Merrill Lynch Wealth Management hired Ashvin Chhabra as chief investment officer, head of Investment Management and Guidance, on Monday. In this role, Chhabra will oversee investment advice and strategy for financial advisors and their clients and lead the Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) Investment Office.
Chhabra (left) served as Merrill Lynch’s head of Wealth Strategies and Analytics between 2001 and 2007. During this time, he focused on links between behavioral finance and portfolio construction and translating this work into goals-based wealth management solutions. Chhabra most recently served as the chief investment officer at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.
“As an organization, we believe we bring unparalleled intellectual capital to bear on behalf of our clients and advisors. Our ability to attract leading talent is central to that effort,” said Andy Sieg, head of Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions for Merrill, which is owned by Bank of America (BAC), in a press release.
As of March 31, Merrill Lynch had $1.83 trillion in client assets under management and some 15,000 financial advisors.
“Ashvin has an impressive industry and academic career that makes him ideally suited to work with our advisors to deliver investment advice and guidance that helps our clients pursue their desired outcomes,” Sieg added.
Before joining Merrill Lynch in 2001, Chhabra was head of quantitative research at J.P. Morgan Private Bank (JPM). He holds a Ph.D. in applied physics from Yale University and is recognized as a leader in the fields of investment management, risk and asset allocation and risk management.
(Also on Monday, BofA said it had reached a $1.6 billion settlement with MBIA regarding credit-default-swap protection agreements that it purchased from MBIA on commercial mortgage-backed securities. This will reduce the company’s first-quarter net income to $1.5 billion, or $0.10 per share, from the $2.6 billion, or $0.20 per share it reported on April 17, which will be stated in its next 10-Q filing.)