Amvescap is the latest investment management company to select a former banker to spearhead its efforts to manage private wealth.
On Wednesday the Atlanta company said it had hired Donald J. Herrema, who had headed the New York private bank Bessemer Trust until October, as chairman and chief executive of its new private wealth management division.
Mr. Herrema, 48, said that he will be in charge of building a global private client business catering to upscale clients with between $3 million and $5 million to invest.
"Clearly this is a rapidly growing market," he said in an interview. For Amvescap, which manages $403 billion of assets under the AIM and Invesco brands, accessing a growing demographic of wealthy individuals was "the next logical step," he said.
The company will build its wealth management business both internally and through strategic acquisitions, he said.
Mr. Herrema, who will officially join the company in New York in a couple of weeks, had been president of Bessemer since 1998 and at one stage had headed Wells Fargo Securities of San Francisco. A spokesman for Bessemer said he had left to "pursue other interests." He was succeeded by Frank Helsom.
Mr. Herrema is also expected to be named chairman of Amvescap National Trust Co., which received a national trust bank charter last month from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 gave a green light to Amvescap and other companies primarily known as fund managers to apply for national trust bank charters.
Neuberger Berman, a New York investment and advisory company that manages roughly $56 billion of assets, also received a trust charter last month.
The company, which is targeting individuals with $2 million and up to invest, also hired a former private banker, Albert C. Bellas from Offitbank in New York, to head its newly chartered bank.
Both companies now join banks and other financial service companies in the race to manage the assets of the baby boomer generation as well as the younger, so-called emerging affluent clients who made money in the now-evaporated tech stock frenzy but may not be enamored with the do-it-yourself approach to investing.