Wilshire is bringing on new executives, including the founder of FTSE Russell, following the close of its acquisition by two private investment firms.
The investment consulting firm announced Wednesday that Mark Makepeace, founder and former chief executive officer of FTSE, will become its CEO, replacing Wilshire’s founder, Dennis Tito.
In October, Wilshire announced that it would be acquired by private investment firms Motive Partners and CC Capital. Wilshire said in its October announcement that Tito would retire once the deal closed.
The deal process began during the summer of 2019, when Jason Schwarz, who is now president and chief operating officer at Wilshire, met with Makepeace over breakfast in Santa Monica to discuss acquisition opportunities, according to Schwarz.
“A big part of the attraction to acquire Wilshire was the strength of its brand, its world-class capabilities, and its impressive client relationships,” Schwarz said via email. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Following the acquisition, Wilshire, which has dropped the “Associates” from its official name, will focus on product innovation and improving its technology, the announcement said.
To that end, Wilshire plans to increase its spending on IT, which will include setting up cloud-based tools that will reduce the time it takes to prepare data, Schwarz said via email. The firm also plans to expand its benchmarking business, he said. The growth will likely be organic, although Schwarz didn’t rule out future deal-making.
The firm’s new leader, Makepeace, most recently co-authored a book called “FTSE: The Inside Story,” which will be published on March 30, according to its listing on Amazon.com.
Makepeace left the London Stock Exchange in 1995 after spending 10 years as an executive at the firm. He went on to start FTSE, where he worked until 2019, his LinkedIn profile shows. Makepeace serves on the board at the Saudi Stock Exchange and the Singapore Exchange, the profile shows.
Nick Teunon, Makepeace’s former FTSE colleague, is joining Wilshire as chief financial officer. He spent five years at FTSE as its CFO, leaving in 2013 to become CFO at Marlin Financial Group and then Non-Standard Finance, where he worked almost six years, his LinkedIn profile shows.
Wilshire has also added Andy Stewart as its new chief innovation officer. He most recently was an industry partner at Motive Partners, and previously co-led BlackRock’s alternative investment platform, according to the announcement. Jody Kochansky, also an industry partner at the investment firm, is joining as chief technology officer. Kochansky also is a BlackRock alum, having previously served as head of its Aladdin Product Group.
“Having worked with Jody at BlackRock, I have seen the impact that technology and pragmatism can have in partnership, and Wilshire is uniquely well-placed to leverage this intersection for the benefit of its clients and the industry more broadly,” Stewart said in the Wilshire announcement.
[II Deep Dive: Wilshire Associates Is Being Bought by Private Equity Firms]
Along with Tito, Wilshire announced in October that its president and vice chairman, John Hindman, would also step down.
Earlier in 2020, prior to the acquisition, the president of Wilshire’s consulting group, Andrew Junkin, leaving the firm. He started working as the chief investment officer for Rhode Island’s investment office, Institutional Investor reported in June.