for oversight of corporate affairs and development.
MICHAEL ROM, AIF® - Principal
Michael is a Principal at Pension Architects and founder of the 401k investment advisory practice in Northern California where he is responsible for directing client engagement and relationships. He previously held senior management roles within the Financial Divisions at SunAmerica, Equitable and Franklin Templeton. Michael began his career with PNC Financial in 1985 and was appointed to oversee the western sales division for Corporate Treasury Services before relocating to California in 1991.
With extensive background in the defined contribution market and nearly 30 years within financial services, Michael brings a vast knowledge in collaborating with companies in developing strategies and executing on their retirement program objectives.
Michael earned his B.S. in Finance from Miami University and completed coursework in the M.B.A program at the University of Pittsburgh. He is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF).
AMY BANKER, AIF® - Director of Client Services & Operations
Amy has 14 years of experience in retirement plan services. She specializes in working directly with sponsors, record-keepers and third party administrators to coordinate implementation and conversion of services to the Pension Architects platform as well as ongoing client services encompassing plan design, compliance and regulatory oversight.
Amy cultivates relationships with various record-keepers, trustees, custodians and other providers to meet client objectives. Her responsibilities also include coordination of participant support services and oversight of daily operations in the Malibu office.
Amy is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®).
SAMUEL GARCIA, AIF® - Director of Marketing
Sam has 16 years of experience in financial planning, client management and investment analysis with a focus on corporate retirement plans for the past 12 years.
Sam works closely with the Pension Architects sales staff to write comprehensive retirement plan proposals highlighting current deficiencies in plan design while suggesting modifications for improvement. He also manages the investment review process for all existing corporate clients and generates numerous plan-level reports on an ongoing basis.
Sam holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in History from the University of California at Los Angeles. He is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) and is also licensed as a Life Agent by the California Department of Insurance.
KATE KITTINGER, AIF®, Attorney at Law - Director of Retirement Planning
Kate is the Director of the Retirement Planning Team which is dedicated to helping retirement plan participants reduce financial stress and achieve a financially successful future. The team specializes in one-on-one, customized, in person meetings with plan participants. The team takes a comprehensive approach, unique in the industry, and assists participants with financial topics ranging from building a simple household budget to assessing estate planning needs.
Kate works directly with plan sponsors to create custom education programs to ensure ongoing financial and retirement planning is integrated into the retirement plan.
Kate received her J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law and her B.S. in Business Administration from California Lutheran University. Kate is also an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) and a member of the California State Bar.
CHRIS AROTIN, AIF®, EA - Director of Participant Services
Chris is the supervisor of the Pension Architects call center and is responsible for its day-to-day operation. Prior to joining Pension Architects, Chris first combined his background in hospitality with finance to bring distinguished service and superior financial education to individual clients at Bank of America.
Chris has more than six years of experience working in individual financial and retirement planning. He maintains a steadfast commitment to service and retirement plan participant education that provides clients peace of mind through independent financial empowerment.
Chris earned a B.S. in Hospitality from The Pennsylvania State University. He holds the designations of Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) and is an Enrolled Agent (EA) with the IRS.
WILL JOHNSON - Director of Finance
Will has 10 years of experience in the financial services industry as the Director of Finance for Pension Architects, where he is responsible for overseeing all financial operations. He prepares short and long-term forecasts of the firm's financial performance for use with internal management and external parties. He also developed and maintains their proprietary system for tracking assets, mutual fund information, and client billings.
Will received his B.A. in Economics from Pepperdine University.