Merk Investments Recruits Former St. Louis Fed Prez

Merk Investments has hired William Poole, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, as senior economic adviser. As president of the St. Louis Fed, Poole served on the Federal Open Market Committee and was a prominent voice on low inflationary monetary policy.

Axel Merk, president and chief investment officer at Merk, announced: "Beyond his role as a voice of reason on the Federal Open Market Committee in recent years, Mr. Poole is a distinguished scholar and promoter of macroeconomic understanding. We are honored to have our research be enriched by his insights and experience."

In addition, Poole is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and will be joining the University of Delaware staff as a distinguished scholar in residence this fall.

JPMorgan Funds, Seeing Growth in RIA Unit, Picks Lundquist as its Chief Exec

The head of JPMorgan Funds has handed responsibility for the company's growing registered investment adviser business to a lieutenant. Steve Lundquist, previously the national sales manager of JPMorgan Funds' wirehouse division, is the new head of the registered investment adviser, or RIA, channel.

George Gatch, president and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Funds, said that distribution through the channel has grown robust enough so that it requires a dedicated chief.

"We have had a fairly significant effort in the RIA marketplace over the last 10 years," said Gatch, who used to head the business directly. "This is part of our continuing investment and focus on what we think will be one of the fastest-growing sectors of the advice market in the United States."

Citing company policy, Gatch declined to say how much of JPMorgan Funds' distribution is done through registered investment advisers. The business manages nearly $400 billion in mutual funds and separately managed accounts overall, he said.

JPMorgan Funds distributes through broker/dealers, independent B/Ds, banks and RIAs, particularly, Gatch said, "larger, more sophisticated RIAs."

Balkin Returns to Wm. Blair As Small-Cap Co-Manager

William Blair recently announced that Mike Balkin will be returning to the firm as co-manager of the Small-Cap Growth Strategy portfolio. He initially held the position of co-manager of the Small-Cap Growth product when he first joined the firm in 1990. He left William Blair in 2005 to co-found hedge fund firm Magnetar, where he served as chief investment officer.

"We are delighted to welcome Mike back to our firm and remain very positive about the long-term investment opportunities in the small-cap growth asset class. We believe it is an opportune time to re-open this strategy to new investors," said Michelle R. Seitz, head of investment management.

Blair will be joining Colin Williams, CFA, and his previous managing partner Karl Brewer, CFA, in running the Small-Cap Growth Strategy.

GLG Partners Selects Bay As Manager in London

GLG Partners has hired Fabrice Bay as a portfolio manager in its London office. Bay will co-manage the Capital Appreciation Fund and lead the consumer fund team.

Previously, Bay was a managing director at DWS/Deutsche Asset Management in Frankfurt and head of investments in the firm's Paris office. Before that, she was portfolio manager of a global small-cap fund with Putnam Investments. Bay has an extensive background in global long-only and 130/30 portfolios, which will play an important role in moving GLG's offerings in these areas forward.

(c) 2008 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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