Charles Nelson is chief executive officer of Retirement and Employee Benefits for Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), which helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. In his role, Nelson oversees Tax-Exempt and Corporate Markets and Retail Wealth Management, which comprise the company’s workplace and individual retirement businesses, including 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans, as well as its Employee Benefits business. Nelson also serves on Voya’s Executive Committee.
Prior to joining the company, Nelson served as president of Retirement Services for Great-West Financial through September 2014 and most recently led the legacy Great-West retirement business of Empower Retirement, a business unit of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company.
Nelson has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the retirement and employee benefits industry. He was named the second most influential player in the 401(k) market, according to the 401(k) Wire’s 2012 Most Influential ranking list. During his career, Nelson has managed all aspects of defined contribution businesses. He has overseen government, healthcare, nonprofit, 401(k) and FASCore institutional lines of business, while also managing recordkeeping, administration, operations, sales, products, financial results and broker-dealer services. Nelson began his career at Great-West in the employee benefits business marketing retirement plans, healthcare, stop loss and various benefit offerings.
Nelson is a graduate of Whitman College with a degree in chemistry and economics, and he was a member of the Whitman College Board of Overseers from 2008 to 2017. He serves on the board of directors of the Defined Contribution Alternatives Association, a non-profit organization that educates the community on the benefits of including alternative investments within a defined contribution framework. Nelson served as the past president of the board of directors for The SPARK Institute, a trade institute that represents the entire spectrum of defined contribution service providers. He has also been a member of the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) since 1985. As a member, Nelson has contributed articles for publication, participated on a number of committees, and spoken at numerous regional and national conferences to support and assist the organization’s efforts to further the industry.
Serving the financial needs of approximately 13.8 million individual and institutional customers in the United States, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $7.5 billion in revenue in 2019. The company had $657 billion in total assets under management and administration as of Sept. 30, 2020.