James Eads has resigned as president of Riggs Investment Corp., the brokerage arm of Riggs National Corp., to join an Internet company.
Mr. Eads, 45, who had worked at the Washington banking company for two years, said he left for a job at eMarketWorld in Richmond, Va., where he will run financial service seminars.
Riggs has not named a successor.
"I'd done what I set out to do at Riggs and was eager to take on something new and different," he said.
Riggs had been on a growth spurt, expanding its brokerage from a handful of employees when Mr. Eads joined the company to 30. Last quarter, it introduced a variable annuity underwritten by American General Corp. of Houston. Riggs also launched a wrap product that uses proprietary mutual funds to create an asset allocation strategy.
This month it nearly doubled the number of funds in its mutual fund family with the addition of four portfolios. The funds - one equity and three bond portfolios - bring to seven the number of stock or bond portfolios it offers. It also sells two money market funds.
The portfolios, marketed under the name the Riggs Funds, include a large-cap growth fund that pursues capital appreciation by investing in the largest growth companies listed on U.S. exchanges. The family also includes a new taxable-bond fund, an intermediate tax-free bond fund, and a long-term tax-free bond fund.
"The unprecedented bull market has our customers eager to invest in more stock funds," said Mark N. Hendrix, chief marketing officer for the Riggs Funds. "The bond funds are a wealth management tool with their tax-advantaged strategy."
With the additions, Riggs manages $1.3 billion through its money management arm, Riggs Investment Management Corp.
The new funds are the latest in a series of investment products Riggs has rolled out in the past year.
"Riggs is pursuing a sound strategy," said J. Mark Nabor, managing director of the Optima Group in Fairfield, Conn. In order to remain competitive, he said, banking companies must offer a wide variety of investment products.
Banks must also establish closer ties to customers so they can serve them throughout their investment life cycles, he added. "In a relationship strategy," he said, "a bank must provide a complete range of brokerage products and services. If they don't, competitors will be able to lure customers away with more comprehensive offerings."
Banking companies must also establish a sales culture in which employees are primed to offer products such as mutual funds and annuities as an alternative to traditional deposit products, Mr. Nabor said.