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Waddell & Reed Makes Exec Shifts at Ivy Funds, BD

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Waddell & Reed Financial said Wednesday that is making several changes to its leadership team due to the departure of Thomas Butch, who was formerly head of its broker-dealer, marketing and certain mutual fund operations.

Shawn M. Mihal will become president of Waddell & Reed Inc. (WRI), the firm’s registered broker-dealer. Mihal has served as COO of the BD; he joined the unit as its chief regulatory and compliance officer in March 2015.

Nikki F. Newton will serve as president of Ivy Distributors Inc., or IDI, which distributes and underwrites Ivy Funds. He has been with the company since January 1998 and recently has been head of global relationships for Ivy Funds.

CFO Brent K. Bloss will act at Waddell & Reed’s chief operating officer; he will stay in the CFO role though Dec. 31. The company says its board plans to tap Chief Accounting Officer Benjamin R. Clouse as its CFO in 2018.

“Combined with our other executive members, I am confident that we have in place a leadership team with the requisite business acumen to lead into the future and position the company for long-term success amid a rapidly changing industry,” said Waddell & Reed CEO and Chief Investment Officer Philip J. Sanders, in a statement.

The firm’s assets under management were $80.9 billion as of Sept. 30, about the same as the prior quarter but 5% lower than the third quarter of 2016. Retail assets were $31.3 billion vs. $33.3 billion a year ago, while institutional assets totalled $6.4 billion, down from $8.6 billion in the prior year. 

Net outflows of $2.8 billion during the current quarter increased slightly compared to net outflows of $2.5 billion in the prior quarter, but improved compared to net outflows of $4.9 billion during the same period last year.

Waddell & Reed has 1,481 financial advisors with about $55 billion in assets under administration — $20.7 billion of which are in fee-based accounts. The BD’s assets under management were $43.5 billion as of Sept. 30 vs. $43.2 billion a year earlier.

“On behalf of our board and the leadership team, I thank Tom [Butch] for his dedicated service to the company over the last 18 years and wish him much success in the future,” Sanders added.

Waddell & Reed serves as the principal underwriter and distributor for the Waddell & Reed Advisors Group of Mutual Funds (launched in 1940) and InvestEd Portfolios, while Ivy Distributors acts as principal underwriter and distributor for Ivy Funds and Ivy Variable Insurance Portfolios.