Mark P. Hurley is known for telling investment managers what it takes to be successful, but now the onetime industry guru is forced to practice what he preaches.
Mr. Hurley is the new managing director of global marketing and new products for Merrill Lynch Capital Management, a start-up division of New York-based Merrill Lynch & Co. that caters exclusively to institutional clients.
"One of the things that makes this job so exciting is that, as an organization, Merrill has been extremely successful in the asset management business, but it's never focused on this segment before," Mr. Hurley said in a recent telephone interview.
The 37-year-old West Point graduate made a name for himself at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he wrote a well-regarded report - released last October - concluding that most of the money managed in the United States will fall into the hands of a small number of very large firms.
Michael P. Kostoff, a private banking consultant with the Washington- based Advisory Board, said Mr. Hurley's white paper caused a stir because he talked "about a consolidation and a shakeout," during a time of unprecedented expansion for the money management industry.
Now Mr. Hurley finds himself responsible for developing new business and products for institutional clients such as pension funds, foundations, and endowments, which today only make up 13% of the $200 billion Merrill Lynch manages.
"Not everyone who is an industry analyst is capable of being a player," said Michael L. Quinn, managing director of Merrill Lynch Capital Management. "But in this case we have a person who is a proven implementer."
Mr. Quinn is alluding to Mr. Hurley's previous post at the Office of Thrift Supervision, where between 1990 and 1992 he helped the Resolution Trust Corp. find buyers for failed savings and loans.
But it was through the white paper, "The Coming Evolution of the Investment Management Industry," that Mr. Hurley gained the most recognition.
In it, he predicted that 20 to 25 firms, each managing at least $150 billion of assets, would control the bulk of the money management business by the end of the decade.
Mr. Hurley sticks by his projections, and says that consolidation among money management firms is accelerating. He added that the developments will prove unsettling for many trust executives and private bankers because historically "people didn't view themselves as competing with each other. They viewed themselves as competing with the market."
Mr. Hurley's message - essentially, "get big or get a niche" - has garnered him a large audience.
Last January, he addressed a crowd of bank money managers at the American Bankers Association conference on trust and private banking to go over the paper's findings.
While the executives in the audience furiously scribbled notes on what Mr. Hurley had to say, no one was ready to question the report.
"I was kind of surprised," Mr. Hurley said. "They were all trying to get copies of the paper and telling me they hoped I was wrong."
Mr. Hurley, who predicts a shakeout in the business, has joined Merrill's new institutional unit.