Magazine article American Banker

Colonial Is Back in the Market for a Bank Sales Executive

Magazine article American Banker

Colonial Is Back in the Market for a Bank Sales Executive

Article excerpt

For the second time in little more than a year, Colonial Mutual Funds is looking for a bank sales chief.

William Ennis, who had held the post since last May, is leaving to join First Union Corp., Charlotte, N.C. where he will head the mutual fund department.

His predecessor at Colonial, John O. Myers, was picked off last year by BankAmerica Corp., San Francisco, to run its retail investment products division.

President to Step In

Jeffrey McGregor, president of Colonial's investment services unit, will personally handle Mr. Ennis' former duties while the company scouts for a replacement, said a spokesman for the Boston-based company.

Colonial's sales through banks should remain on track despite the high-level departures, the spokesman added. Colonial sells funds through about 400 banks and derives about 40% of its sales from banks, up from 12% in 1992.

Customers were split over the impact that Mr. Ennis' departure will have on Colonial's business.

"I don't go with a company just because of one person," said Joseph Uccello, head of Bank of Boston's mutual fund program in Connecticut.

An Eye on Performance

The driving force behind fund choices is long-term performance, Mr. Uccello said. He also looks at leadership, commitment to bank sales, and support from wholesalers - sales employees who specialize in helping banks choose and sell mutual funds.

But one bank brokerage executive said he felt a strong personal allegiance to Mr. Ennis.

"We never used to do any business with them before Bill got there," said Sean Flynn, director of Century Financial, the broker/dealer unit of Medford, Mass.-based Century Bank.

Although Century Bank accounts for 16% of Colonial's sales in New England, Mr. Flynn said he considers the Colonial Funds "second-tier" offerings. The bank also sells products from Fidelity, Putnam, American Funds, Franklin, and Massachusetts Financial Services. …

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