Groom Law Group, Chartered (www.groom.com) is the premier employee benefits law firm in the United States with over 50 attorneys dedicated solely to the practice of employee benefits law. Groom provides clients with cost-effective, creative, and practical solutions to sophisticated benefits and tax law challenges. The Firm’s national client base includes a diverse group of major corporations, financial institutions, health insurers, trade associations, governmental, and tax-exempt organizations.
Bracewell & Giuliani LLP (www.bgllp.com) is an international law firm with more than 470 lawyers in Texas, New York, Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Seattle, Dubai, and London. We serve Fortune 500 companies, major financial institutions, leading private investment funds, governmental entities and individuals concentrated in the energy, technology and financial services sectors worldwide.
Fiduciary Benchmarks is recognized as one of the industry’s leading services for benchmarking retirement plans. Started in 2007 by several industry experts, the company now has over 1400 of the most respected industry service providers committed to using their service. These professionals represent more than 40,000 plans. The company provides independent, comprehensive and informative benchmarking services through advisors/consultants, record keepers, and other plan service providers.
Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm with more than 1,600 lawyers in 22 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses, from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its lawyers provide litigation and other dispute resolution services in multi-jurisdictional and other high-stakes matters; deliver regulatory counsel; and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising, technology and media, shipping, energy trade and commodities, real estate, manufacturing, and education. For more information, visit reedsmith.com.
Roberta Ufford is a principal of Groom Law Group, Chartered, where she has spent more than 15 years advising ERISA-covered plans, governmental plans, and plan service providers, including recordkeepers, banks, and insurers, on ERISA’s fiduciary responsibility provisions and other laws affecting employee benefits plans. Ms. Ufford is recognized by The Legal 500 Guide for her excellence in the Employee Benefits Tax field, cited by clients as “practical, responsive and efficient, and very knowledgeable in the area of fiduciary responsibility”. Roberta is a frequent speaker before industry groups on ERISA fiduciary matters.
She is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Law with High Honors and is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia. Before attending law school, Roberta served for five years as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, attaining rank of captain.
Jeleen Guttenberg is a partner in the Seattle office of Bracewell & Giuliani. Jeleen applies the fiduciary responsibility provisions and prohibited transaction rules of ERISA to clients’ businesses and activities, including in connection with the formation of investment funds and marketing of other investment products, mergers and acquisitions and ERISA litigation. Her clients have included employers, managers of hedge funds and private equity funds as well as major banks and financial institutions, issuers, underwriters and broker-dealers involved in investment management, financings, structured finance transactions and securitizations.
Jeleen also assists clients with the design and implementation of compensation programs including equity compensation, deferred compensation, employment and severance arrangements. Her work in this area includes providing counsel on tax compliance (including new Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code) and on securities law compliance regarding proxy disclosure of executive compensation, as well as recently developing requirements including those associated with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (including shareholder voting requirements regarding executive compensation (“say on pay”)) as well as employee benefits matters that arise in the context of mergers and acquisitions and clients’ day to day activities.
- Born 10/14/1960 on the South Side of Chicago
- Valedictorian Oak Forest High School, President National Honor Society, U.S. Marine Corp Outstanding student-athlete
- Attended the USAFA to play basketball for Greg Popovich. Transferred to DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. Lettered all 3 years in basketball and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Bachelor of Arts degrees in economics and computational mathematics.
- Worked for accounting firm Crowe, Chizek & Company from 1982 – 1986. Management Consultant in the benefits practice 1984 – 1986.
- Managed Employees Benefits Trust Department of Midwest Commerce Bank, 1986-1988.
- Associate with William M. Mercer, Inc. in Kansas City 1988 – 1990, responsible for the overall delivery of defined contribution services to a wide variety of clients.
- Started JPMorgan Retirement Plan Services business in 1990 with American Century. Upon leaving in October 2007, that business employed 1,100 people serving 200 large plan sponsors with over 1.5 million participants and more than $115 billion in assets.
- During his 18 years with Retirement Plan Service, the company initiated numerous industry firsts including no blackout conversions and the innovative employee education program, Audience of One. Tom also served on the Executive Committee for JPMorgan’s asset management business.
- CEO and co-founder of Fiduciary Benchmarks, 2007 to current.
- Named by Ingram’s magazine as one of Kansas City’s inaugural “Forty under Forty,” Tom is a recognized expert in the retirement services industry who has been a featured speaker at various conferences and has published articles in some of the most well-known periodicals in the industry.
- Married to wife Catherine of 29 years with two sons, 23 and 19. Outside interests are golf, basketball, family and reading.
Scott is a Senior Manager in the Compensation & Benefits Consulting Practice at Grant Thornton. Scott is an attorney by background and has over 15 years of experience in the design, administration, compliance and implementation of qualified retirement plans, with a focus on defined contribution plans.
Scott has managed numerous engagements on retirement benefit redesign, the design of plan governance structures and processes, and compliance and governance reviews. He provides consulting on merger and acquisition due diligence and strategy issues. He consults on all matters associated with IRS and DOL compliance and resolution programs and has a thorough understanding of coverage and nondiscrimination testing rules. He also performs fee benchmarking projects for qualified retirement plans.
Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Scott was a Consultant with a major HR Consultancy Firm in Chicago. There, he was responsible for enhancing and expanding the firm’s employee benefits consulting practice in the Chicago and St. Louis markets. Prior to that, Scott was a Principal with another major HR Consultancy Firm, also in Chicago.
Effective August 1, Michael Hadley will join the law firm Davis and Harman LLP as a partner in the firm’s employee benefit and legislative practice, advising clients on the full range of tax, ERISA, and other laws affecting benefit plans. He has a particular focus on helping financial institutions that sell products to defined contribution and defined benefit plans, IRAs and 529 plans navigate the special rules that govern those plans. He joined Davis and Harman from the Investment Company Institute, where he was Associate Counsel for Pension Regulation. His responsibilities included advocating for the Institute’s membership on retirement security issues and assisting members and Institute staff in understanding tax and ERISA rules that affect defined contribution plans, IRAs, and similar savings vehicles. Among other duties he managed the Institute’s work implementing the Pension Protection Act and responding to 401(k) fee, investment advice, and fiduciary developments in Congress, DOL, and the courts.
Mr. Hadley is a frequent speaker on the latest retirement savings policy developments coming out of Congress and the regulatory agencies. He co-authored The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2009 ICI Research Fundamentals, Vol.19, No. 5 (August 2010) (with Sarah Holden and Shaun Lutz) and 401(k) Plans: A 25-Year Retrospective, ICI Research Perspective, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Nov. 2006) (with Sarah Holden and Peter Brady).
Prior to joining the Institute, Mr. Hadley was an associate at Covington & Burling LLP, where he advised clients on a broad range of employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements, provided expert advice on ERISA litigation, and assisted with pension and benefits issues in mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions.
Mr. Hadley received his JD from the University of Virginia, where he was Notes Editor of the Virginia Law Review. He was a law clerk for the Honorable Gerald Tjoflat, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He received his BA, cum laude, from the College of William and Mary.