NEW YORK - Fleet Asset Management's institutional group hired a new national sales director and created a new centralized marketing and sales structure for Fleet and its affiliate Columbia Investment Management, as well as six boutiques Fleet acquired from Liberty Financial last year.
The New York-based firm tapped Cornelia Kiley as the head of the new national sales team, which serves pension funds with more than $200 million in assets. Ms. Kiley was chief marketing officer at Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Atlanta. She reports to Robert Birnbaum, managing director and head of institutional marketing and distribution.
Ms. Kiley's position at Lend Lease was eliminated as a result of the firm's restructuring and will not be filled, said Monica Penders, Lend Lease vice president of corporate communications.
Fleet's the national institutional sales effort will be organized geographically and by markets within the defined benefit area, said Mr. Birnbaum. In addition to bringing Ms. Kiley on board, Fleet plans to hire a head of institutional marketing; the firm hopes to fill that position in the first quarter.
Under Ms. Kiley, Fleet also named sales teams for the divisions: Jim Kilbane will head corporate funds sales; Brian Davis will lead public fund sales; Todd Engelhardt, the endowment, foundations and hospitals area; Mike Raub, Taft-Hartley; and Eric Arvold, insurance. Mr. Kilbane also is head of the consultant relationship team, while Susan Grivas and Peter Hendricks lead the client service unit for national sales.
Ms. Kiley said the national sales team has been structured so defined benefit clients will have one point of contact into Fleet's institutional business.
Only Ms. Kiley is new to the organization. The 15-member national sales team comprises people from Fleet, Columbia and four of the six Liberty affiliates. The two affiliates that did not contribute to the national sales team were retail-oriented and did not have full-time institutional staff; those people were reassigned to retail sales, said Fleet spokesman Charles Salmans, who would not identify the two affiliates. The Liberty affiliates with the lesser in institutional assets under management are Crabbe Huson Group Inc., Portland, Ore., and Newport Pacific Management Inc., San Francisco, each of which runs about $1 billion in U.S. tax-exempt assets, according to Nelson's 2001 Directory. Fleet acquired all of Liberty's asset management affiliates: Colonial Management Associates, Boston; Crabbe Huson; Progress Investment Management Co., San Francisco; Stein Roe & Farnham, Chicago; Newport Pacific; and Liberty Wanger Asset Management, Chicago, as well as Liberty Funds Distributor. Institutional sales and marketing had been handled separately by the various shops; now, sales people in the integrated unit will have an expanded group of portfolios and investment products to sell, Mr. Birnbaum said.
In addition to the national sales structure, Fleet also has established midmarket and full-service defined contribution sales units. Leon Wilson, former head of Fleet's not-for-profit business, will lead midmarket business outside the Pacific Northwest; Jeff Curtis and Peter Hendricks head up the business in the Pacific Northwest. Messrs. Curtis and Hendricks, who are with Columbia, will continue to oversee the Pacific Northwest because of the strong relationships they have established in the mid-sized pension fund market, said Mr. Salmans.
Elliot Wislar was tapped to head the six-person defined contribution sales staff. Fleet formed a partnership with INVESCO last year to use the Atlanta-based firm's record-keeping platform for Fleet's defined contribution business.
Mr. Birnbaum said Fleet's approach to sales and marketing is different from its investment approach. "While the investment side is going to remain largely autonomous," with the affiliates running as separate boutiques, said Mr. Birnbaum, "I think we can provide better client service and more access to the marketplace by organizing the sales forces for the firm as a whole." He thinks the coordinated sales structure provides better service for clients and more stability.
There won't be any layoffs as a result of the institutional sales restructuring. "This is a build," he said, adding that the firm is trying to expand its institutional business and most likely will add positions over time.
Fleet officials are considering changing the name of the overall asset management business. The name change most likely would concern the retail mutual fund family, and the institutional business wouldn't be affected, Mr. Birnbaum said. He added that the names of the institutional portfolios would stay the same because the affiliates are established names with good track records, and it wouldn't make sense to change that.
As Fleet puts the pieces in place to attack the institutional market, it wrestles with the stereotype that companies associated with banks aren't as good at money management as other independent companies.
Mr. Birnbaum said Fleet Asset Management needs to prove to the marketplace that it can be a world class money manager, "and we think it's a provable case."