Magazine article American Banker

Compass' Unified Account Designer Steps Down

Magazine article American Banker

Compass' Unified Account Designer Steps Down

Article excerpt

A round of staffing cuts at Compass Bancshares Inc. has led to the exit of one of the architects of its unified managed account platform.

Todd Smurl said he resigned last week as managing director of investments at Compass Bank's wealth management group, which is based in Houston.

Compass was one of the first banking companies to sell its fund arm and adopt a unified managed account platform, which it named SmartPath. When the fund arm was sold in February of last year, analysts called the move risky, but skepticism had started to abate recently as the unified platform amassed assets.

In September its assets under management surpassed $2 billion. (As of Sept. 30 it had $2.05 billion.)

Mr. Smurl said that Compass plans to continue offering unified managed accounts, but that it was time for him to move on, since the platform was "substantially complete."

In the past year the wealth management group increased its total assets under management by 26.1%, to $5.8 billion as of Oct. 31, as it began to develop and market the unified platform.

The $30 billion-asset Birmingham, Ala., company's cuts affected 1.5% of its 9,000 employees, according to Edward Bilek, a spokesman for the company.

"We regularly evaluate our staffing levels throughout the company to make sure we are operating effectively and efficiently and we reduce the work force from time to time," Mr. Bilek said.

Compass has been trying to cut costs for the past several years. Its third-quarter revenue increased 13% from a year earlier, to $1. …

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