Research Committee

RIIA®’s Research Committee brings together many of the retirement industry’s most creative and forward looking professionals who share RIIA’s View Across the Silos℠ philosophy.  The Committee meets on a regular basis to share cutting-edge ideas and perspective.  Committee members partner with each other and member companies to develop new thought leadership and white papers with the goal of improving retirement outcomes.

The Research Committee’s mission is to:

  • Identify, develop and share retirement research and concepts with retirement-focused firms and product manufacturers, regulators and the public.
  • Leverage RIIA’s Virtual Learning Center, Retirement Management Journal®, Retirement Management Analysts® and committee members to generate and present multiple white papers and practice management summaries each year.
  • Draw upon RIIA’s Procedural Prudence map to target key concepts to be addressed by the Committee.
  • Through RIIA, RIIA members and industry communications platforms, maximize the impact, influence and visibility of research by committee members and sponsors.

If you are interesting in finding out more, joining the committee or attending regular phone and in person meetings, contact Kim McSheridan at


Kim McSheridan, RMA®, Director, Research Committee

Kim McSheridan is passionate about the value of guaranteed lifetime income in a retiree’s portfolio. With more than two decades in the payout annuity space, she has witnessed the evolution from accumulating assets to creating a sustainable solution in retirement.  Kim sees a future filled with opportunities to build on, and unique issues to solve, as advisers, their clients, regulators and other government entities turn to the process and impacts of replacing the working paycheck with a “personal pension.”

She is an accomplished speaker, having presented at various industry events including the Society of Actuaries. She leads RIIA’s Virtual Learning Center, heads the Research Committee, and is assistant editor of the Retirement Management Journal®. Kim has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington, has earned her FLMI, is currently certified as a Retirement Management Analyst®, and previously held Series 6, 63 & 26, Kim’s LinkedIn profile


Kathleen Beichert, Senior Vice President, OppenheimerFunds, Inc.

Kathleen is the Head of Retirement and Third Party Distribution for OppenheimerFunds, responsible for strategy and sales of the firm’s Defined Contribution Investment Only, Variable Annuity and Subadvisory lines of business. She joined OppenheimerFunds in 1995 after four years at Smith Barney, where she developed the firm’s retirement plan products, marketing and participant communications programs.

Ms. Beichert previously held positions in financial planning at American Express Financial Advisors and institutional fixed-income sales and trading for an international bank. She has served as a New York State delegate to the White House Conference on the Aging and is active in several retirement policy forums. Ms. Beichert is a graduate of New York University’s Stern School of Business with a B.S. in Quantitative Analysis and Management and holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation. She is a FINRA General Securities Principal.


Brian Barnier, Member/Principal, ValueBridge Advisors, LLC

Mr. Barnier brings a corporate valuation and risk management perspective to personal financial planning that is reflected in four touchstones: outlook for a lifetime, trends over time, risk to liquidity and capacity to take risk. He has been quoted in and writes widely for business publications, shares analyses via media from the floor of the NYSE and NASDAQ MarketSite translated into at least 6 languages, quoted in Wall Street Journal and Financial Times publications, and a guest host of This Week in Wall Street History.  He is co-founder and editor of that provides unique economic and company fundamental insights.

Mr. Barnier is the author of The Operational Risk Management Handbook (Harriman House, Great Britain, 2011) and The Economic Picture Book. The Handbook is the only text to tailor the highly-respected Crawford product management approach to financial services companies. He is a contributor to Risk Management in Finance (Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2009) and Managing Risk and Performance (Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2014). He has written over 100 articles including for Bloomberg Brief, AFP Exchange, RMA Journal, ISACA Journal, Taylor & Francis EDPACS, Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance, Risk Journal (PRMIA) and GARP.
He has served industry and professional associations in many capacities including as a board advisor and committee member for the Retirement Income Industry Association, Co-chair, OCEG Steering Committee and Co-chair, Corporate Risk Oversight Committee, International Corporate Governance Network (over 500 members with over USD 26T assets under management). He serves on the editorial panels for the Taylor & Francis EDPACS newsletter, the Association of Financial Professional’s Risk! newsletter and the ISACA Journal.


Larry Cohen, Vice President and Director, Consumer Financial Decisions – Strategic Business Insights

Since 1984, Larry has focused exclusively on consumer financial services research. Larry works with all types of financial services institutions, associations, government agencies, universities and other consulting firms, in areas including macroeconomic trends, psychographic segmentations, new product and market innovations, strategic planning, direct marketing and implementation.

In addition to leading SBI’s financial research group, for over three decades, Larry has presented to major financial institutions, financial associations, and government agencies. Larry has written articles for a variety of media outlets focused on financial services.

SBI is an employee owned spin-off from SRI International (Stanford Research Institute). Prior to SRI, Larry worked for The Gallup Organization, Louis Harris & Associates, The Roper Organization, Mathematica Policy Research, Phoenix-Hecht/Gallup among other organizations., 609 378 5044,


Brad Davis, Associate Vice President, Brand Strategy for Nationwide

Brad leads brand management, advertising and thought leadership for Nationwide’s financial services business. In 2005 he built the strategy, and led development of Nationwide’s retirement income solution – RetireSense®. He also founded and co-leads the Nationwide Retirement Institutesm – Nationwide’s thought leadership platform that integrates education, implementation tools and consultative support into end-to-end solutions to help advisors help clients prepare for and live in retirement.

Since 2009 they have created programs for Retirement Income Planning, Health Care, Long Term Care, Social Security and Capital Markets. In the nearly 20 years prior to Nationwide, Brad held senior Marketing and Operations positions in consumer goods with Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods and ConAgra; and in Telecommunications and Publishing with AT&T Corp. Brad holds an MBA in Finance from The Kelly Business School at Indiana University., 614-249- 9617


Dennis Gallant, President of GDC Research

GDC Research (, a research and consulting firm providing applicable, actionable and customized solutions for the financial service industry.

Mr. Gallant  is an industry expert with over 20 years of diverse experience in market research, competitive analysis, tactical and strategic planning, business development, market validation for broker-dealers, asset managers, banks, insurance firms, clearing firms and custodians, as well as various third party service and technology providers and is highly skilled in conducting in-depth interviews and surveys with key industry executives, experts, and financial advisors across all channels.

GDC Research cover trends and publishes numerous reports and white papers on topics such as retirement income, advisory/fee-based trends, wealth management, wholesaling, and key financial advisor trends, as well as conducts numerous presentations, speeches and workshops for client and industry conferences and is often quoted in industry trade publications. Prior to establishing GDC Research, Mr. Gallant was a Director at Cerulli Associates, Vice President of Marketing Research for Funds Distributor, Inc. and held positions in mutual fund marketing and operations at The Boston Company., 781-314-0606


Peter Geismar, President & Founder, Confident Choice, LLC

Peter founded Confident Choice, LLC, to create interactive services and tools that engage, motivate, and retain customers using behavioral and data modeling. An expert in understanding how and why people make decisions, he has developed practical techniques that support distributors and motivate consumers to action. He has hands-on industry knowledge of financial, insurance, and health plan offerings, particularly those relevant to baby boomers and retirement.

Prior to founding Confident Choice, Peter spent over ten years integrating investment and insurance products for retail customers, first as Executive Vice President at Golden Retirement Resources, Inc. (GRR) and then as Vice President at MassMutual (which acquired GRR in 2005). He led multi-disciplinary teams in the design and implementation of an innovative product planning, illustration, and client reporting system targeted to retiring baby boomers. The plans were distributed through the career agency systems of Principal Financial Group and MassMutual. Before his career in financial services, Peter was a senior Internet consulting executive and a producer/director of documentary films for television. He earned his B.A. from Harvard College. Firm website: email: phone: 718-369-2779


Ross Goldstein, Director of Marketing, Retail Annuities – New York Life Insurance Co.

Ross Goldstein is the Managing Director of Marketing for Retail Annuities where he is responsible for marketing New York Life’s investment and income annuities to consumers, agents, and financial advisors. He joined New York Life in 2000 as part of the Company’s Management Associate program.

Ross has previously managed New York Life’s branding and advertising efforts and has experience on the Relationship Management team working with key distributors to develop retirement income strategy. Ross holds a B.S. in Economics from Cornell University and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.


Mathew Greenwald, President of Mathew Greenwald & Associates

Mathew is the President of Mathew Greenwald & Associates, a market research firm, founded in 1985 that specializes in financial services with an emphasis on the retirement market. He has a Ph.D. in sociology from Rutgers University. Dr. Greenwald was a Congress-appointed delegate to the 1998 and 2002 National Summits on Retirement Savings and has also been asked to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging and the Securities Exchange Commission on retirement and retirement-oriented products. He has published numerous articles on retirement issues, and is frequently quoted by national print, radio and television outlets—including national publications like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Time.

He is currently an elected member of the Market Research Council, a group of the country’s leading market researchers. , 202-686-2510, ext. 101. Company website:


Simon Erskine Locke, Partner, Cattell, Locke, Pendleton & Partners

Simon is a Founding Partner of Cattell, Locke, Pendleton & Partners, a strategic communications consultancy. He works extensively with clients on media, social media, thought leadership, change management, product and client communications initiatives.  Simon has extensive financial services and retirement industry experience.

Prior to establishing CLP & Partners, he was Head of U.S. Businesses Communications at Prudential Financial, Inc. where he was responsible for developing and executing strategic communications programs for Prudential’s Retirement, Investment Management, Commodities, Annuities, Group and Life Insurance businesses. At Prudential, he managed communications around a number of major transactions, acquisitions, dispositions and crises. Previously, as Head of International Communications, he was responsible for Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Before joining Prudential, he was Morgan Stanley’s Head of Communications in Japan, where he managed external, internal and marketing communications, events and advertising. He previously worked for Deutsche Bank Group in New York, Singapore and Tokyo, where he held roles including Head of Asia Pacific Communications and Head of Communications, Japan. He’s a member of the American Scottish Foundation board and an advisor to the Foreign Press Association.


Louis Lombardi, Actuarial Principal, PwC

Louis Lombardi is a Principal and Actuary in PwC’s Actuarial and Insurance Management Solutions Practice in the US. He has over 30 years of experience in the life insurance industry with extensive knowledge of financial reporting, financial transformations, hedging, model validation, policy reserves and software development. His financial services clients include a wide range of insurance companies, from small regional companies to large multinational companies.

Louis’ experience includes approximately 15 years as an actuary in the life insurance company environment, where he has held various senior management positions managing product lines and financial reporting divisions. He is the founder of the Triton computer software which calculates statutory, tax and GAAP reserves for life and annuity products (more than fifty organizations utilize this software). 860-241-7400


Brian Perlman, PhD, CLU, ChFC, – Senior Vice President, Financial Services Practice Lead, Mathew Greenwald & Associates

Brian has more than 25 years of insurance and market research experience, and serves as Greenwald’s financial services practice lead. As both a consumer psychologist and a financial planner, Brian’s work focuses on product development and positioning studies for many of the nation’s leading financial services companies and trade associations. He has given numerous speeches and presentations, is often cited in the press, and has led a number of key research studies designed for public release.

Brian is also an experienced focus group moderator and in-depth interviewer, particularly adept at gaining research insights from financial professionals. Brian has both ChFC and CLU designations and a PhD in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. He previously served as a director of strategic research for the American Council of Life Insurers.


Anand Rao, Partner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Anand has over 24 years of industry and consulting experience helping senior executives structure, solve and manage critical issues facing their organizations. He has worked extensively on both business and technology issues across a wide range of industry sectors and has advised individual and group life, annuities, and retirement providers on a number of different aspects including product design, customer experience, sales and distribution, operations, behavioral economics based interventions, and large scale transformational strategy, design, and execution.


Anna Rappaport, F.S.A., M.A.A.A.

Anna Rappaport is an actuary, consultant, author, and speaker, and is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on the impact of change on retirement systems and workforce issues. Passionate about creating a better future for older Americans, she is particularly concerned about the many women who do not fare well at older ages. Anna chairs the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Committee on Post Retirement Needs and Risks and has been a leader in the development of extensive research on the post-retirement period.

She formed Anna Rappaport Consulting in 2005 when she retired after 28 years at Mercer Human Resource and completed 50 years as a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in 2013. She has a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Chicago. Anna previously served as President of the SOA. She received the RIIA Practitioner Thought Leadership Award in 2013.

Anna serves on the Board of the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER), the Advisory Board of the Pension Research Council, the GAO’s Retirement Security Advisory Panel and served on the ERISA Advisory Council. She is a member of the Chicago Network, an organization of the top women in Chicago from all walks of life.

Anna is also a painter, focusing on abstract collages and watercolors. Her art can be found on her website and in a charitable project, “Artuaries”, with profits donated to the Actuarial Foundation. For more information about Anna Rappaport, see Anna Rappaport Consulting


Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D.

Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., is a nationally recognized gerontologist with a focus on aging and its relation to business. Up until June, 2013, when the MetLife Mature Market Institute was disbanded, Sandy was its Executive Director and a Vice President of MetLife. She founded the Institute in 1997.

Sandy’s areas of expertise are focused on global demographic changes and on retirement life stage issues on subjects ranging from retirement finances, family needs and intergenerational relationships, housing and aging in place, employment, health and long-term care, and other transitional topics. Most recently she has been working on projects with a global electronics company, a financial services/reverse mortgage company, a retirement housing developer, and a national professional association. She is an Adjunct Professor of Gerontology in the PhD program of the American College of Financial Services, and serves as a Senior Fellow of the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) and Special Advisor to the Board of the Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA).

Sandy writes for professional publications and is the Financial Gerontology columnist for the Journal of Financial Service Professionals. She is a frequent speaker on aging issues at national conferences and seminars, and has been interviewed by major media including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, MarketWatch, Bloomberg and many others.

She received a B.A. degree from the University of Colorado and M.A. and Ed.D. degrees from Columbia University, and served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. 203-331-5774