Putnam Investments, the biggest outside mutual fund seller through banks, has named a new national retail sales manager.

William Connolly, previously a Merrill Lynch & Co. executive, will oversee sales and marketing through banks, financial advisers, and broker- dealers.

Mr. Connolly succeeds Vincent Esposito, who now heads client relationship management for Putnam's retail arm.

Mr. Connolly's hiring last week coincides with the appointment of Jane M. Mancini, previously the president of Sun Life of Canada (U.S.) Distributors.

The pair will report to Richard A. Monaghan, head of Putnam's fund distribution business.

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