Boston Private Bank and Trust Co. has hired former Boston Bruin hockey star Derek Sanderson from State Street Global Advisors as a vice president and senior investment professional, to help it develop a line of business managing wealth for professional athletes.

Sanderson said he will bring with him the roster of athletes whose portfolios he had managed at State Street before the private asset management unit was sold last June. The 13-year professional hockey veteran had joined the unit of State Street Corp. in 2001 after establishing State Street Research Sports at State Street Research, a Boston unit of Metropolitan Life Insurance, to manage assets for current and former athletes.

This June, U.S. Trust Co., a unit of Charles Schwab Corp., bought State Street's private asset management group. After not being active with the group since November 2002 while recovering from his ninth and 10th hip replacement surgeries, Sanderson said in an interview last week he decided to move to a new bank in order to keep his clients.

Comfort Level

"I got back into the business because I didn't know what would happen to my clients with U.S. Trust and Schwab and that world," he said. "My comfort level was with State Street Global Advisors."

"We have confidence he can be a business builder with athletes and wealthy people who aren't athletes," said Jay Henderson, an executive vice president and head of investment management trust at Boston Private.

"In this stage in his life, he is a competent investment person; I look at him as I look at my other six salespeople. He is more than just a former Boston Bruin."

Boston Private manages $1.85 billion of assets. Sanderson said his entire roster of professional athletes, which at its peak reached 105, is coming with him to Boston Private.

Smaller boutique firms have found a niche managing assets for athletes, including Merrill Lynch & Co., which formed McCormack Advisors International in July 2000 to cater to athletes.

Goal Post

Sanderson said he will try to keep developing business relationships with athletes, particularly younger ones. At State Street Research in 1998, he launched the Athlete's Fund, a large-cap growth fund developed specifically to help young athletes invest for a low minimum investment.

"I try to explain to companies that this is the Nomar Garciaparra rule," he said, naming the Boston Red Sox All-Star shortstop. "When I approached him with the Athlete's Fund, he was in A' ball [a low minor league] making $900 a month. You need to have a product that athletes can invest in at $50 a month. You have to get them as clients before they become multi-millionaires."

Copyright 2003 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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