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James F. Sampson, AIF®, C(k)P®, CPFA

Director, Retirement Advisory Services
Hilb Group Retirement Services


Jim Sampson is Director, Retirement Advisory Services of Hilb Group Retirement Services (formerly Cornerstone Retirement Advisors), and has served the retirement plan industry for more than 20 years. Prior to joining Cornerstone in 2009, Jim served as the Director of Retirement Services at Telamon Insurance & Financial Network for six years. He also spent five years as a Pension Sales Consultant with Transamerica Retirement Services and two years as a Benefits Analyst with a local third-party administrator, George Beram & Company.

Jim has received numerous industry awards and recognitions, including:

  • 2-time Finalist for the PLANSPONSOR Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year1 (2008, 2012)
  • 2-time Winner of The 401kWire’s Top Advisor Award2 (Micro-Market, 2010, 2011)
  • The 401kWire’s 100 Most Influential People in Defined Contribution2 (2010)
  • 8-time PLANADVISER Top 100 Retirement Plan Adviser3 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • 3-time Financial Times Top 401 Retirement Advisors4 (2015, 2016, 2018)

Jim has appeared on the FOX25 Morning News in Boston on their weekly Manage Your Money segment, has been quoted on retirement plan issues in The Boston Globe, Providence Business News, PLANSPONSOR Magazine, WSJonline.com and Employee Benefit Advisor Magazine, and has been a speaker or panelist at a number of industry conferences.

Jim is a Founding Lecturer of TRAU™ – The Retirement Advisor University™, a collaboration with UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education. Jim has earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary™ and Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor designations and earned a BS in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

1 Nominations are solicited online from retirement plan advisors, their employees and/or broker/dealers, and plan sponsors. Finalists were selected by a panel of judges from a list of semifinalists compiled from a quantitative evaluation of their current service levels and based on feedback from their plan sponsor clients.

2 The list is based on over 3,000 nominations from the industry and The 401kWire’s editorial staff. The final list was selected based on more than 120,000 reader votes as well as input from last year’s Top 40 Advisors and from distributors working with advisors, and analysis of objective criteria such as statistics about the advisors’ practices gathered directly from the nominees.

3 The 2019 PLANADVISER Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers recognizes the top defined contribution (DC) plan advisers across the U.S in terms of assets or plans under advisement, based on self-reported information from advisers. In 2018, 321 survey responses for the PLANADVISER Retirement Plan Adviser Survey, elected to be considered for the 2019 PLANADVISER Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers list. Of those, 100 (31%) were named to the list. There is no fee paid to PLANADVISER in exchange for inclusion in the listing. 

4 The Financial Times Top 401 Retirement Plan Advisors is an independent listing produced by the Financial Times. The FT 401 is based on data gathered from financial advisors, firms, regulatory disclosures, and the FT’s research. The listing reflects each advisor’s performance in eight primary areas, including: DC plan assets under management; DC plan assets as a percentage of overall AUM; growth in DC plan AUM; growth in DC plans advised; DC plan employee participation; professional designations; experience; and compliance record. Neither the brokerages nor the advisors pay a fee to The Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 401. 

None of the awards or recognitions are any indication of any future performance, nor was compensation paid to nor received by the advisor for their participation.



Christopher J. Basse, AIF®

Client Relationship Manager


Chris Basse joined Cornerstone Retirement Advisors in January of 2014 as a Client Relationship Manager, and is now responsible for managing the overall experience for The Hilb Group’s retirement plan clients.

Chris has more than 20 years of experience in the retirement services industry, where he has focused on both helping plan sponsors provide more robust retirement plans for their employees and also on assisting those employees in understanding the specifics of their plans. Prior to joining Cornerstone, Chris was the Mid-Market Client Relationship Manager for the New England territory at Great-West Retirement Services (from 2007 to 2013), where he serviced 401(k) clients with assets ranging up to $45 million. Previously, he worked at Principal Financial Group (2003 to 2006) as a 401(k) Account Executive and, prior to that, held positions at Putnam Investments in Defined Contribution Plan Operations, Conversions, and Participant Services (1996 to 2002).

Chris has earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary™ professional designation and received a BA in Spanish from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

Nancy Simone

Nancy Simone

Client Relations Associate


Nancy Simone is responsible for managing client relationships and coordinating and scheduling group and individual employee education meetings and workshops. Nancy also provides administrative support for the team, including the submission and tracking of all new client forms and agreements and marketing materials.

Previously, Nancy worked as an administrative assistant for Independence Financial Partners and John Hancock Network and as an executive secretary for the TPA firm Lamoriello & Co, Inc. She was employed by Cornerstone Group from 1999 through 2006, when she was responsible for accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll.

Laura Odea

Laura O’Dea, CLU



Laura joined Hilb Group Retirement Services in 2017 after 20+ years in the financial services industry. Laura is the Retirement Services Consultant for the Carolinas Region for The Hilb Group, and she focuses on Qualified and Non-Qualified retirement plans. She had previously been a Retirement Planning and Executive Benefit Specialist at Lake Norman Benefits, a Hilb Group Agency. As part of a high-level benefits team, she brings a different approach to comprehensive benefit planning for businesses that will allow them to attract and retain the highest quality employees.

Laura has an extensive background in the financial services industry, serving as a Regional VP for Pacific Life, AIG and Zurich working with financial advisors to assist them in developing retirement planning, business succession planning and estate planning strategies for their affluent clients

She holds a CLU designation from The American College and is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and the Women in Pensions Network (WiPN).