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Rating:Invesco Ousts AIM Distributors' Chief Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, June 8, 2007

Invesco Ousts AIM Distributors' Chief

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

The top jobs at AIM Distributors are up for grabs as two leaders of the Invesco fund sales unit are on the outs. AIM Funds spokesperson and senior vice president Ivy McLemore declined to say whether Gene Needles or James Steuve are still collecting paychecks from AIM, but he confirmed that both have lost their titles.

Needles had been president, CEO and chairman of AIM Distributors for nearly four years while James Stueve was an executive vice president with AIM Distributors and director of retail sales with AIM Investments.

AIM Funds is the 24th largest U.S. mutual fund shop with $126 billion in 1940 Act assets at the end of 2006, according to data collected by Reuters Research.

John Cooper, director of business development and national account management, and Brian Lee, director of sales strategy and planning, will both head the search to bring in new leadership candidates, according to a report published on Ignites.

Needles is a long-time sales executive at AIM Funds, rising through the firm's wholesaler ranks to eventually replace Michael Cemo in early 2004. That promotion pre-dates the hiring of Martin Flanagan as CEO of parent-company Invesco in July 2005.

He headed sales through turbulent times for the fund firm, which was one of those caught up in the market timing scandals of 2003-2004. Those allegations and an eventual settlement with regulators combined with the collapse of the market for growth stocks, helped stall the firm's sales as its relative performance suffered.

Needles had tried to steer a new course for the firm, focusing on products that were not as performance driven and by expanding the firm's lineup. Those moves included the purchase of ETF-specialist PowerShares.

In recent months, mutual fund industry insiders have also mentioned Invesco as one of a handful of finalists bidding for Rydex, though it appears that Invesco is no longer in the running for that deal. 

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