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TIAA hires UBS’s Nick as strategy chief for asset manager

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TIAA, the financial firm run by former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson, hired Brian Nick from UBS Group AG to help lead strategy at the money-management unit.

Nick, 35, will work in the newly created role of chief investment strategist for TIAA Investments, sharing his outlook on fixed-income and equity market trends with individual and institutional customers, the company said Tuesday in a statement. Nick, who will be based in New York, was previously head of tactical asset allocation at UBS’s wealth management operation in the Americas.

Providers of insurance and annuities have been bulking up asset-management businesses, which tend to be less capital intensive and can generate more fee income. Robert Leary, who runs TIAA’s asset manager, hired Martha Willis, formerly of OppenheimerFunds, in April as chief marketing officer, and struck a deal in 2014 to buy Nuveen Investments to expand offerings.

“The global market environment is becoming increasingly complex and Brian’s contributions will be instrumental,” Bill Riegel, chief investment officer at TIAA Investments, said in the statement. “His experience and insight will be an integral part of our commitment to seeking positive long-term investment performance.”

Erickson, Hempel

Nick will report jointly to Hans Erickson, head of multi-asset investments, and Sheryl Hempel, head of client portfolio management, at TIAA Investments, according to Mary Ellen Higgins, a spokeswoman for the company. TIAA, which has no publicly traded stock, is known for providing financial services to teachers and other employees of not-for-profit institutions. The company rebranded its investing operation to TIAA Global Asset Management in March. That business oversees $889 billion in assets, which include the totals from TIAA Investments and Nuveen.

Nick previously worked at Barclays Plc and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, according to the statement. Pranita Sookai, a spokeswoman for Zurich-based UBS, declined to comment.

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