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New Hire Roundup: Christian Named FiNet President

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HandshakeThis week in new hires, Kent Christian was named the new president of FiNet; BlackRock named Mark Howard-Johnson head of global real estate securities management; Ross Hikida became a member of AARM Corp.’s board of directors; and Arthur Georgantas joined New York Life Retirement Plan Services.

Also, American Century named Peter Cieszko to its management committee and Citi Private Bank welcomed two from J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management.

Wells Fargo Names New FiNet Chief

Kent Christian, President, FiNetWells Fargo Advisors said Tuesday that Kent Christian is the new president of Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (FiNet), the firm’s independent channel. Christian (right) replaces John Peluso, who was recently tapped to become president of First Clearing Correspondent Services, a non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo (WFC).

“Kent brings to FiNet essential experience, an informed perspective and leadership skills that will help us to further strengthen our firm’s attractiveness to a growing number of entrepreneurial minded, independent advisors,” said Wells Fargo Advisors CEO and President Danny Ludeman in a press release.

Read the full story about Kent Christian’s appointment at AdvisorOne.

BlackRock Appoints Mark Howard-Johnson Head of Global Real Estate Securities

BlackRock announced Monday the launch of its global real estate securities capability and the appointment of industry veteran Mark Howard-Johnson as global head of real estate securities management to lead its development. One of his first priorities is to build a global team that will work closely with BlackRock’s real estate research and investment professionals to identify and pursue investible trends in the real estate industry, and will also look to leverage the expertise of the firm’s fundamental equity teams.

Most recently, Howard-Johnson served as chief investment officer at Building & Land Technology, where he was responsible for launching its real estate securities management effort. Previously, he was global head and CIO of REIT management at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Ross Hikida Joins Board at AARM Corp.

Alternative Asset Risk Management (AARM) Corp. announced June 1 that Ross Hikida has joined the company’s board of directors.

Hikida most recently served as president and representative director of BlackRock Japan Co. and as CEO of Barclays Global Investors Japan Limited. He held executive responsibility for businesses with client assets of $200 billion.

New York Life Retirement Appoints Georgantas as Senior Taft-Hartley RM

Westwood, Mass.-based New York Life Retirement Plan Services has added Arthur Georgantas to its client relationship team. He has been appointed vice president, senior relationship manager in the Taft-Hartley market and reports to Taft-Hartley practice lead James Byrne.

With 25 years of industry experience, Georgantas spent a combined six years as a Taft-Hartley relationship manager for Putnam Investments and most recently Mercer.

American Century Adds Peter Cieszko to Management Committee

American Century Investments announced Tuesday that Peter Cieszko, who joined the company in August, has been named to the firm’s management committee. With the new title of chief client officer—Americas, he will report to Jonathan Thomas, president and CEO, and have responsibility for all North and South American sales and distribution activities in the institutional and financial intermediary channels. He will continue to work with institutional and intermediary sales leadership. Cieszko and Michael Green, head of international business, will continue to work collaboratively on a coordinated global sales and distribution strategy.

Cieszko joined from Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co., where he served as president of the business unit that provides investment management services to financial institutions. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of Evergreen Investments. He joined Evergreen from Legg Mason. Throughout his 25-year financial services career, Cieszko has held various senior leadership positions with Nuveen Investments, Montgomery Asset Management, E.F. Hutton & Co., and Merrill Lynch.

Citi Private Bank Welcomes Stephen Baird

Citi Private Bank announced that Stephen Baird has joined the firm’s Houston office as director and ultra-high-net-worth private banker, reporting to Russ Labrasca, head of the Houston office.

Baird joins from J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management, where he was most recently an executive director and private banker in the Houston office. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan in 2009, he spent six years as a director and portfolio strategy consultant at UBS, covering the south central region made up of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Earlier he worked as a mortgage banker and as a corporate banker at SunTrust in Atlanta.

Citi Private Bank Adds Becker in Denver

Citi Private Bank announced that Brian Becker has joined the firm’s Denver office as director and ultra-high-net-worth private banker, reporting to Mark Connally, southwest region executive.

Becker joins from J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management, where he was a vice president in the firm’s Denver office. Previously, he spent three years at Bernstein Wealth Management in Denver.

Later in the summer, the Denver office will also welcome Steve Logan and Jeff Briggs, the former as managing director and head of the office and the latter as managing director and ultra-high-net-worth private banker.

Read the May 30 New Hire Roundup at AdvisorOne.


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