Fidelity's Ad Chief Taking Salomon Job

Fidelity Investments said Tuesday that Stephen A. Cone, known for his splashy ad campaigns, has resigned as president of retail and corporate marketing to join Salomon Smith Barney, a unit of Citigroup Inc.Mr. Cone's legacy includes tapping Fidelity fund guru Peter Lynch and comedians Lily Tomlin and Don Rickles for celebrity ads. Before that he was KeyCorp's marketing chief and was responsible for ads featuring Anthony Edwards of the hit television series "ER."

Separately, Fidelity - the largest mutual fund company - said it plans to reorganize some business units after the Feb. 1 retirement of J. Gary Burkhead, president of its personal investments and brokerage group.

Mr. Burkhead, 58, was responsible for Fidelity's retail mutual fund and brokerage operations, related systems and processing groups, and institutional brokerage. Gail J. McGovern, head of distribution and services, is to succeed him and take on Mr. Cone's responsibilities.

The systems and processing groups are to become part of Fidelity corporate systems and services, and the institutional brokerage group is to join Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co.

- Cheryl Winokur

S.F.'s 1st Republic Buys Stake in Asset Manager

First Republic Bank of San Francisco has taken about an 18% stake in Froley, Revy Investment Co.The $3.6 billion-asset bank has the option to buy the investment company's remaining shares after January 2002, according to Froley Revy, a Los Angeles specialist in managing convertible securities. The firm manages more than $3 billion of assets, primarily for public pension funds, corporate pension and profit-sharing plans, insurance companies, and Taft-Hartley pension plans.

Michael McDonough, an analyst at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. of Arlington, Va., said the deal is an extension of First Republic's strategy to build its investment management practice for wealthy customers.

In October 1998, First Republic agreed to buy the 80.1% stake it did not already own of Trainer, Wortham & Co., a New York investment advisory firm.

- Cheryl Winokur

Nationwide's Villanova In Small-Cap Venture

Villanova Capital, the mutual fund unit of Nationwide Financial Services Inc., announced Tuesday that it had entered into a strategic venture with an investment team specializing in small-cap funds.The venture, called NorthPointe Capital, is based in Troy, Mich., and consists of five fund managers and analysts previously with the Boston-based investment firm Loomis, Sayles & Co.

NorthPointe will initially manage institutional accounts and commingled funds. It will also manage a small-cap value product, the Nationwide Value Opportunities Fund, to be unveiled next quarter.

Paul Hondros, Villanova's president and chief executive officer, said that the venture reflects his firm's goal of growing by acquiring specialized investment firms and hiring portfolio managers.

Earlier this month Villanova hired Curtiss O. Barrows, a portfolio manager specializing in high-yield bonds. Mr. Barrows had been a director and portfolio manager at Deutsche Asset Management.

Villanova, based in Conshohocken, Pa., was established in February 1999 and has $22.8 billion of assets under management.

- Amy L. Anderson

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