Horizon Bank in Austin said Tuesday that it has hired Kelli Click to run the Waco, Texas, office of a Horizon unit that helps investors roll over retirement assets into individual retirement accounts.

The company also hired Ryan Schneider as a business development officer.

Click, who will be a vice president of marketing, worked for Sterling Trust Co. for 19 years, most recently as a vice president. Schneider also had worked for Sterling Trust.

The Self Directed IRA Services Inc. unit of Horizon Bank attracted more than $100 million of alternative and traditional assets under custody last year, its first full year, while administering self-directed individual retirement accounts for individuals and small businesses. The growth has enabled the Austin-based unit to open the office in Waco and launch a Web site.

Self Directed IRA Services specializes in enabling individual investors to self-direct retirement funds into alternative and traditional investments.

Analysts said IRAs are a hot topic right now, especially as baby boomers move toward or enter retirement, but some were skeptical about the longevity of this initiative, especially the possibility of investors self-directing retirement assets into alternative vehicles.

One analyst said "day trading fizzled quickly the last decade and I can't imagine self-directing IRA assets into alternative investments will last."

James Dyess, Horizon's chief executive, said that "given the uncertainty in today's mainstream investments, some investors want to secure their IRA in what they know, whether that be a real estate opportunity, precious metals or some other investment."

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