State Street Corp. of Boston has hired Edward G. "Ned" Riley Jr., who was chief investment officer at the former BankBoston Corp., to help build its equity investment and management group.

Mr. Riley, 55, is to join the global fundamental strategies group at State Street's Global Advisors unit next Monday. As chief investment strategist, a newly created post, he is to help oversee $18 billion of assets for institutions, foundations, charitable organizations, and high-net-worth customers.

Mr. Riley had worked 32 years at BankBoston before its October merger with Fleet Financial Group to form the $185.3 billion-asset FleetBoston Financial Corp. He stayed with the combined company as an investment strategist after the job of chief investment officer went to Fleet veteran Thomas O'Neill.

At BankBoston, Mr. Riley had been responsible for overseeing $32 billion of assets and a staff of 120, including portfolio managers, assistants, and support people.

A State Street spokeswoman said assets under management by the 30-person unit that Mr. Riley is joining have grown threefold in the past 18 months.

He will report to Jeffrey P. Davis, chief investment officer of global fundamental strategies.

Mr. Riley said he would focus on helping State Street's equity group raise its profile in the investment community. "The challenges are to show the marketplace, namely clients, that we've got a superior product and that our fundamental services should be taken advantage of," he said.

State Street is custodian for about $5.3 trillion of assets and manages $582 billion, primarily through index funds and other passive investment strategies.

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