First American Corp.'s brokerage chief - who is also president of the Bank Securities Association - has left the company, just as former investment program officials from two other big banks were taking nonbank berths .
L. Rainey Gray, who had surprised industry observers last year by jumping from Boatmen's Bancshares to the smaller program at First American, said he realized the new position "wasn't going to be right for the long haul."
He and First American executives had different approaches to investment product marketing, managers at the Nashville bank said.
Meanwhile Steven B. Plump, dismissed in May from Chemical Banking Corp., has joined E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co.
And Richard Munoz, who ran the mutual fund sales program at Meridian Bancorp until March, took a marketing position last week with the Chubb Group of Insurance Cos.
Mr. Gray's departure from First American was mutually agreed upon, said vice chairman Robert A. McCabe. Instead of replacing Mr. Gray, the bank has divvied his duties among three executives in the investment unit, Mr. McCabe said.
The Bank Securities Association, a Corte Madera, Calif., trade group that represents bank brokerages, has not asked for Mr. Gray's resignation, but he acknowledged that he may soon be giving up the post, since he's no longer affiliated with a bank brokerage.
"At some point we'll have to come to some kind of decision about whether I will stay," he said.
Mr. Plump said he was hired by Warburg Pincus as a vice president of its Counsellors unit to help spearhead a drive into banks.
Banks are "definitely an area where we see growth," he said.
The New York company, which currently has modest mutual fund business with banks, wants to beef up its presence in both retail and institutional areas, Mr. Plump said.
His product list includes Warburg Pincus funds for institutional wrap accounts and 401(k) products. The company, which traditionally has marketed no-load funds, is now offering a product whose 12b1 administrative fees would go to banks.
Warburg Pincus also has a new annuity it will market through banks.
Mr. Plump, who was with Chemical's investment program through two incarnations - an effort run by an outside marketing firm and a program taken over by the bank - was dismissed as sales manager as part of a cost- cutting move. Paul Landolfe, who runs Chemical's investment program for small businesses, is now handling Mr. Plump's responsibilities, a Chemical spokeswoman said.
Mr. Munoz will also retain a hand in banking in his new position as market research director at Warren, N.J.-based Chubb.
He said financial institutions are a natural consideration as he looks for new markets for the insurer's life and property and casualty products.