Delaware Investments has formed the Wealth Management Group and hired Stephen Starnes and Theodore Smith to lead the new unit. It will initially work to expand the firm's managed accounts business and, over time, develop a more complete wealth management business, according to Delaware.

"At a time when Delaware Investments, like almost everyone in the investment management industry, is being extremely cost-conscious and doing very little hiring, we've made a strategic decision to hire two senior officers to enhance our managed accounts/wealth management business," said Delaware EVP and Chief Administrative Officer Richard Flannery.

"When we started our search, we were looking for one senior manager in this area. Instead, we found two outstanding candidates with remarkably complementary skill sets. So, we decided to hire them both," he said.

Starnes will serve as SVP of the new group, responsible for the managed accounts business and for coordination with Lincoln Financial Distributors, Delaware's affiliate and distribution partner.

He joins Delaware from 1838 Investment Advisors, where he served as director and established the firm's managed accounts platform in the broker/dealer distribution channel.

Smith will be responsible for strategic planning, managed accounts expansion and the development of the overall wealth management initiative. He most recently served as vice president, business development at FOLIOfn.

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