Christopher Sebald, CFA
President & Chief Investment Officer
Chris provides investment leadership and strategic direction for the firm. He oversees investment policy and strategy and is Chairman of the management committee. He is also involved in client portfolio management. Chris began his investment career in 1988, working throughout this time in fixed income investment management. He has been an associate of Advantus for 15 years, being named Executive Vice President in 2007.
Chris holds a BS degree in Economics and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota. Chris volunteers his time to the Boy Scouts of America. He enjoys many outdoor activities with his family, is an Eagle Scout and runs marathons.
David Kuplic, CFA
Executive Vice President
David provides investment leadership and oversees investment research at Advantus. He serves as Chief Investment Officer for Securian Financial Group, where he is accountable for developing investment strategies and portfolio management. David is also President of Securian Funds Trust, a group of funds offered exclusively through variable insurance contracts. He began his investment career in 1984 and has specialized in fixed income investment management throughout that time. He joined Advantus in 2004, and was named Executive Vice President in 2007.
David holds an MBA in finance from Indiana University. He is a CFA Charterholder, and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota. He serves on the investment committee of a large health system and is an avid cyclist and skier.
Vicki Bailey, JD
Vice President, Investment Law & Chief Compliance Officer
Vicki leads the legal and compliance departments for Advantus. As Chief Compliance Officer, she oversees the company’s policies and procedures for compliance with federal securities laws and regulations. She has extensive experience in investment transactional issues, including bankruptcies and workouts, as well as securities compliance matters. Vicki brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position. She has been in the investment industry since 1985, when she joined Advantus.
Vicki is also on the board of directors at Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest and is a member of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, and American College of Investment Counsel where she previously served as president. She was honored by Finance & Commerce as one of the Twin Cities Top Women In Finance in 2012 and received the Junior Achievement Bronze Leadership Award in 2013.
Erica Bergsland, CFA
Vice President, Director of Research & Trading
As Director of Research and Trading, Erica manages the fixed income analyst group, which is responsible for fundamental industry and company analysis, and specific trade recommendations. The group covers public corporate bonds, private placements, mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities. She also oversees Advantus trading activities. Erica has over 20 years of research experience, with expertise in both structured finance and corporate bonds. She is a board member at the CFA Society of Minnesota and a Fixed Income Fund Mentor at Carlson Funds Enterprise at the University of Minnesota.
Erica has been active in the investment industry since 1982 and with Advantus since 1993. She is a CFA Charterholder, and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota.
Joseph Betlej, CFA
Vice President & Portfolio Manager
Joe is a lead portfolio manager for the Advantus Strategic Dividend Income strategy. He has been active in the real estate industry since 1984. He entered the securities industry when joining Advantus in 1987. Joe’s experience includes investing in public and private placement of commercial real estate equity and debt for client accounts, with an additional focus on dividend-oriented stocks.
Joe is a CFA Charterholder, a member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and an Advisory Board member of the Applied Real Estate Securities Program at the University of Wisconsin. He is also a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota.
Robert Diedrich, CFA
Vice President & Lead Portfolio Manager, Insurance Advisory
Bob manages portfolios for Insurance Advisory clients and serves as the Lead Portfolio Manager of Advantus' insurance asset management team. His responsibilities include developing investment strategies, selecting securities and sector allocations, buy/sell decisions, credit reviews and performance management. Bob brings a breadth of experience that benefits his clients and the investment team overall, including previous work in private placements and asset/liability and asset allocation analysis for insurance accounts. His experience in the nuclear power arena—in the U.S. Navy and private industry—has contributed to our energy sector analysis, as well.
Bob is a CFA Charterholder, is a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota. Bob also serves on the investment committee of a Minnesota based foundation.
Senior VP, Business Development
As Senior Vice President of Business Development, Steve is responsible for building and servicing new and existing relationships for Advantus. Active in the investment industry since 1988, he has provided institutional investment solutions to large corporate, public and Taft-Hartley plan sponsors and their advisors. In addition to new business development, Steve has been responsible for product development and management, consultant relations and client service. During his tenure with Ameriprise/American Express, he played a key role in building the firm’s defined contribution business.
Steve is a FINRA Registered Principal holding his Series 7, 24, and 63 licenses. He is also an active member in a number of leading pension and investment trade organizations and industry groups.
Vice President & Portfolio Manager - Real Estate Securities
Matt leads the Advantus Real Estate Equity team and oversees the management of Advantus' Real Estate Securities strategy. He has been active in the industry since 1994, with a focus on real estate investment trusts (REITs) and private real estate equities throughout his career. Prior to joining Advantus, Matt held several positions at Principal Financial Group, including Portfolio Manager, Equity Analyst and Acquisitions Manager.
Matt has published several research reports on REIT investing and has contributed to industry articles for Bloomberg News. He is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) and an advisory board member of the Applied Real Estate Securities Program at the University of Wisconsin. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and participating in many outdoor activities, particularly golf, skiing and hunting.
Thomas Houghton, CFA
Vice President & Portfolio Manager, Total Return
As Vice President and Portfolio Manager, Tom is the primary manager of the corporate bond positions for all fixed income total return strategies at Advantus, in addition to being the lead manager of the firm's money market portfolios. Tom has focused on fixed income investments throughout his career, having held positions in portfolio management, fixed income analysis and trade desk management. He has been active in the investment industry since 1993, and joined Advantus in 1996.
Tom is a CFA Charterholder, and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota.
Jane Wyatt, CFA
Vice President & Portfolio Manager
As Vice President and Portfolio Manager, Jane is involved in client portfolio management and client service, and the long-term success of client relationships. Jane has over 30 years of investment and risk management experience. As a co-founder of NorthShoreAdvisors, she provided investment management expertise, serving institutional fixed income investors.
Jane is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the Association of Investment Management and Research and the Twin Cities Society of Security Analysts
Vice President, Quantitative Research Analyst
Merlin oversees the Quantitative Research group. He provides quantitative analysis, security and portfolio risk statistics, and currently leads derivative and hedging implementation initiatives within Advantus. He also provides back-up execution to the equity index portfolios. Prior to joining Advantus, Merlin was Vice President at Sucia Re Management. He has been active in the investment industry since 1993.
Vice President - Director of Client Service
Director, Client Portfolio Management
Linda leads client service at Advantus and is involved in client portfolio management. She oversees the client service organization, client reporting and assuring the long-term success of client relationships. Linda also chairs the Advantus Annual Investment Meeting, an educational conference for our clients, focused on the investment themes and issues of the day. Linda has been in the investment industry since 1984 working throughout her career in fixed income investment management with a special focus on insurance portfolios.
Advantus Investment Professionals
|20||years in investment industry (avg.)|
|13||years with Advantus (avg.)|
% hold CFAs, advanced degrees or both