Unionbancal Corp. of San Francisco has hired a new brokerage chief, to succeed one who is leaving because his responsibilities were chopped back in a reorganization.
Former Washington Mutual Inc. executive Ken Lepore will take the helm next month at UBOC Investment Services Inc. as president and chief operating officer. Mr. Lepore, 42, will succeed president and chief executive Richard W. Smiley, whose last day will be Friday.
Mr. Smiley, 54, lost responsibility for sales and marketing in August. That is when Unionbancal, which is mostly owned by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd., combined its brokerage unit, personal trust, private banking, and responsibility for high-net-worth customers into a newly created wealth management unit.
Honoria Vivell, a bank executive vice president, was put in charge of the new unit, and its sales and marketing were entrusted to Terry Chambless, a senior vice president.
Mr. Smiley said he is leaving because his duties were changed. He said he has no immediate job plans. Before the reorganization, 40 investment counselors reported to Mr. Smiley, Ms. Vivell said. The investment counselors now report to Mr. Chambless, as do 12 business development officers who had reported to others.
The changes also prompted the departure of Lisa Hensley, sales manager for the brokerage unit, Mr. Smiley said. Two senior vice presidents who managed units within the private bank have left, a spokeswoman said.
Mr. Lepore joined Unionbancal on Dec. 1. He was Wamu's senior vice president of financial services administration; no successor has been chosen, a spokeswoman said.
Ms. Vivell said that having a combined sales force will help Unionbancal avoid internal competition, facilitate referrals between the two groups, and make it less confusing for branch employees to make referrals.
Unlike some banking companies that have formed wealth management units, Unionbancal has taken the unusual step of keeping its investment management and mutual fund arms separate. Sanwa Bank of California, Citigroup Inc., and Bank One Corp of Chicago, for example, have all combined brokerage, private banking, and asset management into a single unit.
But Ms. Vivell said executives decided it would be better to create an institutional services and asset management group that includes its mutual funds.
David Ross Palmer, a consultant for high-net-worth individuals in East Falmouth, Mass., said leaving asset management out of the new unit was "puzzling," since nearly 40% of the revenues generated by high-net-worth individuals come from securities commissions and investment management fees.
"It does not seem to be an organizational step that is consistent with focusing all of the major services that a bank can offer high-net-worth clients in one place," he said.