Jeffrey M. Bagley, the newly appointed vice president of portfolio manager and a senior research analyst at Haverford, takes a generalist approach to investing, so he normally has a lot on his mind.

That will probably serve him well, particularly now as investors are worried about a range of issues, including rising unemployment, a ballooning federal deficit and potentially higher local and state taxes.

Although financial advisors and their clients are still a bit shell shocked from the downturn in the financial markets, conditions have stabilized and Bagley said investors are looking for opportunities.

“There is a lot of cautious optimism,” he said. “The way we look at it is, there is a clash of unprecedented tailwinds and massive headwinds. But we look for modest economic growth going forward, and we don’t believe will be a double-dip recession.”

Bagley, who joined Haverford in February, serves on an investment committee that puts about 230 companies through its portfolio screening process before selecting between 25 and 35 stocks for its portfolio. Comprised of Haverford Trust Co. and Haverford Financial Services, its intermediary channel, the company has more than $6 billion in assets under management. Haverford Financial Services runs about $300 million of that, Bagley said. The company offers a range of strategies among its six funds, from equity and fixed income to separately managed accounts and mutual funds.

Haverford targets large, A-rated companies with market caps of at least $5 billion, and are one of the top two players in their respective industries. As he sees it, advisors and investors have reason to be encouraged about the future, even if they are apprehensive right how.

Other market observers agree. Sixty-eight percent of public companies beat bottom-line analyst expectations in the fourth quarter, and almost 71% beat analysts top-line forecasts in the same period, suggesting companies are poised for a period of meaningful revenue growth, said Liz Ann Sonders, a senior vice president and chief investment strategist for Charles Schwab.

That should arm advisors, who are generally more attuned to the markets and hence more optimistic about long-term investing prospects, with more good news. “A lot of advisors’ biggest challenge right now is to help their clients navigate these very uncertain times and get them off the fence, to help them maintain the perspective that they are investing for their goals 10 years from now,” Bagley said.

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Also on the move this week:

Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., based in New York City, has promoted Timothy Hartch and Sean Páircéir to partners at the firm. Hartch joined the company in 1996 as part of its corporate finance department, where he advised on mergers and acquisitions, and managed private equity and mezzanine funds. Páircéir was hired in 2000 as a managing director in its Dublin office, where he worked with its asset manager clients on global distribution alternatives as part of its investor services business.

First Eagle Investment Management, based in New York City, has promoted Kimball Brooker to associate portfolio manager of the First Eagle Overseas and First Eagle U.S. Value Funds. Brooker was a senior vice president and senior research analyst covering financials, commercial services and holding companies.

Great West Retirement Services of Greenwood Village, Col., hired Jeff Baumgartner as its regional sales director for its 401(k) business. He was a vice president of sales for the Columbus, Ohio, office of Principal Financial Group.

Janus Capital Group of Denver has hired Riley Horlacher and Matthew Shortal as vice presidents and sales directors in its financial intermediary sales channel. Horlacher was a director of distribution at Highland Capital Management, based in Dallas, covering the western United States. Shortal was a financial advisor for Barclays, providing investment management services to high-net-worth individuals, families and foundations.

LPL Financial of San Diego appointed Derek Bruton a managing director. He is also national sales manager for LPL’s independent advisor services.

Multi-Financial Services Corp. hired James Quinn as vice president and national sales manager, overseeing practice management, recruitment and relationship management. He was a managing director of sales and marketing at Welton Street Investments, based in Denver. Before that, he spent 13 years at Schwab Advisor Services, where he was responsible for sales strategy and execution in the registered investment advisor channel.

WealthTouch in Denver hired Rod Saunders as its chief technology officer. He was chief information officer of Mercury Cos., also based in Denver.

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