About Us

Get to KNW us

Our clients say The KNW Group is a special kind of company. It’s how we think. It’s how we act. It’s how we help our clients succeed.

At The KNW Group, we’re all about you.

Businesses, families and individuals count on The KNW Group for candid, comprehensive advice. Our customized employee and executive benefits, retirement plans, wealth management and wealth transfer solutions are built on smart strategies and collaboration.

But that’s just the beginning. Our connections and longstanding relationships bring you an extra layer of value. And our approach will earn your trust. We listen. We advocate. We solve. And along the way, we make it fun.

Global Capabilities. Local Attention.

As an independent member of NFP, The KNW Group has the same resources, tools and capabilities of national and international firms. The difference is our approach to client relationships. Businesses, families and individuals choose to work with The KNW Group for high-touch service, access to industry leaders, deep teams of specialists, advocacy, creativity and collaboration.

About NFP

  • 2 fastest growing U.S. large-group employee benefits brokers, as ranked by Employee Benefit Adviser.
  • 5 largest benefits broker by global revenue, as ranked by Business Insurance.
  • 4 largest U.S.-based privately owned broker, as ranked by Business Insurance.
  • 5 provider of nonqualified deferred compensation plans, as ranked by PlanSponsor.

History

The KNW Group was founded in 2002 when specialists working independently in the fields of employee benefits, retirement plans, wealth management and life insurance came together to form an independent consulting company. The founders believed in independence and specialized expertise as core tenets for client success and that belief continues today.

The KNW Group - 15 Years

Get to KNW our leadership

  • Marty Nanne

    Chief Executive Officer & Founding Partner

    Marty is a co-founder and CEO of The KNW Group, as well as a partner of the Wealth Transfer Division. He and his Wealth Transfer team work closely with business owners, families and individuals helping preserve wealth and transfer assets to support business succession, charities and subsequent generations.

    As the CEO of The KNW Group, Marty works with a strong leadership team to consistently achieve goals to better serve our clients, our employees and our community. He began his career in 1992, starting his own company as an independent insurance specialist. He worked with clients in the areas of corporate-owned life insurance, estate planning, charitable giving, income replacement and disability insurance. He and three partners established The KNW Group in 2002.

    Marty is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. He holds a Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative), Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam) and Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam) securities registration, as well as life, health and variable annuity insurance licenses in a number of states. He has a LUTCF certification and is a Registered Representative with Kestra Investment Services, LLC, and an Investment Advisor Representative with Kestra Advisory Services, LLC.

    In addition to his work with The KNW Group, Marty is an amateur scout with the Minnesota Wild, and sits on the board of Make-A-Wish Minnesota.  He and his wife, Patti, live in Edina, Minn. They enjoy traveling and visiting their sons, Louie and Tyler, at college.

    Get in touch

    Direct: 952.646.1644 | mnanne@knwgroup.com

    Check the background of this firm on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

  • Dan Mulheran

    President & Founding Partner

    As the President of The KNW Group, Dan is responsible for leadership of the executive team, strategic direction, and financial & risk management of the organization. He works very closely with the leaders of The KNW Group’s business development, client experience, and financial management teams.

    After working in the industry and starting his own retirement plan consulting business, he and three partners founded The KNW Group in 2002. Dan has served on several advisory boards and leadership councils for financial services organizations. He also enjoys speaking nationally at industry conferences.

    Dan holds a Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative), Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam) and Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam) securities registration, as well as life, health and variable annuity insurance licenses in a number of states. He also holds the designation of Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF).

    Dan lives in Excelsior, Minn. with his wife and 4 sons and is very active in many youth sports organizations. He’s on the Board of Directors for Team Gilboa Alpine Ski Racing. Dan recently served as a committee leader for the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

    Get in touch

    Direct: 952.646.1642 | dmulheran@knwgroup.com

    Check the background of this firm on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

  • Todd Witcraft, CPA, PFS

    Chief Financial Officer

    Todd Witcraft, CPA, PFS, is the Chief Financial Officer, and Managing Partner of the Wealth Management division, at The KNW Group. With vast experience in finance, business leadership, strategy, wealth management and financial planning, Todd is a valuable member of the team.

    As the CFO of The KNW Group, Todd helps navigate and evaluate growth opportunities, develop and implement financial and operational strategies and improve processes and procedures throughout the company.

    As a former leader of two prominent Minneapolis Family Offices, Todd applied years of experience in designing The KNW Group Private Client Services approach and structure. He hired a team of experts to help him deliver an exclusive experience to multigenerational families. Todd and his team advise families with complex needs involving financial planning and wealth management, multigenerational business and estate planning, and philanthropic initiatives.

    A graduate of St. Johns University (Collegeville, MN) with a degree in accounting, Todd is a Certified Public Accountant and holds the PFS designation as a Personal Financial Specialist. In his free time, Todd enjoys golfing, fishing and spending time with his family. He and his wife live in Victoria, Minn. with their two children.

    Get in touch

    Direct: 952.715.4754 | twitcraft@knwgroup.com

    Check the background of this firm on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

  • Renee Olmschenk

    Chief Operations Officer

    Renee is the Chief Operations Officer at The KNW Group. She works closely with each division leader to monitor and develop work-flow strategies, determine appropriate staffing levels, assess operational infrastructure, improve and streamline processes, and ensure our firm is delivering a client experience, not just a client service.

    Renee has worked in the insurance and employee benefits industry for more than 25 years. Prior to joining The KNW Group, she was the managing director for a local third-party administrator overseeing sales, service and administration.

    She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where she majored in marketing. She holds Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam), securities registration, as well as life, health and variable annuity insurance licenses.

    Renee and her husband live in Lino Lakes and have two children in college. On weekends, she can often be found at her cabin in Northern Minnesota.

    Get in touch

    Direct: 952.674.2143 | rolmschenk@knwgroup.com

    Check the background of this firm on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

  • Jay Cavanagh

    Founding Partner

    Jay Cavanagh is a co-founder of The KNW Group and a partner in the Wealth Transfer Division. He focuses on sophisticated wealth transfer issues involving life insurance for individuals and families. Jay and his team help clients preserve wealth and transfer assets to support subsequent generations, business succession, or charities.

    Jay began his career in 1991 as a financial consultant with AXA/Equitable. In 2002, he co-founded The KNW Group with three partners.

    A graduate of St. John’s University (Collegeville, MN) with a degree in economics, Jay holds Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative), Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam) and Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam) securities registration, as well as life, health and variable annuity insurance licenses in several states. He is a Registered Representative through Kestra Investment Services, LLC, and an Investment Advisor Representative with Kestra Advisory Services, LLC.

    Jay is very active in the community and is a member of the following: Partners Financial Advisory Board of Directors; Mount Olivet Board of Life & Growth; and Children’s Hospital Minnesota Foundation Board.

    Away from work, Jay enjoys hunting, playing golf and volunteering at his church. Jay, his wife Betsy, and their two children live in Edina, MN.

    Get in touch

    Direct: 952.847.1356 | jcavanagh@knwgroup.com

    Check the background of this firm on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

  • Peter Knoll, CLU

    Founding Partner

    Peter is a co-founder of The KNW Group and a partner in the Health & Welfare Employee Benefits division. Peter and his team specialize in designing and implementing innovative employee benefit solutions for businesses.

    A graduate of the University of North Dakota, Peter holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He also holds the industry’s Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation.

    Peter served on the NFP Benefits Advisory Council, NFP’s Corporate Advisory Council and was an Observer on NFP’s Board of Directors. He also served 6 years in the Army National Guard. He sits on the Board of Governors at Hazeltine National and is a volunteer for a number of nonprofit organizations throughout the Twin Cities.

    Peter and his wife, Mary, have three children and live in Excelsior, Minn.

    Get in touch

    Direct: 952.646.1648 | pknoll@knwgroup.com

  • Mason Howard, CFA

    Managing Director, Investments

    As the Managing Director of Investments, Mason oversees The KNW Group’s investment analysis process. His primary responsibilities include investment management and product research, due diligence reporting, and asset allocation.

    Mason is a graduate of Luther College in Decorah, IA and has 18 years of financial services industry experience. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, and is a member of the CFA Institute as well as the CFA Society of Minnesota. Mason holds FINRA Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 9 and 10 (General Securities Sales Supervisor), Series 24 (General Securities Principal Qualification), Series 53 (Municipal Securities Principal), Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law) and Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law) registrations through Kestra Investment Services, LLC. He also holds Life, Accident and Health Insurance Licenses.

    Mason and his family live in Minneapolis. Outside of work, he and his wife spend most of their time chasing around their two young children.

    CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by the CFA Institute.

    Get in touch

    Direct: 952.674.2121 | mhoward@knwgroup.com

    Check the background of this firm on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

  • Michelle Lukens, SHRM-CP, PHR

    Human Resources

    Michelle Lukens oversees the on-going development of The KNW Group’s human capital including recruitment, on-boarding, professional development, employee rewards and compliance. She also works closely with divisional leaders and their teams to provide guidance regarding policies, processes, succession planning, incentives and professional development.

    Michelle earned a degree in Management with a Human Resources Concentration from St. Cloud State University. She is a Society of Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and a Professional of Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute.

    Michelle and her husband live in Waconia with their two kids. She and her family enjoy spending time exploring the outdoors and traveling.

    Get in touch

    Direct: 952.674.2160 | careers@knwgroup.com