Edmund F. Murphy III
President, Empower Retirement
Edmund (Ed) Murphy provides leadership and strategic direction for Empower Retirement’s 5,000 associates. He directs all defined contribution, defined benefit, institutional and IRA markets. He also oversees all sales, marketing and global operations.
Ed brings 30 years of broad industry experience to his role. Before his 2014 appointment as President of Empower, he had served as Managing Director of the Defined Contribution and Investment Only business at Putnam Investments since 2009. He joined the firm’s operating committee in 2011.
Previously, Ed held executive leadership roles for 17 years at Fidelity Investments in its institutional, private equity and retail businesses. He also served as President and CEO of Veritude, LLC, as well as a board member of BostonCoach, Advisor Technology Services, Seaport Hotel, World Trade Center and several other Fidelity-owned businesses. Earlier, he spent six years at Merrill Lynch.
Ed has written articles on retirement-related matters and has testified in Washington, D.C., before the House Committee on Ways and Means. He has also testified before the Department of Labor, the Treasury Department and the IRS. He speaks on topics ranging from investment advice to lifetime income solutions for retirees.
Ed is a board member of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Cristo Rey School, Boston College Wall Street Council and the New England Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. Ed is a graduate of the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School.
Executive Vice President, Operations
Rich Linton oversees all aspects of recordkeeping and plan administration operations for Empower Retirement, including the participant and plan call centers, compliance, conversion and implementation services, client services, and financial controls. He also leads the firm's Empower Institutional business, overseeing sales, client retention and financial results.
Rich joined the organization in 2016. Managing all aspects of the defined contribution business, he has more than 25 years of retirement industry experience.
Rich spent two decades at Fidelity Investments, where he gained deep experience running a major part of the operations organization. He served a variety of leadership roles in operations, sales, product, marketing and client services before becoming Executive Vice President in the advisor retirement business. From there, he went to Bank of America, where he served as Managing Director of the business retirement solutions group.
Before joining Empower, Rich served as President of large corporate markets and retail wealth management for Voya Financial. There, he oversaw sales and marketing, relationship management, product development, platform management, field representative service, brokerage operations and strategic planning.
Rich is board chairman and president of the Society of Professional Asset-Managers and Recordkeepers (SPARK). He also serves on the board of trustees of Colorado Succeeds, an organization comprising business leaders who are working to improve Colorado’s schools.
Stephen E. Jenks
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Steve Jenks oversees the marketing effort for Empower Retirement and serves a similar marketing oversight role for Great-West Financial®.
Before joining the organization in 2014, Steve served as Head of Defined Contribution Product and Marketing for Putnam Investments. He joined Putnam in 2011 and helped shape and execute growth strategies for its defined contribution, investment-only and rollover businesses.
Steve began his investment industry career in 1990 with Fifth Third Bank. From there, he held leadership roles in marketing, product, finance and relationship management for Fidelity Investments from 1992 to 2009. Steve also co-founded Acceleration Retirement, a marketing analytics and outsourcing firm, and Stable Two Financial, a registered investment advisory company. He served as CEO of both companies.
Steve serves on the board of directors of the American Red Cross Mile High Area. He holds a bachelor's degree with distinction in business analysis from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
Senior Vice President, Large, Mega and Not-for-Profit Markets
Bill McDermott is responsible for the quality of service to the more than 400 clients in Empower Retirement’s large, mega and not-for-profit markets.
A 30-year veteran of the benefits and retirement industry, Bill joined the organization in 2012. Before coming to Empower, he led the defined contribution business within Goldman Sachs Investment Management. His previous experience includes leadership roles as Head of Defined Contribution and Outsourcing for large plans for Fidelity Investments; Head of Corporate Markets and a member of the executive committee for AXA Equitable; and Head of Business Development in the New York market and partner for Hewitt Associates. In each of these roles, Bill worked with clients and consultants to help employees retire successfully.
Bill holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Villanova University. He is a frequent speaker at investment and retirement industry events. In addition, 401kWire has recognized Bill as one of the most influential people in the defined contribution industry.
Christine M. Moritz
Senior Vice President, Finance
Christine Moritz leads Empower Retirement’s financial teams, which provide financial and strategic support for the organization.
Christine, who joined the organization in 2003, has held various roles within the finance industry. Previously, she served as an auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Christine holds a master’s degree in professional accounting and a bachelor’s degree in business administration (accounting), both from the University of Texas at Austin. Christine, a Colorado-certified public accountant, serves as a Community Shares of Colorado board member.
Daniel A. Morrison
Senior Vice President, Government Market
Dan Morrison leads the firm’s government market segment, overseeing sales, client retention and financial results.
This business comprises some 9,300 plans and 2+ million government workers. As such, Empower is the top provider of 457 plans by assets and participants. Its customers include 24 state 457 programs.
Most recently, Dan served as Vice President and Practice Leader for Empower’s not-for-profit segment, where he was responsible for overall sales and retention in the company’s growing book of healthcare, education, faith-based and other nonprofit plan sponsors.
Dan has held increasingly responsible sales and service positions, including Sales Director and Managing Director. In the latter role, he led 70 directors and relationship managers. Before joining Empower in 2003, he was an Assistant Vice President at Merrill Lynch.
Dan holds degrees in mathematics and English from the University of Vermont.
He serves on the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Healthcare and Education committees and is a Craig Hospital PUSH committee member.
Joseph M. Smolen
Senior Vice President, Core Market
Joe Smolen leads the firm’s core market segment, which consists of retirement plans with under $50 million in assets. He oversees strategy development and all sales, client retention and financial results.
During his nearly 20-year tenure at the firm, Joe’s held increasingly responsible sales and leadership positions. He’s served as vice president of sales strategy since 2016. In this role, Joe led an initiative to recast the core market’s internal sales desk.
From 2006 to 2016 Joe was regional vice president (RVP) for the western territory. As RVP, he grew sales roughly 24% a year over 10 years. Prior to that, he was a pension consultant from 1999 to 2006. In this role, Joe was a two-time national sales person of the year recipient and a consistent top performer – covering 21 states.
Joe is a graduate of Kansas State University, where he earned a degree in management. He works with the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes.
Carol E. Waddell
Senior Vice President, Retirement Solutions
Carol Waddell leads the IRA and Empower Brokerage businesses. She also oversees the asset consolidation and tax-deferred protection programs across all defined contribution segments for Empower Retirement.
Before joining Empower in 2014, Carol served as Head of Product and Marketing for J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services. She led product management and development, which included products, services, tools and websites for advisors, plan sponsors and participants. Carol oversaw the firm’s marketing strategy and communications, segment management and award-winning participant experience.
Previously, Carol worked for T. Rowe Price for more than 17 years. During her tenure, she served in various leadership roles. She provided oversight for defined contribution, defined benefit and nonqualified plan product development and marketing, including customer digital channels, investment products, and services for intermediaries, plan sponsors and participants.
In addition, Carol contributed significantly to the firm’s overall retirement income and target date product strategies. Before T. Rowe, she worked for Citibank for nine years in a variety of positions focused on marketing and customer experience.
Carol holds a MBA from Loyola University Maryland. She currently maintains FINRA Series 6, 7 and 24 securities registrations.
Robert A. Holcomb
Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
Bob Holcomb oversees retirement policy efforts on behalf of Empower Retirement.
In addition, Bob interprets pension-related legislation and regulations, consults with clients and internal partners on legislative and regulatory issues, and represents the organization in advocacy groups. He currently serves on the executive board of the American Benefits Council and works with other industry advocacy groups.
Bob, who joined the organization in 1991, has worked in the retirement business for more than 26 years, serving in client management, operations, technical consulting and sales support roles. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law.
Vice President, Human Resources
Valerie Schaad is Vice President of Human Resources for Empower Retirement. In her role, Valerie is responsible for the strategic management and oversight of human capital solutions.
Valerie, who joined the organization in 2015, has more than 25 years of experience working in human resources, primarily in the medical manufacturing, healthcare and financial services industries.
Valerie holds a master's degree in management from the University of Colorado, Denver.