Vijay Advani.

Nuveen, the global investment manager with close to $900 million in assets under management, has named President and Chief Operating Officer Vijay Advani its new CEO, effective Apil 21.

Advani, who joined the money management firm in December, replaces Rob Leary, who is leaving to pursue another professional opportunity, according to a company statement.

“Vijay is ideally suited to lead our asset management business, given his industry background and global experience,” said Roger W. Ferguson, President and CEO of TIAA, which acquired Nuveen in April 2014 and then adopted the Nuveen name for its asset management business in January 2017, putting the firm’s 12 investment affiliates under one umbrella. “He is a skilled leader whose vision for the business will serve our clients well.”

Ferguson also thanked Leary “for his significant contributions to TIAA and, especially, to the growth of our asset management business since he joined us in 2013. We wish him well in his new endeavor.”

Leary’s replacement, Advani, joined Nuveen in January 2017 from Franklin Templeton Investors, where he had worked for more than 20 years, and was most recently its co-president, responsible for long-term strategic initiatives, investment management, trading and global retail and institutional distribution.

Before joining Franklin Templeton, Advani spent 11 years at the World Bank advising governments on the development of their financial markets and arranging equity, quasi-equity and debt financing. He will now become a member of the TIAA Executive Committee.

Brian Moriarty, an analyst at Morningstar, said the C-suite change at Nuveen was “a little surprising given the organizational change announced in January,” when TIAA renamed its asset management division, but noted that Advani “has clear operational experience [and] the necessary skill set” which should serve Nuveen well.

Moriarty rates the financial impact of the CEO change as neutral, given that it’s coming early on in the firm’s reorganization of its asset management business.

Lipper recently named Nuveen the Best Overall Large Fund Company for the fifth year in a row and the Best Mixed Assets Large Fund Group for the second consecutive year, for its multi-asset strategies, including the TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Fund series and the TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Fund series. In addition Nuveen Asset Management received 11 individual fund awards for its municipal fund offerings as well as the Global Multi-Cap Value Funds award. 

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