CLEVELAND — National City Investment Management Co.'s search for a new CIO for equities is the latest turn in a whirlwind year that has left observers struggling to keep up with the pace of change.
The Cleveland-based firm, with $27 billion in institutional and mutual fund money under management, announced recently that Donald L. Ross, president and chief executive officer, would resign effective March 31, half a year after the launch of an aggressive "hub and spokes" strategy aimed at acquiring established investment teams.
In the past eight months, parent company National City Corp. has:
• tapped Ted M. Parker, the head of its banking operations in Kentucky, to take over as head of the institutional asset management business from Paul Clark, who returned to the bank;
• brought in industry veteran John G. Abunassar for the newly created position of executive vice president of institutional asset management;
c hired Robert E. Joseph from Northern Trust Global Investments, Chicago, for the new position of head of National City's consultant relations efforts;
• lured Beth Hetzel from Banc of America Capital Management, Charlotte, N.C., to take the new position of senior vice president and managing director, product management;
• brought in Dave Vandergriff as director of institutional sales and Timothy M. Mahoney to head distribution for the Armada Funds, National City's fund family;
• lifted out the Pittsburgh-based large-cap growth and core equity investment team led by Christopher A. Wiles and Lawrence E. Eakin Jr. from Strong Capital Management Inc. to replace an existing team that had racked up weak performance numbers; and
• acquired a St. Louis-based small-cap value and all-cap value investment team led by Gordon Johnson, with National City Corp.'s acquisition of Allegiant Bancorp Inc.
Earlier changes included steps to rebuild National City's value equity investment lineup after three portfolio managers bolted in early 2003 to join startup Integrity Asset Management LLC, Louisville, Ky. National City hired Michael J. Chren last January from INVESCO, Atlanta, as a co-leader of its value equities team after picking up Richard Giesen from Munder Capital Management, Birmingham, Mich., in September 2003 as director of the firm's small-cap value equities team. Also in September 2003, the firm hired David Cooley from J.&W. Seligman, New York, as senior director of international equity investments.