Cooke & Bieler is making a push to sell its equity portfolios to public funds and has hired Thad Fletcher as principal to lead that marketing effort.

"Though we haven't historically emphasized the public funds market, we think our high-quality, low-risk investment approach focusing on the long-term is ideal for this marketplace. And we think [Fletcher] is perfectly suited to lead Cooke & Bieler's efforts in this direction," Sam Ballam, a partner with Cooke & Bieler, said in a statement.

Fletcher joins Cooke & Bieler from Columbia Partners, where he served as a partner since the firm's inception in 1995. At that firm, Fletcher was responsible for client development and service to public and corporate pension funds. Prior to joining Columbia, Fletcher was vice president and director of national marketing at ASB Capital Management, an institutional money manager.

In 1986, Cooke & Bieler became part of United Asset Management, which was eventually purchased by Old Mutual. However, in 2001, eight partners completed the full buy-back of the firm from UAM/Old Mutual, resulting in the independent investment advisor it is today. The firm currently manages about $2 billion in assets for institutions and individual investors.

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