Mississippi Valley Advisors lost most of its equity team, led by Dennis Nahnsen, senior vice president of marketing, to the newly formed Missouri Valley Partners, owned by First Banks. Mr. Nahnsen, president and director of marketing at the new firm, brought 20 other MVA employees with him, including four senior equity portfolio managers, one senior bond manager, the director of equity research, all of the senior equity analysts and several marketing staff members. Ralph Webster, who had been MVAs COO until six months ago joined the new company as COO. More bond and equity analysts and managers may be added later this year, said Mr. Nahnsen.
The team left because we saw a better opportunity to keep the firm intact, managing money and keeping up the same level of service, said Mr. Nahnsen. We realized that we had to do it to keep our firm in its present successful form.
MVA has $9 billion in assets under management: $5 billion in institutional separate accounts; and $4 billion in mutual funds. First Banks does not have an institutional investment arm and has guaranteed that Missouri Valley Partners will operate independently, said James Dierberg, First Banks chairman and CEO.
Steven Dale, a spokesman for Firstar, MVAs parent company, did not return calls by press time regarding the banks plans for replacing the teams.