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Rating:A Top Touchstone Exec Jumps to American Beacon Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, April 3, 2009

A Top Touchstone Exec Jumps to American Beacon

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Six months after joining Touchstone Investments as its president, Gene Needles is moving on to take the top job at American Beacon Advisors. Needles will start at Fort Worth, Texas-based American Beacon, which American Airlines parent AMR Corp. sold last year to Lighthouse Holdings, on April 15.

"An active search is underway" for Needles' replacement at Touchstone, company spokesman Tony Kono told The MFWire.

At American Beacon, Needles succeeds Doug Herring, who went back to American Airlines last September, when the $484 million sale of American Beacon to Lighthouse Holdings -- owned by investment funds affiliated with private equity firms Pharos Capital Group and TPG Capital -- was completed.

Bill Quinn, 61, will remain as American Beacon's executive chairman.

Commenting on the Needles' hiring, Quinn told The MFWire: "We were looking for an experienced mutual fund executive with a broad range of skills, having a focus on sales, marketing and product development."

Needles' last day at Cincinnati-based Touchstone will be April 9. Jill McGruder, president and CEO of Touchstone parent IFS Financial Services, will serve as acting president while the search is ongoing.

Needles joined Touchtone last October (see The MFWire, 10/20/08). Previously, he spent 14 years at AIM, including three years and a half years at the helm of AIM Distributors.
Company Press Release

Ft. Worth, Texas, Friday, April 3, 2009 - American Beacon Advisors is pleased to announce the selection of Gene L. Needles, Jr. as President & CEO. He will officially join the firm on Wednesday, April 15, 2009. Mr. Needles has over twenty years of experience in the mutual fund industry, with a strong background in sales and distribution.

Mr. Needles most recently served as President of Touchstone Investments. Prior to this, he was with AIM Investments from 1993 through 2007 where he increasingly took on more and more responsibility from the early days as a Regional Vice President to ultimately being named the President and CEO of AIM Distributors in 2004. In this role, he was responsible for distributing products that included mutual funds, exchange traded funds, separate accounts, variable annuities, sub-advised portfolios, collective trusts, offshore funds, retirement plans and college savings plans.

William F. Quinn will remain as Executive Chairman on a full-time basis at American Beacon Advisors. Mr. Quinn stated, “We are excited about the future of ABA with Mr. Needles in this role. We believe his deep knowledge, experience and energy will serve us and our clients well as we continue to grow and deliver strong products to the marketplace.”

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