Leo J. Karwejna was named chief compliance officer at PFM Group earlier this week.
He joins the top-ranked provider of independent financial and advisory services in the public finance market from Prudential Financial, where he was vice president and chief compliance officer of Prudential Real Estate Investors.
Karwejna’s responsibilities there included overseeing global regulatory programs and developing compliance procedures to manage risks for Prudential’s institutional and public clients.
Karwejna is charged with taking PFM’s regulatory compliance efforts to the next level.
“I’m really coming on board to provide the day-to-day focus — building and enhancing what has already been put in place,” Karwejna said in an interview Tuesday. “It’s a natural progression of the firm’s continued growth.”
The PFM group of companies includes PFM Asset Management LLC, which offers advice and portfolio management for governmental and nonprofit organizations, corporations, pension funds, and other institutions; and Public Financial Management, which engages in capital planning, revenue forecasting, revenue evaluation, resource allocation, structuring, documentation and execution.
“You need to be in traffic to know what’s coming down the lane,” Karwejna said. “So compliance really [needs to] take a seat at the table and know everything that the business is doing, operating in a transparent manner.”
Marty Margolis, PFM’s chief investment officer, called the hiring process the result of an extensive national search.
Margolis said the company is making a commitment to compliance excellence in light of the changing regulatory environment within the world of financial services.
“A robust compliance function is important to us as a firm, and equally so to our clients who put their faith and confidence in us,” he said.
Before his three-year stint at Prudential, Karwejna was a vice president at Deutsche Asset Management, where he established policies to review and monitor the firm’s compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and corporate policies.
He was with Haverford Financial Services from 1998 to 2006. He served as its chief compliance officer for four years and its chief operating officer for three years.
This is Karwejna’s first foray into the public finance market, but he said compliance issues operate in a similar fashion across markets.
“Part of the challenge and opportunity for me is really applying my past experiences [to] come up with meaningful and practical solutions to help them implement what those regulations mean for the FA or the municipal advisory businesses,” he said.
PFM Financial Management has been the top-ranked public financial adviser for the past 13 years.
In 2010, it was adviser on 988 borrowings totaling $57.5 billion, reflecting a 17.4% slice of the market, according to Thomson Reuters.
Karwejna, a resident of Hamilton, N.J., will be based in PFM’s Harrisburg, Pa., office.