Among the personnel changes during the last six months or so:
• Charles Shaffer and William Stush joined Merrill Lynch & Co. from Deutsche Bank, both in New York.
• Michael Gardner was hired by Institutional Direct Inc., a unit of Bear Stearns & Co. Inc., New York, from Russell Investment Group, Tacoma, Wash., to build a transition management business, and a team of three transition management officials joined Institutional Direct from Bank of New York.
• Jeff Blanchard joined JPMorgan Chase Bank, New York, to help build that firm's transition management business. He had left Northern Trust Corp., Chicago, in 2004.
• Sharon Egilinsky, global co-head of transition management at Citigroup, New York, left the firm to pursue "an entrepreneurial opportunity," according to a Citigroup memo. No additional details were available.
• Kristi Michem joined Barclays Global Investors, San Francisco, from Goldman Sachs & Co., New York, to run BGI's transition management business. The position had been open for two years.
Kevin Byrne, vice president at JPMorgan Chase, said firms committed to transition management are adding people, while firms not committed are not filling vacant positions.
But some transition management executives said broker-dealers are trying to take advantage of a window of opportunity as more plan sponsors use transition managers. "A lot of investment banks are trying to get a foothold in transition management," said Kevin Hardy, global director of transition management at Northern Trust. "They're seeing fantastic opportunity."
He said the transition management business is split into two groups: investment banks that cannot act as a fiduciary to the client, and firms that can, such as custodians like Northern Trust.
"There is a gray area (by plan sponsors as to which route to take) and while that exists, investment banks are saying ‘we'll seize this opportunity,'" Mr. Hardy said. "A lot of the hires have been on the sales side and, to me, that says they believe there's an opportunity."