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Rating:Ex-AIM Sales Chief Lands at Touchstone Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, October 20, 2008

Ex-AIM Sales Chief Lands at Touchstone

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Touchstone Investments has hired former AIM Distributors president and CEO Gene Needles as its new president.

Needles joined Cincinnati-based Touchstone on October 6, taking over as president from Jill McGruder, who remains president and CEO of IFS Financial Services. Needles reports to McGruder. Touchstone, like IFS, is a member of Western & Southern Financial Group.

Needles, a 14-year AIM veteran, spent three and a half years at the helm of AIM Distributors before leaving in the summer of last year (see The MFWire, June 8, 2007). He was succeeded in that role by John Cooper (see The MFWire, September 25, 2007).

"It's a very exciting opportunity," Needles said of Touchstone, in an interview with The MFWire on Monday.

He said Western & Southern Financial is well-capitalized and being a privately-held company, it takes a long-term view, he said.

Asked whether he plans to make any acquisitions, Needles said that Touchstone and Western & Southern are "at all times on the lookout," for acquisition opportunities, adding that now is a particularly opportune time to be sniffing around for deals.

"It's a good time to be looking for acquisition candidates in the marketplace," Needles said.

The last time Touchstone made a purchase was in 2005, when it bought Constellation Investment Management Company, a deal that brought it an additional $2.8 billion in fund assets (see The MFWire, November 28 ,2005). That transaction closed in March 2006 (see The MFWire, March 8, 2006).

Touchstone currently has 30 mutual funds.

Company Press Release

CINCINNATI, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Touchstone Investments announced today that Gene L. Needles, Jr. has joined the company as president. He will have overall responsibility for Touchstone Investments including the company's business management and strategy, directing all aspects of distribution, product management, marketing, administration, advisory services and relationship management as well as acquisition activities.

"We are pleased to have Gene join our team," said Jill McGruder, president and chief executive officer for IFS Financial Services, Inc. "He possesses the leadership and vision needed for Touchstone's continued success."

"During the next month, I will be working with our team to develop a product and distribution strategy as the new paragon for Touchstone," stated Needles. "I am eager to take Touchstone to new heights."

Needles brings 27 years experience in the financial services industry to his position. Most recently, Needles served as president and chief executive officer of AIM Distributors where his responsibilities included the oversight of all U.S. retail distribution. Prior to his career with Invesco AIM, Needles held positions with MetLife State Street and Putnam Investments.

Needles earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in economics from Iowa State University.

About Touchstone Investments

Touchstone Investments is a mutual fund company committed to providing access to institutional money managers who act in a sub-advisory capacity through a variety of strategically focused mutual funds across styles and asset classes. While its sub-advisors are held to strict performance standards, they work with a large measure of independence and operate within their own demonstrated areas of expertise. Touchstone regularly reviews fund results including investment returns, investment style adherence and competitive positioning and continually monitors its funds in what it believes to be the best interest of shareholders. The Touchstone Funds are offered nationally through intermediaries including broker-dealers, financial planners, registered investment advisors and institutions by Touchstone Securities, Inc.(1) and advised by Touchstone Advisors, Inc.(2) Touchstone, Touchstone Funds and Touchstone Investments are federal service mark registrations and applications owned by IFS Financial Services, Inc. For more information please call 1.800.638.8194 or visit http://www.touchstoneinvestments.com.

Touchstone Securities, Inc., Touchstone Advisors, Inc. and IFS Financial Services are members of Western & Southern Financial Group®, a diversified family of financial services companies whose heritage dates back to 1888 and whose assets owned, managed and under care exceed $47 billion.

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