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New Hire Roundup: Neuberger Berman Taps Modigliani; BNY Mellon Appoints Masih

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Neuberger Berman Group has appointed Leah Modigliani as a senior vice president and multi-asset class strategist, reporting to Alan Dorsey, the firm's head of investment strategy and risk. This is a newly created position and Modigliani's appointment was effective May 5.

Modigliani (left) most recently served as an independent investment strategist, advising non-profits, foundations and endowments on portfolio construction and management. Previously, she spent 12 years at Morgan Stanley where she was an executive director and U.S. strategist in the research department, and a portfolio manager in the asset management division, where she managed equity mutual funds, balanced asset allocation funds, and a macro hedge fund. She co-developed the M-squared measure of risk-adjusted return for portfolio performance evaluation and designed the stock risk rating system used by Morgan Stanley worldwide.

''We're delighted Leah is joining our firm in this important new role,'' said Dorsey. ''Leah brings to Neuberger Berman extensive asset management experience and a deep understanding of global asset allocation and her insights will be of great value to our clients and our colleagues.''

BNY Mellon Asset Management announced on Tuesday that it has named Rumi Masih as a senior investment strategist in the Investment Strategy & Solutions Group. Masih, who reports to Jeff Saef, managing director and head of the group, will utilize the firm’s proprietary research and analytics to help clients frame their asset allocation, risk management and portfolio construction decisions.

Saef said of the appointment, “Rumi Masih has proven to be highly effective at understanding client concerns and needs. His strong global capital markets skills, combined with a skillful blend of investment theory and practice, position him as an great resource for our clients. We are excited to have Rumi join the team.”

Masih, who will be based in New York City, joins BNY Mellon Asset Management from JP Morgan Asset Management, where he was a managing director and global head of the Strategic Investment Advisory Group. He was responsible for developing thought leadership and investment policy, asset allocation research, custom solutions, and risk management product solutions for institutional clients.  Masih also had experience at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, where he was a vice president and senior strategist in the Global

Investment Strategies division. He was awarded a Ph.D. in econometrics from the University of Cambridge and has published more than 60 articles in the fields of macroeconomics, development economics, and empirical finance.

Aviva Investors announced on Monday that it has entered the U.S. financial institutions market, appointing Rob Watson as managing director of financial institutions for North America and forming a strategic relationship with U.S. investment advisory firm Destra Capital Management. The move is part of Aviva Investors’ effort to grow its North American presence as part of its global strategy.

Watson, who was previously global product and strategic relationships director at Aviva Investors, will now be responsible for growing the financial institutions channel in North America. He will also work closely on the strategic relationship with Destra, which will see Aviva Investors develop a range of funds for distribution by Destra through its network of wholesalers to brokers, banking platforms and large independent financial boutiques. 

Rob Ranges, head of business development for Aviva Investors North America, said: “Growing our North American business remains an integral part of Aviva Investors global strategy. The appointment of Rob to oversee the development of our Financial Institutions channel was a natural next step to building on progress we have already made in the pension fund and insurance sectors.”

New York Life Investments announced that, as part of its efforts to broaden its defined contribution investment only (DCIO) practice, it has appointed Al Lazaro as regional vice president, Midwest region. In this new position, he will report to Steven Dorval, managing director of defined contribution assets for New York Life Investments. Lazaro began at New York Life Investments on April 18.

Lazaro was formerly at Van Kampen Investments, where he served most recently as regional vice president focused on the Midwest. Earlier in his career he worked for Evren Securities in mutual fund marketing. He is a graduate of Bradley University with a BS in business administration.

He joins a team of seven DCIO professionals that focuses on selling the MainStay mutual fund family and New York Life’s stable value products into this channel.


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