Stephen Ardizzoni has built a career creating strategic investment plans for institutions and wealthy families. Now he is going to do it for New York City-based Cantor Fitzgerald, as head of a new investment advisory business designed to bring the company's research and portfolio modeling expertise to institutional clients and wealthy families.

The bond-trading heavyweight is attempting to win more walletshare by offering a larger number of hedge funds and alternative investments. The demand is especially high among regional wealth managers who do not have access to the research and modeling that Cantor Fitzgerald can offer, Ardizzoni said. By going with him, the firm is betting that a team with deep knowledge about the capital markets will give it a competitive edge over many competitors.

“We have our finger on the pulse of asset flows and industry trends,” he said, adding that the group will make investment decisions that they believe in, based on thorough research.  

For example, the new advisory group would be helpful to a wealth manager or investment advisor overseeing $1 billion in client assets who might be investing in hedge funds outside of a long-only strategy. “We would go to them and say this is the portfolio,” Ardizzoni said. “We can tell them how the portfolio should look, and select funds that would provide clients with the risk and rewards they need.”

For the past 15 years, Ardizzoni has been advising institutional and wealthy family clients, most recently as global head of research for Union Bancaire Privee Alternative Investments, the largest global hedge fund investor. Before that, he was the managing director of Crestline Investors, an alternative asset manager affiliated with the Bass family. There, he managed opportunistic hedge fund investment strategies, including a $500 million distressed fund-of-funds for a large institutional client.

Cantor Investment Advisors is going to be staffed with professionals that have a lot of capital markets expertise. There are fund-of-fund and advisory firms that have not managed money before, and having that type of experience is critical, Ardizzoni said. So as he builds out the group over the next couple of months, he is going to look for five to 10 professionals with 10 to 20 years of capital markets experience, he said.

Eventually, Cantor Investment Advisor would become a registered investment advisor, catering mostly to institutional clients. High-net-worth, family- and multi-family offices will also be in the client mix, he said.

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Also on the move this week:

Citi Private Bank [C], which is based in New York City, hired Roger Marment as director and head of its office in Greenwich, Conn. He was vice president and senior private banker at JPMorgan Private Bank [JPM], also based in New York City.

Hartford Financial Services Group [HIG] hired Brian Laubacker as its regional vice president of sales of the western United States, in its individual life insurance division. He managed the assisted sales division at Saybrus Partners, in Hartford, Conn.

Man Investments in New York City hired George Yepes as a managing director of North American sales and relationship management. He was a managing director at Gottex Fund Management.

David Hull has been promoted to managing director of the Palmieri-Ganley Agency, a Long Island, N.Y., based career agency unit of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. of Horsham, Pa. He was a sales manager for the agency.

Timothy Schiltz was appointed senior vice president of SunAmerica Financial Group, a subsidiary of New York City-based American International Group [AIG]. He was a senior vice president ofWilmington, Del.-based American Life Insurance Co., and a member of its board of directors.

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