New Hire Roundup: Morningstar Adds to Fund Research Team

Machuga goes to Merk; BlackRock names Hildebrand vice chairman; more

HandshakeThis week in new hires, Morningstar announced six appointments for its fund analyst research team; James Machuga joined Merk Investments; Philipp Hildebrand was named vice chairman at BlackRock; J. Bradley Ross was named president of Pyxis Capital; Cary Carbonaro of Stonegate Wealth Management joined United Capital; Tiffani Potesta was appointed at Schroders; and René Nourse announced her new company, Urban Wealth Management LLC.

Also, Peak Advisor Alliance brought in Paul West as managing director; Mark Denomme joined NewStar; Bernie Hughes joined the annuity settlement group at Mercer; Chip Roame was appointed as a trustee of the SA Funds; Karen Wimbish of Wells Fargo Retirement joined the board of directors at RIIA; and Thermon elected Kevin McGinty and John Nesser to its board of directors.

Morningstar Announces Fund Analyst Research Team Appointments

Morningstar announced several appointments on Monday within its fund analyst research team. In addition, the company is aligning its fund research coverage along four areas: active, passive, alternative, and fund of funds.

Scott Burns has been named director of fund analysis for North America. Michael Herbst has been promoted to director of active strategy research, spanning open-end and closed-end funds as well as active ETFs. Paul Justice and Ben Johnson will co-lead coverage of passive strategy research, now including both ETFs and traditional index funds. Nadia Papagiannis will continue to lead Morningstar’s alternative fund research, covering alternative mutual funds and alternative ETFs. Laura Pavlenko Lutton will be responsible for leading fund-of-fund research, including managed ETF portfolios, 529 college savings plans, and target-date funds. Lutton has also been named chair of the editorial committee that sets the overall direction for investment analysis across the four coverage areas in North America.

Merk Welcomes James Machuga

Merk Investments LLC, manager of Merk Funds, announced Tuesday the appointment of James Machuga as vice president of sales to focus on the wirehouse adviser channel, and will be partnering with wirehouse advisers across the U.S.

Prior to joining Merk, he was senior level II regional investment consultant at Fidelity Investments Institutional Services, where he was responsible for the distribution of Fidelity products to financial intermediaries.

BlackRock Names Philipp Hildebrand Vice Chairman

BlackRock recently announced the appointment of Philipp Hildebrand as vice chairman, overseeing the firm's largest institutional client relationships in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. His appointment is effective in October. In this new role, he will report directly to Laurence D. Fink, chairman and chief executive officer, and serve as a member of the global executive committee, as well as its EMEA and Asia Pacific executives committees.

Hildebrand brings almost 20 years of leadership experience across asset management and banking, most recently as chairman of the Swiss National Bank. He will contribute his perspective on global markets and economic trends to BlackRock's investment teams and also represent the firm to senior government officials and regulators across EMEA and Asia Pacific.

Pyxis Capital Names J. Bradley Ross President

Pyxis Capital announced Tuesday that J. Bradley Ross has been named president. His appointment is concurrent with the resignation of former Pyxis President Joe Dougherty.

With more than 25 years in the financial services industry, Ross was most recently executive vice president and national sales director of Ivy Funds, which he joined in 2003. Prior to Ivy, he was senior vice president, national sales manager, independent channel for ING Funds in Scottsdale, Ariz. He has also held senior sales, business development and marketing roles at Voyager Asset Management, Minneapolis; Van Kampen; Bankers Trust and Alliance Capital Management.

United Capital Welcomes Cary Carbonaro

United Capital Financial Advisers LLC announced that Cary Carbonaro, a partner from Stonegate Wealth Management, joined the firm. With this acquisition, 75 family relationships totaling $50 million in assets will join United Capital; Carbonaro’s typical client set ranges from $750,000–$1 million, with half her clientele residing in the New York City area and the other half living in central Florida.

Carbonaro has more than 20 years of experience, including working at JPMorgan Chase and Lord Abbett Investment Management and holding the role of vice president at Citibank. In 2001, she founded Family Financial Research, which merged with Stonegate Wealth Management in 2008.

Schroders Announces Appointment of Tiffani Potesta

Schroders announced Monday the appointment of Tiffani Potesta as head of advisory sales within the U.S. key accounts team, reporting to Erin Brenner, head of intermediary key accounts.

With more than 17 years of experience, Potesta joins Schroders from DWS Investments, where she served as director, national account manager and head of third party insurance and DCIO. Prior to joining DWS she worked as director and head of national accounts at First Eagle Funds.

René Nourse Launches Urban Wealth Management

Rene NourseRené Nourse (left) announced her new company, Urban Wealth Management LLC. She has selected CONCERT Advisor Services for her back office support. Advisory services will be provided by CONCERT Wealth Management, an SEC RIA.

Nourse was formerly a vice president and certified financial planner at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and has more than 30 years in the financial services industry. She will be based in El Segundo, Calif.

Ron Carson’s Peak Advisor Alliance Hires New Managing Director

Peak Advisor Alliance announced Monday the addition of Paul West as managing director, effective immediately. Steve Sanduski will remain in partnership with both Peak Advisor Alliance and Carson Wealth as a strategic resource on new business development initiatives and act as a strategic resource and consultant to the firm. In addition, Sanduski will be actively involved in the rollout of the forthcoming book, Tested in the Trenches: A 9-Step Plan for Success as a New-Era Advisor, co-authored with firm founder Ron Carson.

West joins with more than 14 years of experience in the financial services industry, formerly as a senior executive including president/COO for a niche-focused RIA and prior to that with Securities America, responsible for business development at both firms. He also spent more than nine years in leadership positions at Securities America. In the CPA industry, West previously worked with Capital Professional Advisors and served on its board of directors.

NewStar Adds Mark Denomme to Its Leveraged Finance Team

NewStar Financial announced Tuesday that it has hired veteran banker Mark Denomme as a managing director in its leveraged finance group. He will join the Boston office.

Denomme has more than 20 years of business development and transaction experience working with private equity groups and other private business. Prior to joining the firm, he was a managing director at Hercules Technology Growth Capital. Previously, he co-founded Consilium Partners, a boutique investment banking firm specializing in sell-side M&A for smaller middle-market companies. He also worked for FleetBoston Robertson Stephens and its predecessors in a variety of roles, including as a director in its leveraged finance group.

Bernie Hughes Joins Mercer’s Annuity Settlement Group

Bernie Hughes has joined Mercer Investments as a senior consultant in the annuity settlement group, Rich Nuzum, head of Mercer’s investment business in the United States, announced Tuesday.

Formerly with Towers Perrin, and later Towers Watson, for nearly 20 years, Hughes worked prior to that as a director of marketing within the asset management and pension services group at Travelers Life Insurance Co., where he spent 10 years.

Chip Roame Joins Board of Trustees of SA Funds

Chip RoameLoring Ward announced that Charles "Chip" Roame (left), managing partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors, has been appointed as a trustee of the SA Funds by the board of trustees of the SA Funds—Investment Trust. He joins longtime trustees Bryan Brown, a management consultant for financial and technological systems, and Hersh Shefrin, a distinguished professor of finance at Santa Clara University.

At Tiburon, Roame is responsible for all of the firm's consulting, research and marketing activities. He is a leading strategic consultant to CEOs, other senior executives, and boards of directors in the brokerage, investments, banking and insurance markets. Prior to forming Tiburon in 1998, he served in similar capacities, first as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co., and later as a business strategist at The Charles Schwab Corp.

RIIA Names Karen H. Wimbish of Wells Fargo Retirement to Board of Directors

Francois Gadenne, executive director and chairman of the board of directors of the Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA), announced recently that Karen H. Wimbish, director, retail retirement for Wells Fargo Retirement, has joined the board.

Wimbish has more than 30 years in the financial services industry, including roles in banking, brokerage and asset management, as well in credit administration, project management and training.

Thermon Elects Kevin McGinty and John Nesser to Board of Directors

Thermon Group Holdings and Thermon Holding Corp. announced Tuesday that Kevin McGinty and John Nesser have been appointed to their respective boards of directors, effective June 15.

McGinty is currently a managing director of Peppertree Capital Management, a private equity fund management firm. Prior to founding Peppertree in January 2000, he served as a managing director of Primus Venture Partners during the period from 1990 to December 1999. From 1970 to 1990, he was employed by Society National Bank, now KeyBank, where in his final position he was an executive vice president. He has more than 40 years of experience in the banking and private equity industries.

Nesser recently retired as executive vice president and chief operating officer of McDermott International, a global engineering, procurement, construction and installation company with a focus on the energy industry. He joined McDermott as associate general counsel in 1998 and spent more than 10 years in various senior management roles, including as general counsel, chief administrative officer and chief legal officer. Previously, he served as a managing partner of Nesser, King & LeBlanc, a New Orleans law firm, which he cofounded in 1985. He has significant prior experience in legal and operational roles.

Read the June 13 New Hire Roundup at AdvisorOne.

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