Seasons Trust board picks marketing guru for seat of ex Barclays exec

Serial CMO Martha Willis to fill board seat of retiring indie, ex-Barclays managing director Garrett Bouton

The Seasons Series Trust has nominated a new candidate for the independent trustee spot left vacant by the retirement of former Barclays Global Investors managing director and regional CEO Garrett F. Bouton.

Bouton, 77, has been a member since 2007 of the seven-person boards responsible for oversight of 80 funds within the Seasons Series Trust complex, according to an SEC filing dated Oct. 18.

Bouton, who retired from Barclays in 2003 has served as chairman of the board of the Lecg Corp. since 2006, will retire from the Seasons Series Trust after shareholders elect his replacement during a special meeting scheduled for Jan. 19, 2023.

His likely replacement is Martha B. Willis, 62, a former Nuveen chief marketing officer who resigned from the post of EVP and CMO of TIAA in March of 2022 before founding MBW Consulting in August.

Willis has more than 40 years of experience in financial services, according to the filing, which touts as a benefit to the fund the skills she developed while leading the marketing, branding and corporate communications functions at TIAA Retirement, TIAA Bank and Nuveen, and while serving as CMO for Oppenheimer Funds, which she left in 2016.

Six of the seven members of the Seasons Series Trust boards are independent trustees, a list that includes board chair Bruce G. Willison, 74, Charles H. Self III, 65, Jane Jelenko, 74, and Tracey C. Doi, 61. The interested trustee is John T. Genoy, president and COO of SunAmerica and president of the trusts, who has been a trustee since 2021.

The Trusts pay independent trustees a stipend of $205,000 per year plus $2,500 per in-person or virtual meeting, with additional stipends for the chair of the audit committee and the nomination committee. The board held seven meetings during 2021. It supports several standing committees including a nomination committee, audit committee and ethics committee for each board.

Total compensation for independent trustees ranged between $280,000 and $212,500 during the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2022.

Board members oversee 61 portfolios that are part of the SunAmerica Series Trust (SAST) and another 19 that are part of the Seasons Series Trust.

The funds’ chief compliance officer is Christopher C. Joe, 53, who has held the position since 2017.

SunAmerica in Jersey City, N.J. is the primary investment adviser and manager for the funds; AIG Capital Services, inc. in Jersey City is the principal underwriter for each trust.

Martha B. Willis
  • President, founder, MBW Consulting, August 2022 – Present
  • EVP, CMO of TIAA and Nuveen, 2016 – 2022
  • Director, chair of Nuveen UCITS funds, 2019 – 2021
  • CMO, OppenheimerFunds, 2009 – 2016