Scudder, Stevens & Clark Inc. has hired the top marketing executive of Fleet Financial Group Inc.'s mutual fund family.
Boston-based Scudder named Maliz E. Beams director of Scudder Funds Retail, which is responsible for marketing, sales, and operations of the company's 42 no-load portfolios. She succeeds Mark S. Casady, who was promoted to managing director of Scudder's U.S. mutual funds.
Ms. Beams' departure from Fleet comes amid a restructuring of the Boston banking company's investment management unit, which has been rocked by controversy. Its retail and institutional brokerages lost their chief, Michael J. Rothmeier, last May amid allegations of improprieties among brokers who reported to him.
A spokesman for Fleet said the bank plans to hire an executive within a week to oversee sales, as well as operations, of mutual funds to retail customers.
Ms. Beams, 40, said Fleet's problems had nothing to do with her decision to leave. She is joining Scudder as it seeks to transform itself from a pure no-load company to one that also serves discount brokerage shops, wrap account programs, and the 401(k) market.
"My objective in coming here is to continue efforts to segment the marketplace," she said.
Like many no-load fund companies, Scudder, which manages $22 billion of assets, is struggling to maintain market share against companies that have wide distribution, such as Fidelity Investments and Putnam Investments. Many no-load companies see the self-directed investor market as tapped out.
Scudder even launched an advertising campaign last year promoting itself as a no-load fund company that also gives customers help in making choices through telephone customer service representatives.
"Scudder is trying to change its profile," said Geoffrey Bobroff, a mutual fund consultant in East Greenwich, R.I.
At Fleet, Ms. Beams was instrumental in the company's decision last year to add sales charges to its no-load Galaxy funds. The move raised eyebrows as Fleet reversed its strategy in order to market through investment advisers.
Before her most recent post at Fleet, Ms. Beams had been president of Shawmut National Corp.'s discount brokerage. Before that, she was senior managing director in Shawmut's investment advisers unit, overseeing marketing and communications, as well as the tax-exempt institutional business.
In a related announcement, Scudder said Jay Bresnehan, 43, who had been interim director of retail marketing, was being given the post permanently. He reports to Ms. Beams.
Mr. Bresnehan, who joined Scudder in 1987, will continue to oversee advertising, direct mail, shareholder marketing, and lead conversion for Scudder Funds.
The fund company also announced that it had appointed Christopher L. Wilson director of operations. He will take responsibility for the Scudder Funds' sales and service operations, including the brokerage unit.
He also reports to Ms. Beams.