Huntington Bancshares has named its brokerage chief, Rob Comfort, as interim leader of its private financial group, whose chief resigned Friday.
Mr. Comfort, 38, will oversee investments, insurance, trust, private banking, and fiduciary services until a successor to Judith D. Fisher is found, said a spokeswoman for the Cleveland company.
Ms. Fisher, 54, who had been promoted to vice chairman in November, left to pursue other opportunities, the spokeswoman said. The parting was amicable, she added, but she declined to comment further.
The private financial group manages about $9 billion of assets, including $2.7 billion in its proprietary mutual fund family, the Huntington Funds. The company will consider current employees and others for someone to succeed Ms. Fisher in the job, the spokeswoman said.
Mr. Comfort said he expects to get it. Meanwhile, he said, he has begun to plan ways to increase assets under management by encouraging Huntington's investments sales force to work more closely with the asset management group.
"What we have the ability to do now is really make this one team," he said. "If you build a good asset management and proprietary product complex, you've got to go out and partner with the sales force and sell them on why these are worth showing to their client."
Revenues of Huntington's brokerage arm have more than tripled, to $35 million last year, since Mr. Comfort joined the group as national sales manager. He has attributed much of the unit's success to its sales force.
"The investment program has generated a great deal of enthusiasm, and I'd like to take that same strong sales leadership and bring it to other areas," he said Monday.
This spring Huntington will "relaunch" the Huntington Funds with new marketing and packaging and an additional share class, Mr. Comfort said. However, Huntington will not focus on its proprietary products to the exclusion of outside providers' products, he said.
Beth A. Russell, 43, an executive vice president, will take over the other half of Ms. Fisher's duties, managing institutional sales and trading. She will also continue to manage Huntington's investments.