Chase Manhattan Corp. has launched an investment advisory arm to house the $104 billion-asset money management business it would control upon completion of its merger with Chemical Banking Corp. - scheduled for early next year.
The new company, Chase Asset Management, consists of four separate units, dubbed "investment boutiques."
The units specialize, respectively, in U.S. equities, U.S. fixed-income investments, international equities, and global fixed-income and cash accounts. They manage a combined $50 billion of assets, gathered from various institutional investment departments within Chase.
One investment consultant said the boutique structure is novel for a bank. "The historic moves by large institutional money has been away from banks - maybe this would help," said Ned A. Joachami, chairman of the Wellesley Group, Waltham, Mass.
James Zeigon, executive vice president of Chase Global Asset Management, was named chairman of the new unit, which is part of the global asset business. Mr. Zeigon also oversees Chase's private bank.
The new structure gives greater autonomy to investment decision-makers while centralizing operations, administration, and marketing chores, Mr. Zeigon said in a prepared statement.
Chase also named two co-managers of the unit. Mark R. Richardson, a Chase veteran, was named president and chief investment officer. Another Chase executive, Stephen E. Prostano, was named executive vice president and chief operating officer.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Prostano said the new structure will ease the job of integrating Chase's money management business with Chemical's.
"The people will work well together within the boutique structure, and Chemical has very talented people we'll be adding to our team," he said.
Heading the four boutiques are:
*Susan H. Huang, senior investment manager for Chase Capital Management, the domestic fixed-income boutique. She joins Chase from Hyperion Capital Management.
*D. Gordon Ross, in charge of Chase Global Investors, managing fixed- income and cash investments.
*Joseph F. DeSantis, running Chase International Equity Investors.
*David A. Klassen, heading Chase Equity Associates. He joined the company in 1993 and personally manages two of its top-performing mutual funds.
In another key appointment, Cornelia L. Kiley was named vice president for institutional sales and client services.