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Friday, June 04, 2010

A Wirehouse Hunts for a Mutual Fund Chief

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The top mutual fund position at UBS' wirehouse is open. Kevin Ruth, head of retirement income and fund services at the wirehouse, confirmed that he's currently conducting an external search to fill the role, which had been previously been part of Ed O'Connor's broader duties.

"We are in the marketplace actively looking for a head of mutual funds, 529s and money funds," Ruth told The MFWire in an interview.

O'Connor previously oversaw mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and unit investment trusts, as well as retirement plans, and he reported in to Ruth. Yet O'Connor's role recently shifted to focus exclusively on retirement plans and on institutional consulting (for more details on O'Connor's move, read our sister publication, The 401kWire, 5/25/2010).

Ruth, meanwhile, now oversees insurance and annuities, retirement income, the personal trust company and individual retirement (i.e. IRAs, etc.), as well as mutual funds. The mutual fund team and the insurance and annuities team each boast six dedicated team members, Ruth confirmed, as well as three team members who jointly serve both teams.

About 13,000 funds from 290 firms currently have access to UBS' platform, Ruth said, and he estimates that the top 50 of those firms have gathered 80 percent of the assets.

After working in the private wealth group at Merrill Lynch, Ruth and three of his colleagues joined UBS in 2003 to start up the wirehouse's "ultra-high net worth private offering". In 2005, he became head of "wealth planning," which include insurance and annuities, financial planning, trust and retirement.) 

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