Chancellor Capital Management Inc., a $31 billion-asset New York investment management firm, has hired the renowned market strategist Katherine Hensel to follow financial service companies.

A top ranked bank analyst, Ms. Hensel became chief market strategist at Lehman Brothers in 1993 at age 32, but surprised Wall Street when she resigned the post last May.

Ms. Hensel began her new post as vice president and senior equity research analyst in mid-December, replacing Richard Pike, who left the company. Ms. Hensel was unavailable for comment.

"Chancellor is very fortunate to have hired someone of her caliber," said Anthony Davis, a bank analyst with Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. who has known her for 10 years.

Ms. Hensel left Lehman in the midst of a series of widely publicized disputes over the positioning of the firm. She was bearish in a one of the great bull markets, while her colleague Elaine Garzarelli, a quantitative analyst, was bullish. Fred Fraenkel, Ms. Hensel's main backer, resigned as head of research in February. She reportedly expressed interest in the position, but was passed over for Bernard Picchi, an oil analyst.

At Chancellor, financial service investments are a small percentage of the overall portfolio. One of the largest is a $230 million investment in Bank of New York Co. Other bank investments include BankAmerica Corp., Norwest Corp., and NationsBank Corp.

Chancellor also has substantial investments in Dean Witter Reynolds and First Financial Management Corp., the credit card processor First Data Corp. agreed to buy last year in a multibillion-dollar deal.

Chancellor is 51% owned by its employees. The remainder is owned by the insurance company USF&G, which bought Chancellor from Citicorp in 1988. The employees bought the majority stake in 1992.

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