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Friday, October 06, 2017

Roberge Consolidates MFS Distro Under a Single Chief

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Mike Roberge is consolidating his 600-person distribution team at MFS under a single chief as a key executive prepares to step back.

Word in the industry is that Jim Jessee, co-head of global distribution at MFS, will step down from his the Boston-based mutual fund shop at the end of 2017. Carol Geremia, MFWire has learned, is poised to become MFS' sole head of distribution when Jessee retires, reporting directly to Roberge, who serves as CEO, president, and chief investment officer of the SunLife subsidiary.

Geremia and Jessee did not immediately return calls for comment.

Yet Jessee is not leaving MFS just yet.

"Jim will still be here over the next year," Dan Flaherty, an MFS spokesman, tells MFWire. "He'll serve in a strategic council role for our retail business ... to identify strategic priorities and opportunities."

MFS' retail business includes both MFS Funds Distributors (MFD) here in the U.S. and MFS International Limited (MIL) outside the U.S.

Flaherty praises Geremia as "a well-respected leader, both inside and outside of MFS."

"She is a true culture carrier who is passionate about our business and putting our clients' interests first," Flaherty says. "Over the years, Carol has taken a leadership position on a number of client issues and has been instrumental to our overall success."

MFS is also making changes its DC I-O and international distribution leadership. Our sister publication 401kWire has the scoop.

Geremia currently serves as co-head of global distribution alongside Jessee. Geremia oversees institutional distribution at MFS, while Jessee oversees advisor-sold and variable annuity distribution.

Geremia, an alumna of Tobe-Coburn College, first joined MFS in 1984. She rose through the ranks of MFS's old 401(k) recordkeeping business, then led it from 2001 to 2004. In 2004 she rose to president of MFS Institutional Advisors.

Jessee, an alumnus of the University of Richmond, first joined MFS in 1987 as a regional wholesaler in the wirehouse channel. He rose through national sales and key account roles before becoming president of MFS Fund Distributors in 2004 and then rising to co-head of global distribution in 2011. He serves on the board of governors for the ICI and previously chaired its sales and marketing committee. Prior to joining MFS 30 years ago, he served as a group rep at Minnesota Life. 

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