PFM Group announced last week that Robert W. Crispin, the former chairman and chief executive of ING Investment Management Americas, has joined its board of directors.

Crispin is the first independent outside director to serve on the privately held firm's board.

"This is a firm that has developed into a financial advisory powerhouse and a leader in investment management over the past 35 years," Crispin said, adding that he hopes to contribute to the firm's long-term strategy.

The PFM group of companies includes PFM Asset Management LLC, which offers advice and portfolio management for governmental and not-for-profit 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.

PFM Financial Management has been the top-ranked public financial adviser for the past 12 years. It has advised on 909 borrowings totaling $54.1 billion so far this year, reflecting a 17.7% slice of the market, according to Thomson Reuters.

"We're really happy to get Bob," said F. John White, chief executive of PFM Group. "He has been involved in the asset management business his whole career."

Crispin was director of ING's North American investment business and its Latin American insurance business for seven years prior to his retirement in 2007.

"It's a great addition for us," White said. "We really want to build that part of the business and he has actually done that at some of the places he's worked."

Crispin began his career in 1970 at Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance. After 11 years, he moved on to become a vice president for Capital Holding Corp., where he spent five years. In 1986, he began a five-year stint as chief investment officer at Lincoln National Corp, and in 1991 he became chief investment officer at Travelers Indemnity Co.

In the late 90s, Crispin was executive vice president at UnumProvident Corp. for five years and served as executive vice president at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. for a year. The University of Connecticut Business School, where Crispin earned his MBA in 1975, inducted him into its hall of fame in 1994.

Marty Margolis, chief investment officer of PFM Asset Management, said Crispin's expertise in building world-class asset management firms will be "extremely helpful to PFM as we take our already-successful investment management business to the next level."

PFM's board includes eight directors. White and Margolis are from PFM and four other directors are from ICV Capital Partners, PFM's private-equity investor. The two remaining spots are set aside for independent outside directors, with Crispin in one slot and PFM looking to fill the other.

The board holds four meetings per year to review how business is going, scrutinize regulatory requirements, approve budgets, and set out a business plan, according to White.

Crispin also serves as a director on the boards of Intact Financial Corp., the largest property/casualty firm in Canada; SulAmérica, the second-largest insurance company in Brazil; Oliver Wyman Financial Services; and the ING Funds' Unified Board.

PFM employs about 430 individuals in 34 offices across the country.

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