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Meet Our Retirement Experts

 
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Consult with a Trusted Retirement Specialist

Our strategic vision considers the perspectives of both plan sponsors and the ultimate beneficiaries of our efforts - plan participants

Lee Freitag

Lee Freitag

Head of Investment Strategy, Retirement Solutions
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Lee Freitag

Lee Freitag

Head of Investment Strategy, Retirement Solutions
 

Lee Freitag is a Senior Vice President and Head of Investment Strategy for Retirement 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. He is also responsible for partnering with the distribution and client service teams to give each client access to the full suite of Northern Trust’s defined contribution expertise. 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 Global Family Office business, providing investment solutions to high net worth individuals and families. 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 27 years in the financial services industry include 25 years at Northern Trust, as well as prior experience at SEI. Lee received his B.S. in finance and his MBA in management accounting from DePaul University. He has attained his FINRA Series 7 and 63 registrations. Lee is an active member of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) where he serves as a member of the Executive Committee and as Chairman of the Global Committee.

Susan Czochara

Susan Czochara

Head of Product Strategy & Engagement, Retirement Solutions
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Susan Czochara

Susan Czochara

Head of Product Strategy & Engagement, Retirement Solutions
 

Susan Czochara is a Senior Vice President and Head of Product Strategy & Engagement for Retirement Solutions at Northern Trust Asset Management in Chicago. As a senior member of the team, she is responsible for the positioning our of defined contribution (DC) investment solutions and for the development and distribution of Retirement Discoveries, our DC research and thought leadership content. Her primary focus is to provide plan sponsors and consultants actionable ways to improve retirement outcomes. Susan also oversees the teams’ engagement efforts with participants, including the crafting of targeted communications to help participants as they invest for retirement.

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 market segment in 2006. Her responsibilities included the coordination of marketing, reporting and compliance issues related to these products. 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 FINRA Series 7 and 63 registrations.

 
Gaobo Pang

Gaobo Pang

Head of Research, Retirement Solutions
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Gaobo Pang

Gaobo Pang

Head of Research, Retirement Solutions
 

Gaobo Pang, Ph.D., CFA, is a Senior Vice President and Head of Research for Retirement Solutions at Northern Trust Asset Management in Chicago. He leads advanced analytics, develops and evaluates optimal strategies in the lifecycle framework, and has a special focus on behavioral finance, with the ultimate objectives for innovative and customized solutions in the fast-growing DC asset management business.

Prior, he was a Senior Economist at Towers Watson, provided consulting services in benefits and risk management, and supervised research in pension finance, qualified investment alternatives, and income strategies. Prior to his role at Towers Watson, he was at the World Bank conducting macroeconomic research on sovereign debt sustainability, economic growth, and efficiency of public spending.

Dr. Pang speaks at academic and practitioner meetings and his work has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals. He was a 2011 Finalist for TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for “Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security” and was the winner of the 2014 Risk Management and Insurance Review (RMIR) Best Article Award.

Pang holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, a M.S. in Finance from Tsinghua University (formerly the GSPBC), and a B.A. in International Economics from Fudan University. Pang is a holder of the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.

Paul Root, CFA

Paul Root, CFA

Senior Investment Strategist, Retirement Solutions
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Paul Root, CFA

Paul Root, CFA

Senior Investment Strategist, Retirement Solutions
 

Paul Root is a Senior Investment Strategist for Retirement Solutions at Northern Trust Asset Management in Chicago. He is responsible for the development and positioning of investment solutions designed for retirement plan sponsors. Previously, Paul was a Senior Quantitative Investment Risk Associate where he was responsible for investment risk analysis across proprietary investment products within Northern Trust Asset Management. Prior to this, he was a Client Serving Associate, working with Northern Trust's largest institutional clients.

Paul received his BS degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a CFA Charterholder, a member of CFA Institute, and a member of the CFA Society of Chicago.

Maggie Akers

Maggie Akers

Senior Engagement Specialist, Retirement Solutions
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Maggie Akers

Maggie Akers

Senior Engagement Specialist, Retirement Solutions
 

Maggie Akers is a Senior Engagement Specialist for Retirement Solutions at Northern Trust Asset Management in Chicago. Her primary focus is to provide plan sponsors and consultants actionable ways to improve retirement outcomes through the distribution of Retirement Discoveries, our DC research and thought leadership content. Maggie also assists with participant engagement efforts including the development of communications to help participants as they invest for retirement.

Prior to joining the Retirement Solutions team, Maggie was responsible for the digital efforts, both internal and external, for Asset Management Marketing.

Maggie received her MBA in Marketing Management from DePaul University and B.S. in Psychology and Organizational Leadership from Purdue University.

Tom Lauer, Certified Retirement Services Professional

Tom Lauer, Certified Retirement Services Professional

Defined Contribution Asset Servicing Consultant
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Tom Lauer, Certified Retirement Services Professional

Tom Lauer, Certified Retirement Services Professional

Defined Contribution Asset Servicing Consultant
 

Tom Lauer is a member of the Corporate & Institutional Services Consulting group at Northern Trust in Chicago. His focus within the group includes new business consulting as well as working with product people worldwide to develop and deliver defined contribution solutions for large, complex clients and prospects of Northern Trust. Additionally, Tom works with Northern Trust’s DC Solutions team to provide defined contribution plan expertise that integrates with Northern Trust’s asset servicing capabilities. In addition, Tom consults with plan recordkeeping firms to develop and support the operational infrastructure necessary to provide seamless delivery of customized plan solutions.

Tom brings 27 years of experience in the defined contribution market place to his role at Northern Trust. Prior to his current role, Tom provided plan valuation consultation, particularly recordkeeping, plan structure and productivity improvements, for Northern Trust’s defined contribution plan clients. Tom’s experience at Northern Trust includes working in the recordkeeping unit as an account specialist. He also served as a team leader in the global custody accounting unit.

In addition to his work at Northern Trust, Tom has served as a savings plan administrator for a large industrial products distributor headquartered in the Chicago area. He also worked as a trust administrator in the recordkeeping unit of Harris Trust & Savings Company.

Active Industry Engagement

Northern Trust's professionals are active members in organizations dedicated to advancing
employee benefit programs and successful retirement outcomes for employees.

 

 
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