NEW YORK Brian Murdock, president and CEO of New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC, resigned over disagreements with executives at the parent company on building up NYLIMs investment management business, several sources said.
Every time he wanted to buy something or wanted to do something strategically, they wouldnt let him, said a former NYLIM employee who asked not to be identified.
Sources also said executives at parent New York Life Insurance Co. also kept Mr. Murdock from making changes to long-term compensation for key executives.
Mr. Murdock, who resigned effective March 28, did not return calls to his office seeking comment.
Gary Wendlandt, vice chairman and chief investment officer of New York Life Insurance Co., said through spokesman William Werfelman, that he was in meetings and could not be reached.
Mr. Wendlandt, who is filling in as interim CEO of NYLIM, is regarded as the founder of NYLIM and still remains chairman.
Brian is a respected colleague and friend to many of us. He accomplished a lot while here and we wish him well in the future, according to a statement from Mr. Werfelman.
The statement noted that NYLIMs assets under management grew by $50 billion during Mr. Murdocks tenure, which began in April 2004. NYLIM achieved an investment sales record in 2007 of $29 billion, and NYLIMs operating earnings grew 28% for the year, according to the insurance companys earnings release.
NYLIM manages $249 billion in assets, $138 billion of which is for the insurance company. U.S. institutional tax-exempt investors account for $79.7 billion of the total.
New York Life executives were probably less interested in growing an asset management firm and more interested in just using NYLIM to manage the parents assets, an executive recruiter said.
Mr. Murdock wanted to add to that roster, but New York Life execs did not want to grow the asset management business as large as Mr. Murdock wanted to grow it, sources said.
The executive recruiter and another industry source said Mr. Murdock wanted to acquire alternative and long-only firms, but that the deals were ultimately killed by senior execs at New York Life. NYLIM executives had done the due diligence on a couple of these firms for over a year, the recruiter said. Neither the recruiter nor the former employee would identify the target firms.