A Top Voice For M* Moves On
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Friday, June 17, 2016

A Top Voice For M* Moves On

Morningstar's top voice to the media has joined an agency, and two others moving on from the mutual fund ratings giant. Meanwhile, a partner at that agency is returning to reporting on the industry.

Chicago-based Margaret Kirch Cohen, formerly head of corporate communications at Morningstar and 16-year company veteran, just joined Concord, Massachusetts-based CL-Media Relations as a partner. CL co-founder Sarah Lazarus remains on board, while co-founder Rich Chimberg is returning to his reporting roots.

Alexa Auerbach, formerly Morningstar's corporate communications for the retirement, asset management, and advisor segments and 17-year company veteran, joined altneratives shop LJM Partners as marketing director. And word is that Carling Spelhaug, associate director of corporate communications for Morningstar and eight-year company veteran, will leave soon.

"Morningstar is recruiting for my role," Kirch Cohen tells MFWire, adding she "will continue to support Morningstar" in her work at CL. Kirch Cohen says that she and Lazarus "have known and respected each other for years."

"After Rich decided he wanted to return to journalism, Sarah and Rich approached me about becoming a partner," Kirch Cohen says. "It gives me an opportunity to have a stake in a business and continue to support Morningstar, which is terrific."

Lazarus praises Kirch Cohen as "a consummate professional" and sees a "possibility of ramping up a little bit in terms of staffing" now that Kirch Cohen's joining."

"Finding the right person to transition to and with was really crucial. It had to be just the right person," Lazarus tells MFWire. "Rich and I have had a wonderful partnership for the last ten years. We've established an enduring business. He wanted to shift gears."

"We have planned this very carefully for the last year," Lazarus adds.

"I spent 20 of my last 30 years reporting on the [asset management] industry," Chimberg tells MFWire. "I have no destination in mind yet. All I know is that I do want to return."

"My first love is journalism and covering asset management," Chimberg says. "There's not as much focus as there should be on the business of money management."

He adds he and Lazarus "have become very close friends as a result" of their ten-year partnership.

"It's going to remain a great friendship," Chimberg says. "This is me looking at my next chapter ... It's time to pass the baton."

Kirck Cohen is an alumnus of Northern Arizona University. She worked at Mellon (now part of BNY Mellon) and 360 degree Communications before joining Morningstar in 2000.

Chimberg went to Tel Aviv University, the New School, and the City College of New York. Before moving into public relations, he reported for Money Management Letter, started his own publication which later sold to Thomson, and worked at Bloomberg and InvestorForce.

Auerbach is an alumnus of UPenn. She worked at at the Financial Relations Board and Edelman before joining Ibbotson (now part of Morningstar).

Spelhaug is an alumnus of Northwestern and first joined Morningstar in 2008.

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