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Rating:A San Fran Fundster Takes Over a $320B AUM Multinational Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A San Fran Fundster Takes Over a $320B AUM Multinational

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A California fundster and institutional asset management veteran is taking over a publicly traded Canadian multinational's 1,250-employee, $320-billion-AUM asset management arm, even as two executives take over (at least for now) a publicly traded U.S. giant's $466-billion-AUM asset management arm.

Kristi Lynn Mitchem
Wells Fargo Asset Management
Outgoing CEO
San Francisco-based Kristi Mitchem will join Montreal- and Toronto-based BMO Financial Group on March 18 as CEO of BMO Global Asset Management (BMO GAM [profile]), Joanna Rotenberg confirms this morning. Mitchem succeeds BMO GAM's current London-based CEO Richard Wilson, who is retiring. Mitchem will report to Toronto-based Rotenberg, group head of BMO Wealth Management.

Kirk Douglas Hartman
Wells Fargo Asset Management
Chief Investment Officer
Mitchem currently serves as CEO of Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM [profile]), and is a leaving the bank tomorrow, Wells Fargo spokesman Rob Julavits confirms. Kirk Hartman, WFAM's chief investment officer, and Nico Marais, WFAM's president and head of multi-asset solutions, will step up as interim co-CEOs of WFAM. Hartman and Marais, who have been reporting to Mitchem, will report to Jon Weiss, senior executive vice president of wealth and investment management at Wells Fargo. (Mitchem has reported to Weiss.)

Nicolaas Marais
Wells Fargo Asset Management
President, Head of Multi-Asset Solutions
"Kristi was a valued team member at Wells Fargo, and we wish her well in her next chapter," Julavits tells MFWire via an emailed statement.

"There is no executive search underway at this time. The company has great confidence in Kirk and Nico and their ability to lead the asset management division," Julavits adds. "They will assume responsibility for executing the business strategy, lead the team through this transition, and continue to focus on our clients."

Richard Charles Wilson
BMO Global Asset Management
Retiring CEO, Chief Investment Officer
At BMO, Rotenberg lauds Mitchem's "excellent track record of transformative leadership."

"She has a passion for making a difference for clients by solving the most pressing investment challenges they face," Rotenberg states. "Her asset management expertise, creativity, and technological acumen will be a strong catalyst in our next chapter of growth."

Joanna Rotenberg
BMO Wealth Management
Group Head
Darryl White, CEO of all of BMO Financial Group, also weighs in on the moves, praising Mitchem as "highly respected across the industry."

"I look forward to her joining our team and building on Richard's success in leading BMO's asset management business to drive exceptional performance and service for our clients," White states. "I am confident in our ability to provide innovative investment solutions, consistently driving client loyalty, strengthening our competitive position and fueling growth across our entire wealth platform."

Jonathan G. Weiss
Wells Fargo
Senior Executive Vice President, Wealth and Investment Management
As for Wilson, Rotenberg describes the "indelible mark" the outgoing BMO GAM chief has left on the firm.

"He has positioned BMO as a significant global asset manager, with BMO GAM stewarding more than $320 billion in assets under management," Rotenberg states. "Under his leadership, we have brought world-class capabilities to all of our markets."

Mitchem, an alumna of Davidson College and of Stanford's Graduate School of Business, joined Wells Fargo in 2016 to take over WFAM. Prior to that she: served as SSgA's head of global DC and then led SSgA's Americas institutional client group: served as head of DC at BlackRock; led the DC business at BGI (which BlackRock acquired); and worked as as a managing director in Goldman Sachs' equity products group.

An alumnus of Amherst College and of the University of Chicago, Hartman joined Wells Fargo in 2002 as CIO of Wells Capital Management. Prior to that he served as managing director of fixed income at Banc of America Capital Management, CIO of BofA's private bank, managing director and co-COO at Lehman Brothers Global Asset Management, and president of E.F. Hutton Risk Management.

Marais, an alumnus of the University of South Africa and of University of Stellenbosch (also in South Africa), joined WFAM two years ago. Prior to that he led multi-asset investments and portfolio solutions at Schroders, led active portfolio management at BlackRock Multi Asset and Client Solutions, worked in a variety of roles at BGI, and worked as a trader for the World Bank Group and the South African Reserve Bank.

An alumnus of the University of Exeter, Wilson joined BMO GAM in 2004, rose to CEO of the firm's EMEA business in 2014, and took over as CEO of all BMO GAM in 2016. Before joining BMO he led international equities at Gartmore, served as managing director of global equities at Deutsche Asset Management, and worked at HSBC Asset Management. 

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