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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

OppFunds Trims and Reorgs Marketing

News summary by MFWire's editors

OppenheimerFunds continues to adjust to the post-September 2008 world, this time with a new unit inside marketing, a new high-level lawyer and a round of layoffs in marketing. InvestmentNews' Jessica Marquez reports that the New York City-based mutual fund firm is laying off about 20 people in its marketing unit. Meanwhile, chief marketing officer Marty Willis is hiring Lori Heinel to lead a brand new, nine-person investment services group, and Ari Gabinet is joining to handle day-to-day legal issues.

One industry insider told The MFWire that the cuts affect about 15 team members in marketing and about 10 in OppFunds' 529 business.

As for OppFunds general counsel Bob Zack, marketing senior vice president Bob Grill told InvestmentNews that Zack will remain in his position to "focus on more strategic business issues." One industry insider claimed that Zack will be stepping down next month, yet a spokesman for OppFunds insisted that Zack is not leaving the company. That spokesman confirmed that Gabinet will report both to Zack and to OppFunds CEO Bill Glavin.

When reached by The MFWire, a spokesperson for OppFunds was not immediately able to comment on extent of the layoffs or on whether or not (or how) the positions in the new investment services group have been filled so far. The MFWire could not immediately reach Zack himself for comment.

Heinel, formerly managing director and head of investment solutions at Citi Private Back, will join OppFunds on August 1, a company spokesman confirmed. Her investment services group "will focus on putting together investment commentary to clients," InvestmentNews reports.

"We are changing our business model to be more customer-focused and to strengthen our investment-marketing expertise," Grill told the trade pub. "To do that, we need to get the right talent levels in the right places."

Gabinet previously served as head of securities litigation at Vanguard

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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