Founders Asset Management, Mellon Bank Corp.'s Denver mutual fund unit, is stepping up its efforts to participate in the 401(k) market.

Founders recently an-nounced that it has hired John Persa as a regional vice president for the Southeast.

Mr. Persa, who joined Founders from Strong Capital Management of Milwaukee, will be responsible for developing Founders' business in defined contribution in a number of southeastern states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi, the company said in a statement. He will be based in Milwaukee.

Founders, which was bought by Pittsburgh-based Mellon in April, manages $6.5 billion in 11 no-load funds.

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