Jim Danaher is a Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Defined Contribution Solutions at Northern Trust in Chicago. His primary responsibilities include directing the structure, implementation and maintenance of investment products for defined contribution plans. This includes managing research to identify new investment products, enhancing existing offerings, including target retirement date investments, and developing new distribution strategies to the marketplace.
He serves as a conduit between investment teams that include portfolio management and investment strategy, and Northern Trust’s distribution groups. He is a member of the Northern Trust Defined Contribution Investment Policy Committee, which oversees the management of the Northern Trust Focus Funds, Northern's flagship target retirement date series. He guides Northern Trust’s ongoing defined contribution research series, the Path Forward, and continually authors research on defined contribution plans for Northern Trust's asset management publication, Point of View.
Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2008, Jim was an investment advisor with Aon Investment Consulting. His primary responsibilities included the sales and support of investment policy development, fund evaluation and management searches, and investment education strategies for qualified retirement plans.
He has more than 20 years of experience in providing guidance to plan sponsors for their defined contribution programs. He has testified before the ERISA Advisory Council’s Working Group on Financial Literacy of Plan Participants and the Role of the Employer. He has worked with several large employers in the financial services, hospitality and telecommunications industries. His largest client engagement to-date involved a defined contribution program with more than 200,000 participants. Jim attended St. Louis University and has attained his Series 6 and 63 FINRA registrations. He is a member of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association.
Susan Czochara is a Senior Vice President and Senior Product Manager for Defined Contribution Solutions at Northern Trust in Chicago. She is responsible for the development and positioning of all investment solutions designed for defined contribution (DC) plans including target date and real asset strategies. She is a member of the Northern Trust Defined Contribution Investment Policy Committee, which oversees the management of the Northern Trust Focus Funds, Northern Trust’s flagship target retirement date series. Susan is also responsible for the coordination of DC research and thought leadership content developed by the Defined Contribution Solutions team.
Susan began her career at Northern Trust as a product manager in 2000, supporting quantitative management strategies and subsequently taxable fixed income investment solutions, prior to focusing on the DC channel in 2006. Her responsibilities included the coordination of marketing, reporting and compliance issues related to these products. Prior to becoming a product manager, Susan was an internal auditor at Northern Trust and National City, supervising audit teams of varying sizes in the execution of investment-related audits. Susan received a B.A. from Miami University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. She is a certified public accountant and has attained her Series 7 and 63 FINRA registrations.
Sergio Rego is a product analyst for defined contribution solutions at Northern Trust Global Investments, the asset management arm of Northern Trust Company, Chicago. He is responsible for supporting the development and positioning of investment solutions designed for defined contribution plans including target retirement date investments.
Prior to his role on the defined contribution solutions team, Sergio rotated through Northern Trust Global Investment’s active equity, strategic development, and index management business units as a member of the Global Opportunities in Leadership Development (GOLD) Program.
Before joining Northern Trust, Sergio completed wealth management internships at UBS and Goldman Sachs. He also held a commodity trading internship at Cargill, and a private equity internship at Banyan Mezzanine Partners.
Lee Freitag is a Senior Vice President and a Senior Product Manager for Defined Contribution Solutions at Northern Trust in Chicago. He is responsible for the development and positioning of investment solutions designed for defined contribution plans, including target retirement date investments. Previously, Lee was a senior product manager for liability driven investments and for taxable fixed income within Northern Trust asset management.
Prior to this assignment, he was an investment consultant in the Wealth Management group's Investment Consulting Services Division. In this position, Lee was responsible for consultative services such as asset allocation, and manager search and selection, for several wealth management relationships as well as the analysis and delivery of investment manager performance information.
Lee’s 21 years in the financial services industry include 20 years at Northern Trust, as well as prior experience at SEI Corp. Lee received his B.S. in finance and his MBA in management accounting from DePaul University. He has attained his series 7 and 63 FINRA registrations.
Ashish Gandhi is a vice president and DC investment strategist at Northern Trust, Chicago. His primary responsibilities include researching and identifying new investment product lines, enhancing existing offerings and developing new distribution strategies. Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2011, Ashish was a senior associate in the investment consulting group at Towers Watson. His primary responsibilities included investment performance monitoring, manager research and investment structure evaluation. Ashish started his career as an actuarial analyst in Aon Consulting’s defined benefit practice. His focus throughout his career has been on providing clients with the most effective retirement benefit solutions. Ashish holds a BS from North Park University and attended Drake University, where he studied actuarial science.
Northern Trust's professionals are active members in organizations dedicated
to advancing employee benefit programs and successful retirement outcomes for employees.