HighMark Capital Management, the registered investment advisory firm that guides the HighMark Funds, appointed Kevin A. Rowell as managing director.

Rowell will lead the San Francisco company’s effort to sign up more wirehouses, regional brokerages, and independent advisors to sell its mutual funds and retain the company as the advisor.

HighMark has won top rankings from Lipper and Barron’s for its fixed-income mutual funds particularly. It currently has $16 billion under management.

“He brings years of experience focusing on the very channels that HighMark is focusing on,” said Greg Knopf, the current managing director at HighMark Funds who founded the fund family. “I think he’s got great relationships in the wirehouse channel and in the independent side.”  

Before joining HighMark, Rowell ran a string of fund companies as president, including the Hennessy Funds, based in Novato, Calif.; Pioneer Funds Distributor, in Boston; and Safeco Mutual Funds, owned by Pioneer Investment Inc., also based in Boston. He had also worked for Putnam Investments, where he was director of European corporate development, and was based in Milan, Italy.

Rowell’s arrival will allow Knopf, 60, to retire this year.

Knopf said plans are underway to introduce international and global mutual funds, and bring on a subadvisor to manage them. Executives are also seeking board approval to introduce a high-yield, fixed-income fund product, he said.

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Also on the move this week:

America United Life Insurance, the Indianapolis-based division of OneAmerica, appointed Donald W. Barden as its southeast regional sales director, in its Atlanta retirement services office. He was the managing director of institutional sales for the Southeastern division of MassMutual.

Citi Private Bank has appointed Thomas Petrone as managing director and head of capital markets for North America, working on investing solutions high-net-worth individuals. He founded TAP Investments, a family office based in Connecticut. Petrone began his career at Smith Barney, previously a unit of Citi where he began as an options trader and after 28 years, eventually became co-head of U.S. equity derivatives. Citi also appointed Stacy Devine a director and investment counselor in its Chicago office. She was an advisor at Barclays Wealth.

Brian Shea, president and chief operating officer of Pershing, the Jersey City, N.J.-based unit of BNY Mellon, was named to the Insured Retirement Institute’s board of directors.

The International Insurance Society named Norman R. Sorensen, president of international asset management and accumulation at Principal Financial Group, to its board of directors.

State Street Global Advisor, based in Boston, appointed Christopher J. Goolgasian a senior portfolio manager in its multi-asset-class solutions group, based in Boston. Raymond Haines was named head of U.K. liability-driven investing, based in London. Goolgasian was an institutional portfolio manager for Smithfield, R.I.-based Pyramis Global Advisors, the asset management division of Fidelity Investments; and Haines was chief investment officer for ABN Amro Bank.

Symetra Investment Services hired Brian Williams as an executive vice president and national sales director in charge of recruiting and revenue growth. He was a resident director for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.