Magazine article American Banker

Fidelity Hires Exec from Alliance Capital in Another Shake-Up of Bank Sales Effort

Magazine article American Banker

Fidelity Hires Exec from Alliance Capital in Another Shake-Up of Bank Sales Effort

Article excerpt

For the second time in less than a year, Fidelity Investments is shuffling the management of its bank sales group.

Last week, the Boston-based mutual fund company recruited a top executive from a rival fund company to oversee sales through intermediaries such as banks, brokerage firms, and insurance companies.

William O'Grady, a former banker who headed Alliance Capital Management's bank sales effort, joined Fidelity as wholesale distribution chief, a new post. He reports to Paul Hondros, president of Fidelity's institutional services unit.

"It's an area where we've seen a pretty dramatic rise in sales," Mr. Hondros said, "and we want to maintain that momentum."

In another key change, David Liebrock, who had headed Fidelity's sales through bank broker-dealers since May, has taken a different post, according to Mr. Hondros, who declined to elaborate.

Industry sources said Andrew Olear 2d, who has headed Fidelity's bank sales efforts in the eastern United States, would replace Mr. Liebrock. But a Fidelity spokeswoman said Mr. Olear is not in contention for the job.

Fidelity watchers took the changes as evidence that the giant fund company - the nation's largest, with more than $200 billion of assets under management - is unhappy with its progress in selling funds through banks. Last May, the company split its bank sales division into three parts in a bid to boost sales by targeting markets more carefully.

Sales through banks have been a "less than glorious" part of Fidelity's business, said Geoff Bobroff, president of Bobroff Consulting Inc. …

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