Liz Michaels was named vice president of advice services at Ibbotson Associates, according to a statement from parent company Morningstar. Ms. Michaels will head the team that provides plan participants with discretionary management and investment advice through retirement plan providers, such as mutual fund and insurance companies. She replaces Matt Radgowski, who left the firm, said Nadine Youssef, Morningstar spokeswoman. Ms. Michaels was associate dean and director of career advising and planning services at the University of Chicago. Two Morningstar employees also transferred to the Ibbotson unit, Ms. Youssef said. Michele Gambera will be chief economist and senior research consultant, a new position. Mr. Gambera was chief economist for Morningstar Associates. James Xiong was named research consultant, replacing Christopher O'Neal, who left the firm. Mr. Xiong will create new methodologies and algorithms related to portfolio optimization, asset allocation, mutual fund classification and alternative asset class investments. He was a quantitative analyst at Morningstar. Also, Bo Yuan joined Ibbotson as chief technology officer, a new position. He was a lead developer in the information technology department of hedge fund-of-funds manager Lighthouse Partners.
Mercer Investment Consulting reassigned five senior manager researchers from traditional to alternative asset classes, said Bill Muysken, global head of research. The moves, along with two additional alternatives specialists to be hired by the end of the year, will expand the firm's alternative investment research department to 12 from six, Mr. Muysken said. In Chicago, Jeff Gabrione now focuses on hedge fund research and Caroline Aboutar, private equity manager research. In Atlanta, Allison Yager added infrastructure manager coverage to her existing focus on real estate. In London, Robert Treich will cover European hedge funds, commodities and infrastructure managers. In Sydney, David George will focus on all alternative asset class managers, except real estate, for Asia-Pacific-based strategies. Mercer is also searching for two more senior manager researchers, one who will be based in North America and focus on hedge funds, and another to be based in Europe and cover real estate managers. Office locations for each position will be determined later, Mr. Muysken said.
Susan Stannard will join First Quadrant as director of client service on Nov. 1, said partner Rick Roberts. It is a new position. "We felt it important to bring someone on board who demonstrated a high level of experience with a broad range of clients and would be able to build a first-class client service team as (the firm) grows," Mr. Roberts said in an e-mailed statement. Ms. Stannard was a senior portfolio adviser at Seneca Capital Management. Her duties were distributed among the portfolio advisory team, said Sam Austin, senior portfolio adviser and director of relationship management at Seneca.
Michael Graydon was named managing director on the institutional sales team at Bear Stearns Asset Management, according to a news release. Mr. Graydon will head Taft-Hartley business development and retention. Russell Sherman, BSAM spokesman, was not immediately available to offer details. Mr. Graydon was executive vice president of client services at McMorgan & Co., a Taft-Hartley asset management firm. John Puccio, spokesman for McMorgan, could not immediately say how Mr. Graydon was replaced.
Michael G. Curran was appointed to a new seat on the board of The Todd Organization, according to a statement from the executive benefits consulting firm. Mr. Curran retired last year as CEO and president of Executive Benefit Services, an executive benefit consulting firm owned by Principal Financial Group.