Putnam Investments has promoted the top producer in its bank sales unit to a key management post.

David Edlin was named managing director of the financial institutions division Wednesday, succeeding Louis Tasiopoulos, who left last week.

Mr. Edlin, 35, had been the "wholesaler" responsible for promoting the Boston-based company's funds through banks in metropolitan New York.

Putnam was stunned a week ago when Mr. Tasiopoulos and Jim Tambone, who oversaw the financial adviser division, quit to take executive posts at rival Liberty Financial Cos.

"I'm resting a little easier now that I've got some people on board," said senior managing director William N. Shiebler, Putnam's top marketing and sales executive.

The fund company, which manages assets of $170 billion, derives 70% of total sales from banks and financial planners, and is a leading player in both markets.

Mr. Shiebler replaced Mr. Tambone with David Jacobsen, a regional marketing director in the financial adviser unit. Mr. Jacobsen and Mr. Edlin report to Vincent Esposito, managing director and chief of the financial institutions and financial advisers divisions.

Mr. Esposito's post is a new one. Mr. Shiebler transferred him from Milan, Italy, where he had managed a relationship with Gruppo Bipop, a bank with proprietary mutual funds managed by Putnam.

Previously, division heads at the fund company reported directly to Mr. Shiebler. But he wanted more oversight of the rapidly growing divisions.

Competitors expressed surprise that Mr. Shiebler had tapped Mr. Edlin, saying he had less management experience than some other sales executives. They named John L. Bartlett, national sales manager, and Kevin A. Rowell, senior vice president, eastern division, as more qualified candidates. They also mentioned Richard Clark, who joined Putnam Jan. 13 after several years as national sales manager of BankAmerica Corp.'s brokerage.

But Mr. Shiebler defended his decision, saying the company picked a seasoned insider who was ready for the job. "David was the best candidate," Mr. Shiebler said. "He's got presence, brains, instinct."

An executive at one client, Dime Savings Bank of New York, said the recent shakeup in the division had not affected his bank's sales of Putnam funds. But the promotion of Mr. Edlin takes away a highly regarded sales representative.

"I will miss him," said Edward Diamond, president of Dime Securities Inc.

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Federated Investors, a Pittsburgh mutual fund company that manages $76 billion of assets, has hired an industry veteran to run its fund services subsidiary.

Arthur L. Cherry will join Federated Services Co. Monday as president and chief executive. He succeeds Jim Dolan, who left Federated last August. The post had been temporarily filled by John McGonigle, president and chief executive of Federated Investors Management Co.

Mr. Cherry, 43, most recently was a managing partner at AT&T Solutions, consulting with financial services and investment management companies.

He had worked at Scudder, Stevens & Clark, a New York mutual fund company, from 1984 to 1994, becoming president of its Scudder Service Corp. unit in 1986. In that role, he oversaw services for 2.4 million accounts, with $40 billion of assets. He has also worked for the Boston Co., Boston Financial Data Services, and EDS Consulting.

Mr. Cherry said that, after helping AT&T improve business performance, he is eager to be at the helm of a company.

"I want to work as the key facilitator and leader of a team and run a growing business," he said in a telephone interview.

He said he is familiar with Federated's operations, having been a client in the past, and thinks the company is well-positioned to grow. Attracting new clients will be a key goal, he said.

"He is a good businessman and has the ability to get things done, based on his successful establishment and profitable operation of the Scudder Service Corp.," said Karl A. Deavers, who worked with Mr. Cherry at Scudder and is now a consultant in New York.

Mr. Cherry will report to J. Christopher Donahue, president of Federated Investors. - Juliana Ratner

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