Columbia Management Group, the asset management unit of FleetBoston Financial, has hired Robert McConnaughey as its new managing director and head of equity research, the company said today.

McConnaughey will oversee a team of 20 equity analysts who all specialize in large-cap companies. He will report to Columbia’s CEO, Keith Banks.

McConnaughey previously worked at Citigroup Asset Management where he served as managing director and associate director of research for two years. There, he oversaw equity research for all of the firm’s growth sectors, including technology, consumer products and health care.

Columbia Management has $170 billion in assets under management.

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